Saturday, November 4, 2017

How whiteness studies are made meaningless

"The study of whiteness has its origins in a rich scholarly tradition that includes the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, Theodore Allen, Noel Ignatiev, and David Roediger. These writers all explore, in great detail, the intricately imbricated relationship between whiteness and labor in the U.S. But by the time it reaches most of our classrooms and almost all anti-racist training, it has been cleansed of its politics, history and class consciousness and devolved into a privilege walk or a list in Peggy McIntosh’s knapsack. ... Pointing in the abstract toward White privilege shorn from its origins in labor history tends to lead White listeners from the privileged economic classes to unproductive guilt and smug lectures directed toward other, less enlightened White people." —Bill Lyne

from The Ways of White Folks: A Love Letter to the National Education Association