Author Topic: LOOK, A WHITE!  (Read 1733 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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« on: March 05, 2012, 09:57:39 pm »
rom a celebrated scholar on race, a book on ways of seeing, and seeing through, whiteness

Look, a White!

Philosophical Essays on Whiteness

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George Yancy, foreword by Naomi Zack

"You read these dangerous, often breathtaking essays at your own risk. A fearless analysis that makes visible how white, racial consciousness is constructed daily and then perpetuated by narcissism and naivety, Look, a White! does more than deepen and refine our centuries-old discourse on racial being. It delivers, as the best philosophy must, a clarification of what it means to be human in the casements of our differently colored skins."
—Dr. Charles Johnson, University of Washington

Look, a White! returns the problem of whiteness to white people. Prompted by Eric Holder's charge, that as Americans, we are cowards when it comes to discussing the issue of race, noted philosopher George Yancy's essays map out a structure of whiteness.

He considers whiteness within the context of racial embodiment, film, pedagogy, colonialism, its "danger," and its position within the work of specific writers. Identifying the embedded and opaque ways white power and privilege operate, Yancy argues that the Black countergaze can function as a "gift" to whites in terms of seeing their own whiteness more effectively.

Throughout Look, a White! Yancy pays special attention to the impact of whiteness on individuals, as well as on how the structures of whiteness limit the capacity of social actors to completely untangle the way whiteness operates, thus preventing the erasure of racism in social life.



"Many scholars explore the destructive tendencies of white supremacy, but few do so with the verbal alacrity, philosophical depth, and stylistic grace of George Yancy. In Look, a White! Yancy makes it clear: whiteness must be problematized and exposed for what it is—an intellectual and cultural straitjacket capable of strangling the life out of peoples of color and whites alike by way of its dehumanizing norms. Yancy not only names the sickness; he forces the infected to name it too. He has given white folks’ problem back to us. I, for one, am grateful."
—Tim Wise, author of White like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority

"Look, a White! is an insightful addition to the growing shelf of works interrogating whiteness and its ways. George Yancy provides useful tools for those seeking to do away with the effects."
—Noel Ignatiev, Massachusetts College of Art


About the Author(s)

George Yancy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University and Coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Speaker Series. He is the author of Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race, which received an Honorable Mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. He has edited twelve influential books, three of which have received Choice Awards, and was recently nominated for the Duquesne University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

Offline The Griot

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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 07:48:33 am »
I know a few black folks that would be afraid to read this book.
"Happiness is dancing when the drumming is good."

Offline Battle

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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2021, 10:00:07 am »
Tuesday, 30th March Twenty One
Why White People Hate Critical Race Theory, Explained
by Michael Harriot

They’re back!

On Monday, Mississippi state Representative Chris Brown (not that one) introduced two bills in the state legislature affirming the “resolute opposition to the promotion of race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating.”

While the concurrent resolutions seem like no-brainers, the measures are part of the Republican Party’s nationwide effort to eliminate the anti-racist terror threat that has triggered white people around the country.

Everybody—from preachers to teachers—is talking about it.

Arkansas Senator tom cotton introduced legislation to ban it from the military.

School boards across the country are up in arms about it.

White people briefly considered boycotting Coke over it.

It’s the dreaded Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Not since Rev. Jeremiah Wright insisted that God doesn’t like racism has one phrase caused so much consternation.

CRT has become the conservative equivalent of Black Santa Claus delivering a Little Negro Mermaid while telling little white kids that Jesus was born with melanin.

It’s not what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted.

So, to separate truth from white lies, we decided to offer this simple explainer to why white people are so upset by Critical Race Theory.

Is there a backlash against Critical Race Theory?

If you mean one that is sanctioned by federal, state and local authorities, then, yes.

Under the individual-1, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo instructing government agencies to “identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either

(1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or

(2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

“Critical Race Theory is basically teaching people to hate our country, hate each other. It’s divisive and it’s basically an identity politics version of Marxism,” said Florida Governor ron desantis during an interview with the racial scholars at fox News.

“Florida’s civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories.”

Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center says the term became the subject of a GOP disinformation campaign after the Trump administration turned against it.

Using Critical Race Theory, the Georgia legislature would have considered the historical and structural factors of voter suppression before passing their draconian electoral reforms.

And now, regular white people are lashing out against the term.

What is Critical Race Theory?

Basically, Critical Race Theory is a way of using race as a lens through which one can critically examine social structures.

While initially used to study law, like most critical theory, it emerged as a lens through which one could understand and change politics, economics and society as a whole.

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic’s book, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, describes the movement as:

“a collection of activists and scholars engaged in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power.”

Kimberlé Crenshaw, one of the founding members of the movement, says Critical Race Theory is more than just a collective group.

She calls it:

“a practice—a way of seeing how the fiction of race has been transformed into concrete racial inequities.”

It’s much more complex than that, which is why there’s an entire book about it.

Can you put it in layman’s terms?


Former economics professor (he prefers the term “wypipologist”) Michael Harriot, who used Critical Race Theory to teach “Race as an Economic Construct,” explained it this way:

Race is just some sh*t white people made up.

Nearly all biologists, geneticists and social scientists agree that there is no biological, genetic or scientific foundation for race. But, just because we recognize the lack of a scientific basis for race doesn’t mean that it is not real. Most societies are organized around agreed-upon principles and values that smart people call “social constructs.” It’s why Queen Elizabeth gets to live in a castle and why gold is more valuable than iron pyrite. Constitutions, laws, political parties, and even the value of currency are all real and they’re sh*t people made up.

To effectively understand anything we have to understand its history and what necessitated its existence. Becoming a lawyer requires learning about legal theory and “Constitutional Law.” A complete understanding of economics include the laws of supply and demand, why certain metals are considered “precious,” or why paper money has value. But we can’t do that without critically interrogating who made these constructs and who benefitted from them.

One can’t understand the political, economic and social structure of America without understanding the Constitution.

And it is impossible to understand the Constitution without acknowledging that it was devised by 39 white men, 25 of whom were no good dirty slavers.

Therefore, any reasonable understanding of America begins with the critical examination of the impact of race and slavery on the political, economic and social structure of this country.

That’s what Critical Race Theory does.

How does Critical Race Theory do that?

It begins with the acknowledgment that the American society’s foundational structure serves the needs of the dominant society.

Because this structure benefits the members of the dominant society, they are resistant to eradicating or changing it, and this resistance makes this structural inequality ordinary.

Critical Race Theory also insists that neutral, “color-blind” policy is not the way to eliminate America’s racial caste system.

And, unlike many other social theories, CRT is an activist movement, which means it doesn’t just seek to understand racial hierarchies, it also seeks to eliminate them.

How would Critical Race Theory eliminate that?

By blaming white people?

This is the crazy part.

It’s not about blaming anyone.

Instead of the idiotic concept of colorblindness, CRT says that a comprehensive understanding of any aspect of American society requires an appreciation of the complex and intricate consequences of systemic inequality.

And, according to CRT, this approach should inform policy decisions, legislation and every other element in society.

Take something as simple as college admission, for instance.

People who “don’t see color” insist that we should only use neutral, merit-based metrics such as SAT scores and grades.

However, Critical Race Theory acknowledges that SAT scores are influenced by socioeconomic status, access to resources and school quality.

It suggests that colleges can’t accurately judge a student’s ability to succeed unless they consider the effects of the racial wealth gap, redlining, and race-based school inequality.

Without this kind of holistic approach, admissions assessments will always favor white people.

CRT doesn’t just say this is racist, it explains why these kinds of race-neutral assessments are bad at assessing things.

What’s wrong with that?

Remember all that stuff I said the “material needs of the dominant society?”

Well, “dominant society” means “white people.”

And when I talked about “racial hierarchies,” that meant “racism.”

So, according to Critical Race Theory, not only is racism an ordinary social construct that benefits white people, but it is so ordinary that white people can easily pretend it doesn’t exist.

Furthermore, white people who refuse to acknowledge and dismantle this unremarkable, racist status quo are complicit in racism because, again, they are the beneficiaries of racism.

But, because white people believe racism means screaming the nigger or burning crosses on lawns, the idea that someone can be racist by doing absolutely nothing is very triggering.

Let’s use our previous example of the college admissions system.

White people’s kids are more likely to get into college using a racist admissions system.

But the system has been around so long that it has become ordinary.

So ordinary, in fact, that we actually think SAT scores mean sh*t.

And white people uphold the racist college admissions system—not because they don’t want Black kids to go to college—because they don’t want to change admission policies that benefit white kids.

Is that why they hate Critical Race Theory?


They don’t know what it is.

Whenever words “white people” or “racism” are even whispered, Caucasian Americans lose their ability to hear anything else.

If America is indeed the greatest country in the world, then any criticism of their beloved nation is considered a personal attack—especially if the criticism comes from someone who is not white.

They are fine with moving toward a “more perfect union” or the charge to “make America great again.”

But an entire field of Black scholarship based on the idea that their sweet land of liberty is inherently racist is too much for them to handle.

However, if someone is complicit in upholding a racist policy—for whatever reason—then they are complicit in racism.

And if an entire country’s resistance to change—for whatever reason —creates more racism, then “racist” is the only way to accurately describe that society.

If they don’t know what it is, then how can they criticize it?

Have you met white people?

When has not knowing stuff ever stopped them from criticizing anything?

They still think Colin Kaepernick was protesting the anthem, the military and the flag.

They believe Black Lives Matter means white lives don’t.

There aren’t any relevant criticisms other than they don’t like the word “racism” and “white people” anywhere near each other.

People like Ron DeSantis and Tom Cotton call it “cultural Marxism,” which is a historical dogwhistle thrown at the civil rights movement, the Black Power movement and even the anti-lynching movement after World War I.

They also criticize CRT’s basic use of personal narratives, insisting that a real academic analysis can’t be based on individually subjective stories.

Why wouldn’t that be a valid criticism?

Well, aren’t most social constructs centered in narrative structures?

In law school, they refer to these individual stories as “legal precedent.”

In psychology, examining a personal story is called “psychoanalysis.” In history, they call it...well, history.

Narratives are the basis for every religious, political or social institution.

I wish there was a better example of an institution or document built around a singular narrative.

It would change the entire constitution of this argument—but sadly, I can’t do it.

Jesus Christ, I wish I could think of one!

That would be biblical!

Why do they say Critical Race Theory is not what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted?

You mean the Martin Luther King Jr. who conservatives also called divisive, race-baiting, anti-American and Marxist?

The one whose work CRT is partially built upon?

The King whose words the founders of Critical Race Theory warned would be “co-opted by rampant, in-your-face conservatism?”

The MLK whose “content of their character” white people love to quote?

Martin Luther King Jr. literally encapsulated CRT by saying:

In their relations with Negroes, white people discovered that they had rejected the very center of their own ethical professions. They could not face the triumph of their lesser instincts and simultaneously have peace within. And so, to gain it, they rationalized—insisting that the unfortunate Negro, being less than human, deserved and even enjoyed second class status.

They argued that his inferior social, economic and political position was good for him. He was incapable of advancing beyond a fixed position and would therefore be happier if encouraged not to attempt the impossible. He is subjugated by a superior people with an advanced way of life. The “master race” will be able to civilize him to a limited degree, if only he will be true to his inferior nature and stay in his place.

White men soon came to forget that the Southern social culture and all its institutions had been organized to perpetuate this rationalization. They observed a caste system and quickly were conditioned to believe that its social results, which they had created, actually reflected the Negro’s innate and true nature.

That guy?

I have no idea.

Will white people ever accept Critical Race Theory?

Yes, one day I hope that Critical Race Theory will be totally disproven.


Well, history cannot be erased.

Truth can never become fiction.

But there is a way for white people to disprove this notion.

Derrick Bell, who is considered to be the father of Critical Race Theory, notes that the people who benefit from racism have little incentive to eradicate it.

Or, as Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“We must also realize that privileged groups never give up their privileges voluntarily.”

So, if white people stopped being racist, then the whole thing falls apart!

« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 12:58:37 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 03:53:38 pm »
Wednesday, 7th April   Twenty One
tom cotton Is Extremely Concerned That We Aren't Sending Enough Black People to Prison
by Michael Harriot

America is racist.

When I invoke the word racism in this context, I am not referring to a self-concocted, liberal definition that excludes Black people and progressive white people who work in underprivileged communities with their LatinX nephew-in-law.

I’m talking about the classic, white definition of racism—the “belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

I’m talking about the belief.

A belief can never be disproven because beliefs don’t require proof to justify their existence.

It’s why people can believe in an invisible God, American exceptionalism and the inherent superiority of whiteness.

Beliefs are bulletproof, indestructible, and immune to logic or facts.

And yes, America believes in racism.

There is overwhelming proof that white people use more illegal drugs.

Yet, the only way anyone can explain why Black people are arrested for possession at three times the rate of whites is the racist belief that there is a huge drug use problem in Black communities.

Racism is the only way to explain why the largest policing project in world history revealed.

“Black drivers were searched about 1.5 to 2 times as often as white drivers, while they were less likely to be carrying drugs, guns, or other illegal contraband compared to their white peers.”

It is necessary to believe that race is a “fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities” if one wants to understand why Black men receive prison sentences that are, on average, nearly 20 percent longer than white men who commit the same crimes.

To be fair, cotton doesn’t specifically mention Black people, he just linked to an article about crime in “major cities.”

You know...where immigrants and Black people live.

It’s like me tweeting about America’s major under-seasoning problem.

Let’s be clear:

Incarceration does not reduce crime.

It does not make communities safer.

It does not rehabilitate human beings.

It targets poor and minority communities.

This is not a belief.

Every large-scale study shows it.

Like the one that shows “imprisonment is an ineffective long-term intervention for violence prevention.”

Or the study that proves “higher incarceration rates are not associated with lower violent crime rates.”

There’s also an entire book by the National Research Council that concludes “the incremental deterrent effect of increases in lengthy prison sentences is modest at best,” but “the effects of harsh penal policies in the past 40 years have fallen most heavily on blacks and Hispanics, especially the poorest.”

There’s also the U.C. Berkeley economics study that found that any benefit from harsh sentencing “is outweighed by the large fiscal costs of incarceration.”

Secondly, tom cotton already knows that crime rose in 2020 because of the largest economic collapse in U.S. history.

To be fair, cotton may not have read the numerous studies and government reports by economists, psychologists, sociologists and criminologists that show that crime rates correspond to economics and education but I haven’t read most of these reports either.

However, there’s a magical fairy godmother who lives on the internet and helps me understand things.

Her name is Google.

I can get tom cotton her email address.

cotton also understands that, aside from the recent uptick, crime has dramatically declined for years.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 02:43:17 am by Battle »