Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whiteness Losing Power?

In a wide-ranging essay on race in the recent New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh tackles three new books (Searching for Whitopia, The History of White People, How Race Survived U.S. History), an Academy Award-winning movie ("The Blind Side"), and the musings of Glenn Beck. We learn that, according to U.S. law, Arabians are considered white; that there is "something particularly fraught about the whiteness of Italian-Americans, which has been contested for centuries"; that Hispanics, while, too, technically white, represent the greatest potential threat to "the white majority"; and that, "In the Obama era--the Tea Party era--whiteness is easier to see than ever before, which means...if invisibility is power, than whiteness is a little less powerful than it used to be."

You should really read the whole thing.

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