Getting Rid of Whiteness?
by sallykohn, Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 07:40:37 AM EST
Wanted to share this provocative post from the Movement Vision Lab blog by Dan Horowitz Garcia entitled, "Get Whitey! A 21st Century Racial Justice Agenda".
Horowitz Garcia argues that whiteness is the main glue that holds the United States together, allowing the perpetuation of economic inequality not only for people of color but poor and working class white folks, too.
How do we achieve equality and justice in the United States?
The key is to abolish whiteness, to end a political category that gives privilege to one group at the expense of others.
But rather than abolishing the politically-laden category of whiteness and transforming the many, many institutions that perpetuate hierarchy based on race -- from police to public schools -- Horowitz Garcia argues that in many cases, we actually reinforce white supremacy in institutions. For instance, he uses the example of calling for new hate crimes laws in the wake of Jena, LA -- in the attempt to vindicate a racially profiled young man of color, demanding to expand the criminal justice system that spends most of its energy racially profiling young men of color.
As a white girl, I found this piece provocative. What is whiteness, beyond skin color? What does it mean in society? And how do we move toward a vision where whiteness doesn't have exclusive power and privilege over others? What do you think?