Some People Say

That race is our national DNA.

People hear it’s a book called “The History of White People” and that it’s by a black author, and make assumptions.

Author Nell Irvin Painter traces the American persistent desire to create racial difference out of nothing – with nothing referring to the 99.99% genetic code all humans share – to being founded in 1789 right about the same moment that Blumenbach was inventing Caucasians – this moment of racialization.

Then to:

We’re currently in the midst of the fourth great expansion, which is an expansion of the idea of the American — that an American doesn’t necessarily need to be white to be considered American. “American” now includes Hispanics, for example, and people who identify themselves as multiracial.

And here she REALLY loses me. The blanket term Hispanic completely ignores the wide range of color within Hispanic groups. And multiracial fails to note the implication that at least one of the multi races is white. For theories concerned with whiteness there is far too much emphasis on race, and not on color. I’ve always attributed the National DNA of race to power dynamics and slavery, color as a convenient means of asserting cultural difference and perpetuating class dominance.

She also equates Stuff White People Like with really, what middle class people like. I would see this and raise it one liberal hipster grade.


Filed under: Color, HISTORY

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