Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Has Whiteness Lost Its Privilege?

In a recent article in the New Yorker, Hua Hsu discusses the question of whether the economic plight of lower-class whites has wiped out their racial privilege and given rise to a new form of white identity politics. Many such whites, especially men, express anger at the notion that they are privileged and resent what they see as special treatment of "minorities." It has been reported that such men form a core constituency for Donald Trump. Is their perception of oppression accurate, or do they merely miss the dominant role that racial privilege once afforded them? The article draws directly on the new book by Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. Widely-praised, Isenberg's book has also been criticized for discussing the working class as if it were only white.

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