Thursday, May 27, 2004
5/27 Interrogate the Whiteness, Dammit! 6:00pm, Milam 213This comes after Taranto commented last month on the dismissal of a student reporter who wrote about blacks who defend actions of sports figures who are caught cheating or otherwise acting irresponsibily. (Hint to reporter, who lost his job: You're not Cosby.)
One of racism's key tricks is keeping people of color in the center of the conversation while keeping white people in the center of power. Interrogating whiteness means putting (normative) whiteness at the center of the discussion. It means uncovering the history of the term and the way it has been used. It means foregrounding the way 'whiteness' as a category has historically been dependent on an understanding that white is the opposite of non-white; it is not and has never been an innocent term. it is a term shaped and used by (white) power. It's a suspect term, and we mean to interrogate it, dammit!
No hint needed for Taranto. Since attendance wasn't mandatory, he's declining the opportunity to visit Corvallis this week.