Trick-or-Treating While White: White Supremacy and Costumes of Racial Tragedy

English: Source: The Good Citizen published in...

English: Source: The Good Citizen published in July, 1926 by the Pillar of Fire Church. Copyright was not renewed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The history of American public discourse on equality and freedom is one marred with both the erasure of Black suffering, and efforts to find happiness and pleasure in the suffering of the OTHER.  We saw this during Hurricane Katrina where the sight of African Americans wading through water in search of food or medicine, or stranded families clinging to life on roof tops elicited reactions of shock and horror as well as pleasure and joy at the knowledge that could never happen to White America.  Dylan Rodriguez describes Katrina as a “scene of white popular enjoyment, wherein the purging/drowning of black people provided an opportunity for white Americana to revel in its entitlement to remain relatively indifferent to this nearby theater of breathtaking devastation.”  More recently we saw it with the racial mocking of those facing the prospect of loss of SNAP benefits.  Such joy isn’t simply an outgrowth of the denied humanity of Black people or the refusal to witness and see Black pain, but it is also a celebration of, or at least the elevation of, White humanity, White power, and the protective armor that whiteness provides each and every day.   This is the story of race in America, from lynchings to Katrina, from slavery to Trayvon Martin.


via Trick-or-Treating While White: White Supremacy and Costumes of Racial Tragedy.




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