Letters and Politics

The Future of Whiteness; Slave Revolt in America

With Linda Martin Alcoff, Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and author of the book The Future of Whiteness.

And Vincent Brown, Professor of History and Professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard and Curator of “A Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761,” an animated thematic map that narrates the spatial history of the greatest slave insurrection in the eighteenth century British Empire.

About the Future of Whiteness: 

White identity is in ferment. White, European Americans living in the United States will soon share an unprecedented experience of slipping below 50% of the population. The impending demographic shifts are already felt in most urban centers and the effect is a national backlash of hyper-mobilized political, and sometimes violent, activism with a stated aim that is simultaneously vague and deadly clear: ‘to take our country back.’ Meanwhile the spectre of ‘minority status’ draws closer, and the material advantages of being born white are eroding.

This is the political and cultural reality tackled by Linda Martín Alcoff in The Future of Whiteness. She argues that whiteness is here to stay, at least for a while, but that half of whites have given up on ideas of white supremacy, and the shared public, material culture is more integrated than ever. More and more, whites are becoming aware of how they appear to non-whites, both at home and abroad, and this is having profound effects on white identity in North America. The young generation of whites today, as well as all those who follow, will have never known a country in which they could take white identity as the unchallenged default that dominates the political, economic and cultural leadership. Change is on the horizon, and the most important battleground is among white people themselves.

The Future of Whiteness makes no predictions but astutely analyzes the present reaction and evaluates the current signs of turmoil. Beautifully written and cogently argued, the book looks set to spark debate in the field and to illuminate an important area of racial politics.

One response to “The Future of Whiteness; Slave Revolt in America

  1. I was dismayed to hear the interview with Linda Martin Alcoff some days ago and listened again now.
    In the interim I watched some videos of her giving talks on related subjects and perused some of the ,amu articles by her that are on the internet.
    She generally markets herself as antiracist. On the face of it that seemed a contradiction for someone
    who is unabashedly anti white people. But there are many assertions online about the term antiracist
    being a codeword for antiwhite and ‘racist’ being a code word for white people. Oddly, she lloke very northern European white but she has always felt like a persecuted latina female deep inside; persecuted
    theoretically by white supremacists. But not actually. In any case her mom’s family hailed in the 19th century from Ireland, so in a way it is as a white educated professorial woman that she expresses aview that
    white people do not deserve to exist; She is still working of a race theory that can facilitate white people transferring their identity to something else; like she did.
    I found that there are others who have promoted this notion of white = evil and they are mostly in
    universities; so students have for some time been getting this notion presented as a reasonable view.
    If white people are so supreme and awash in priviileges why is it that they don’t make a fuss about this.
    If people were saying this about other racial entities such as Jews heads would roll and many teaching positions would made vacant and white people would fill them. But I could not find any academic criticizing
    Ms Allcoff for her virulent racial malice. Having exposed myself to a significant dose of her work I believe that is an accurate statement. Unseemly as she is in her notions. she is in fact praised and given awards.
    She received a Fenon award. I had not heard of him before. He was a man of mixed race, black dad and
    mom something from Europe, probably from France as he was born on a French owned Caribbean Island
    became a medical doctor in France and then somehow active with the revolution Algerians and others
    in Africa seeking to break free of European colonial rule. There was one odd thing in the Wikipedia account. Around 1960 Fanon became ill with cancer and a CIA agent whom I infer he was working with
    arranged for Fanon to go to the US for cancer treatment supposedly with an experimental drug; but he died in the US in 1961 or so.
    I looked for the CIA agent’s name and found it mentioned on the web but could not find much except that he was from an entrenched or established very wealthy family that got rich in the mid-19th c. I guess the
    CIA specializes in such agents. Buckley, and the current popular some of the former jeans maker, little Gloria Vanderbilt. Are these families to be disposed of their great wealth and privilege? Do they
    know it? Then they will really need the CIA jobs but find that a coalition of multicultural American subgroups will have been organized to be aligned against whitey and someone with a different ethnic
    profile will get the job. The America that is planned is based on a Template from the Old Testament; the Babel Template for covert destruction of an enemy people.
    What I wonder is who had the amazing notion and the confidence that it could be done and pulled this off.
    Such planning and persistent persevering action over several generations that would have involved
    getting control of the US immigration policy for the last fifty years and flooded the country with legal immigrants specifically selected from non-white countries. Even during the last 20-odd years when most
    of America’s manufacturing capacity, factory machinery, the goose that laid the golden egg has been methodically shipped over seas primarily to Communist China. This has typically been mentioned in terms of lost jobs; but it is lost hardware much patented plus is a result of a hundred and fifty years of progressive development with the many innovations in technology being a result of taxpayer funded DOD R&D. So the multicultural groups vying with each other over the corpse of the former America reborn I assume as a communist Utopia will be in a de-industrialized America unless the wages can be lowered sufficiently to compete with India, China, Viet Nam etc. to tempt investment in new manufacturing to
    be made in this country. Will we have the same old name which is associated with, not the Native Indian
    inhabitants disposed by European white supremacists, now helpless victims most likely begging for crumbs on the streets, perhaps helped only by the Jewish segment of vying ethnic groups who for once
    may show some modicum of magnanimity in their victory; or not.

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