Monday, September 15, 2008

John McCain Is White; Talk About THAT, Rep. Westmoreland

So I have another piece up at Global Comment, thanks Natalia. I will get you started and then you will have to go there to finish.

John McCain is white; conversely Barack Obama is African American. It is an obvious but important statement to make.

McCain’s whiteness is often ignored in the mainstream press. Conversations about race and the election centre on Obamas blackness as though the whiteness of McCain is an insignificant racial fact. The galvanizing power of whiteness is clearly obvious from watching the Republican National Convention where the delegates were mostly white. Even the protesters were white.

McCains whiteness is normalized and invisible because white hegemony thrives on invisibility. The fact that his body is just as problematic as Obama’s black body will not be acknowledged, because to do so would force a conversation about the ways in which white power is maintained.

Discursively there is the proposition that we live in a post racial world but this is an impossibility because we continue to fail to discuss whiteness. We react to statements like, “Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity.” which has been attributed to Rep. Westmoreland by The Hill as racist against blacks. But what does it say about whiteness?

Westmoreland can make the aforementioned statement because it is assumed that power belongs to whites and any usurpation on the part of an ‘other’ is thwarting the natural order. Not only is McCain seeking the presidency for the privilege of ruling, he seeks it to maintain white hegemony.

Since the United States became a country it has been run officially by whites with blacks and other bodies of colour functioning in a support staff role. With a tradition of white headship that is over 200 years old, the idea that white rule is natural and normal has become ingrained in American society. The construction of whiteness as meant for power is daily reinforced by the agents of socialization, thus when McCain announced his bid for the presidency we viewed it as a standard affair.

Finish reading it here.

1 comment:

Oreste said...

Ciao Renee, un saluto e un abbraccio da Roma.