Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

In more mainstream forms, such attempts to define whiteness as pathology often focus on the character traits that accrue to “unearned” privilege. (As soon as we say “unearned,” we have baked in the idea of meritocracy—which is some white bullshit.) The white person, especially the white man, is inescapably mediocre, as if by hereditary taint. She or he or they are entitled, neurotic, fragile, narcissistic, vain. He is named Bryce or Heath or Connor and wears shorts in the winter—so severed is he, at a basic level, from the truth of things. (Perhaps he just doesn’t care if his knees are cold.) She is named Karen unless her hair is good.

This approach, too, has a crude descriptive power. Stereotypes often do. In an extension of this process, “white” becomes a name for certain varieties of bad politics: the conservative, the nationalist, the NIMBY progressive, the can’t-we-talk-about-this-later socialist, the you-looked-at-me-so-I’m-calling-the-cops feminist. In all these cases, “white” functions as a name for a kind of secular American freedom: freedom-from that has become freedom-over. It’s the freedom of the minor aristocrat—this being the type of person who gave us far too much of the Enlightenment political thought that permeates our institutions—or the freedom of the children of the southern rich, the group that disproportionately, has given us that bizarre and misnamed American political tendency known as “libertarianism.” (The word has a far nobler meaning in European contexts.) The libertarian is, spiritually speaking, a plantation owner’s son. He wants his taxes lowered, his employees free to work for free, and—with an eye toward those employees’ daughters—his age of consent abolished. His freedom requires that no one else be free of him. But all of these are positions, not traits. Many whitened people reject them, and many people of color buy into one or another of them. Given that the forms and shapes of exploitation are likely to shift in a world that America no longer dominates, this is important to keep in mind.

—p.48 How To Be White (39) by Phil Christman 1 year, 3 months ago