Learning to be White: Money, Race, and God in America

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Continuum, 1999 - Social Science - 169 pages
In the experience of every Euro-American, there is a moment in childhood when he or she is "inducted" into whiteness. The result is an unusual racial victim, someone who had to become white in order to survive, and the price of admission to the white race includes child abuse, ethnic conflicts, class exploitation, lost self-esteem, and a general feeling of self contempt. These are the wages of whiteness. Personal stories, based on original interviews, introduce the problem of the shame that Euro-Americans feel when they are forced to become white. The rest of the book explains it using social history, class analysis, and post-Freudian psychoanalytic shame theory. Leavening and lightening the loaf are scintillating analyses of the "white problem" of such figures as George Wallace, Norman Podhoretz, Bill McCartney (founder of the Promise Keepers), and philosopher Martha Nussbaum.

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About the author (1999)

Thandeka, a Unitarian Universalist minister and theologian, teaches at Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She is an Emmy Award-winning producer, journaist and talk show host.

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