The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, Revised and Expanded Edition

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Temple University Press, Aug 21, 2009 - History - 312 pages
19 Reviews
In this unflinching look at white supremacy, George Lipsitz argues that racism is a matter of interests as well as attitudes, a problem of property as well as pigment. Above and beyond personal prejudice, whiteness is a structured advantage that produces unfair gains and unearned rewards for whites while imposing impediments to asset accumulation, employment, housing, and health care for minorities. Reaching beyond the black/white binary, Lipsitz shows how whiteness works in respect to Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans.Lipsitz delineates the weaknesses embedded in civil rights laws, the racial dimensions of economic restructuring and deindustrialization, and the effects of environmental racism, job discrimination and school segregation. He also analyzes the centrality of whiteness to U.S. culture, and perhaps most importantly, he identifies the sustained and perceptive critique of white privilege embedded in the radical black tradition. This revised and expanded edition also includes an essay about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on working class Blacks in New Orleans, whose perpetual struggle for dignity and self determination has been obscured by the city's image as a tourist party town.
 

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Review: The Possessive Investment In Whiteness

User Review  - Robert Owen - Goodreads

In the first century AD, the Greek astronomer Ptolemy devised an ingenious mathematical model for predicting planetary movements that was so remarkably accurate that its underlying assumptions became ... Read full review

Review: The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, Revised and Expanded Edition

User Review  - JP - Goodreads

This book is all about how the US protects whiteness & elevates it above all else. It is a demonstration that racism is more than lynching & calling someone a nigger. It shows how subtle, abstract ... Read full review

Contents

1 The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
1
Civil Rights Laws and White Privilege
24
3 Immigrant Labor and Identity Politics
48
4 Whiteness and War
70
Inheritance Wealth and Health
105
Remembering Robert Johnson
118
Beyond Identity Politics
140
Antiblack Racism and White Identity
159
Beyond the BlackWhite Binary
185
The Mississippi of the 1990s
212
Learning from New Orleans
237
NOTES
249
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
277
INDEX
279
Copyright

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Page 1 - As the unmarked category against which difference is constructed, whiteness never has to speak its name, never has to acknowledge its role as an organizing principle in social and cultural relations.4 To identify, analyze, and oppose the destructive consequences of whiteness, we need what Walter Benjamin called "presence of mind.

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About the author (2009)

George Lipsitz is Professor of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of A Life in the Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition (Temple), Rainbow at Midnight: Labor and Culture in the 1940s, Dangerous Crossroads, and Time Passages.

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