Whiteness In Media Res (Caitlyn Jenner, Rachel Dolezal, Dylann Storm Roof)

jennerdolezalroof

The problem with race in this country isn’t blackness. It’s whiteness. Impossible to get one’s mind around, it has been a curious and now painful news cycle. There’s something sad about Rachel Dolezal and the negative, even nasty policing that her story has elicited, in contrast to the Caitlyn Jenner splash at Vanity Fair which it followed. Regarding Dolezal, I think the question about trans-racial passing and identity is impossible to get right; the terrain is treacherous and unstable. Now following right on the heel of the Dolezal affair, the shooting in Charleston by Dylann Storm Roof, another American race-actor, this one a white supremacist, shows just how clearly race and whiteness in this country is a whipsaw between cultural performance and the brute reality of violence.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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