Critical White Studies

Looking Behind the Mirror

Edited by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
Honorable Mention for Outstanding Books Awards, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, 1997
Book Cover

PB: $51.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-532-8
Publication: Jun 97

Ebook: $51.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0151-9
Publication: Jun 97

704 pages
7 x 10

Over 100 closely edited selections critically examine the notion of whiteness and its relation to social power

Read the Introduction and Section Introductions (pdf).


No longer content with accepting whiteness as the norm, critical scholars have turned their attention to whiteness itself. In Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror, numerous thinkers, including Toni Morrison, Eric Foner, Peggy McIntosh, Andrew Hacker, Ruth Frankenberg, John Howard Griffin, David Roediger, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Noel Ignatiev, Cherríe Moraga, and Reginald Horsman, attack such questions as:

  • How was whiteness invented, and why?

  • How has the category whiteness changed over time?

  • Why did some immigrant groups, such as the Irish and Jews, start out as nonwhite and later become white?

  • Can some individual people be both white and nonwhite at different times, and what does it mean to "pass for white"?

  • At what point does pride in being white cross the line into white power or white supremacy?

  • What can whites concerned over racial inequity or white privilege do about it?

Science and pseudoscience are presented side by side to demonstrate how our views on whiteness often reflect preconception, not fact. For example, most scientists hold that race is not a valid scientific category—genetic differences between races are insignificant compared to those within them. Yet, the "one drop" rule, whereby those with any nonwhite heritage are classified as nonwhite, persists even today. As The Bell Curve controversy shows, race concepts die hard, especially when power and prestige lie behind them.

A sweeping portrait of the emerging field of whiteness studies, Critical White Studies presents, for the first time, the best work from sociology, law, history, cultural studies, and literature. Delgado and Stefancic expressly offer critical white studies as the next step in critical race theory. In focusing on whiteness, not only do they ask nonwhites to investigate more closely for what it means for others to be white, but also they invite whites to examine themselves more searchingly and to "look behind the mirror."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction

Part I: How Whites See Themselves 1. The End of the Great White Male – John R. Graham 2. White Racial Formation: Into the Twenty-First Century – Charles A. Gallagher 3. The Skin We’re In – Christopher Wills 4. The Way of the WASP – Richard Brookkiser 5. Hiring Quotas for White Males Only – Eric Foner 6. Innocence and Affirmative Action – Thomas Ross 7. Doing the White Male Kvetch (A Pale Imitation of a Rag) – Calvin Trillin 8. Growing Up White in America? – Bonnie Kae Grover 9. Growing Up (What) in America? – Jerald N. Marrs 10. White Images of Black Slaves (Is What We See in Others Sometimes a Reflection of What We Find in Ourselves?) – George Fredrickson Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part II: How Whites See Others 11. The White Race Is Shrinking: Perceptions of Race in Canada and Some Speculations on the Political Economy of Race Classification – Doug Daniels 12. Ignoble Savages – Dinesh D’Souza 13. Darkness Made Visible: Law, Metaphor, and the Racial Self – D. Marvin Jones 14. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination – Toni Morrison 15. Transparently White Subjective Decisionmaking: Fashioning a Legal Remedy – Barbara J. Flagg 16. The Rhetorical Tapestry of Race – Thomas Ross 17. Imposition – Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic 18. Racial Reflections: Dialogues in the Direction of Liberation – Derrick A. Bell, Tracy Higgins, and Sung-Hee Suh, Editors 19. The Tower of Babel – Eleanor Marie Brown 20. The Quest for Freedom in the Post-Brown South: Desegregation and White Self-Interest – Davison M. Douglas 21. “Soulmaning”: Using Race for Political and Economic Gain – Luther Wright, Jr. 22. Dysconscious Racism: Ideology, Identity, and Miseducation – Joyce E. King Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part III: Whiteness: History’s Role 23. Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism – Reginald Horsman 24. The Invention of Race: Rereading White Over Black – James Campbell and James Oakes 25. “Only the Law Would Rule between Us”: Antimiscegenation, the Moral Economy of Dependency, and the Debate over Rights after the Civil War – Emily Field Van Tassel 26. The Antidemocratic Power of Whiteness – Kathleen Neal Cleaver 27. Who’s Black, Who’s White, and Who Cares – Luther Wright, Jr. 28. Images of the Outsider in American Law and Culture – Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic 29. Back to the Future with The Bell Curve: Jim Crow, Slavery, and G – Jacqueline Jones 30. The Genetic Tie – Dorothy E. Roberts Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part IV: Whiteness: Law’s Role 31. White Law and Lawyers: The Case of Surrogate Motherhood – Peter Halewood 32. Social Science and Segregation before Brown – Herbert Hovenkamp 33. Mexican-Americans and Whiteness – George A. Martinez 34. Race and the Core Curriculum in Legal Education – Frances Lee Ansley 35. The Transparency Phenomenon, Race-Neutral Decisionmaking, and Discriminatory Intent – Barbara J . Flagg 36. Toward a Black Legal Scholarship: Race and Original Understandings – Jerome McCristal Culp, Jr. 37. Identity Notes, Part One: Playing in the Light – Adrienne D. Davis 38. The Constitutional Ghetto – Robert L. Hayman, Jr., and Nancy Levit Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part V: Witeness: Culture’s Role 39. Do You Know This Man? – Daniel Zalewski 40. The Curse of Ham – D. Marvin Jones 41. Los Olvidados: On the Making of Invisible People – Juan F. Perea 42. White Innocence, Black Abstraction – Thomas Ross 43. Race and the Dominant Gaze: Narratives of Law and Inequality in Popular Film – Margaret M. Russell 44. Residential Segregation and White Privilege – Martha R. Mahoney 45. Mules, Madonnas, Babies, Bathwater: Racial Imagery and Stereotypes – Linda L. Ammons 46. The Other Pleasures: The Narrative Function of Race in the Cinema – Anna Everett Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part VI White Privilege 47. White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies – Peggy McIntosh 48. From Practice to Theory, or What Is a White Woman Anyway? – Catharine A. MacKinnon 49. Racial Construction and Women as Differentiated Actors – Martha R. Mahoney 50. The GI Bill: Whites Only Need Apply – Karen Brodkin Sacks 51. Making Systems of Privilege Visible – Stephanie M. Wildman with Adrienne D. Davis 52. Race and Racial Classifications – Luther Wright, Jr. 53. Reflections on Whiteness: The Case of Latinos(as) – Stephanie M. Wildman 54. Stirring the Ashes: Race, Class, and the Future of Civil Rights Scholarship – Frances Lee Ansley 55. The Social Construction of Whiteness – Martha R. Mahoney Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part VII: The Ladder of Whiteness 56. The Mind of the South – W. J . Cask 57. Old Poison in New Bottles: The Deep Roots of Modern Nativism – Joe R. Feagin 58. The First Word in Whiteness: Early Twentieth-Century European Immigration – David Roediger 59. Life on the Color Line – Gregory Williams 60. Others, and the WASP World They Aspired To – Richard Brookkiser 61. Beyond the Melting Pot – Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynikan 62. The Economic Payoff of Attending an Ivy-League Institution – Philip J . Cook and Robert H. Frank 63. Useful Knowledge – Mary Cappello 64. Stupid Rich Bastards – Laurel Johnson Black 65. How Did Jews Become White Folks? – Karen Brodkin Sacks 66. How White People Became White – James R. Barrett and David Roediger 67. Paths to Belonging: The Constitution and Cultural Identity – Kenneth L. Karst 68. Is the Radical Critique of Merit Anti-Semitic? – Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part VIII: The Color Line: Multiracial People and “Passing for White” 69. Passing for White, Passing for Black – Adrian Piper 70. Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin 71. The Michael Jackson Pill: Equality, Race, and Culture – Jerome McCristal Culp, Jr. 72. Did the First Justice Harlan Have a Black Brother? – James W. Gordon 73. Learning How to Be Niggers – Gregory Williams 74. What Does a White Woman Look Like? Racing and Erasing in Law – Katherine M. Franke 75. La Güera – Cherríe Moraga 76. Notes of a White Black Woman – Judy Scales-Trent 77. Our Next Race Question: The Uneasiness between Blacks and Latinos – Jorge Klor de Alva, Earl Shorris, and Cornel West 78. A Review of Life on the Color Line – Martha Chamallas and Peter M. Shane 79. What Is Race, Anyway? – Tod Olson Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part IX: Biology and Pseudoscience 80. The Misleading Abstractions of Social Scientists – Jerome Kagan 81. Caste, Crime, and Precocity – Andrew Hacker 82. Embodiment and Perspective: Can White Men Jump? – Peter Halewood 83. Bell Curve Liberals: How the Left Betrayed IQ – Adrian Wooldridge 84. Brave New Right – Michael Lind 85. Race and Parentage – Dorothy E. Roberts 86. The Sources of The Bell Curve – Jeffrey Rosen and Charles Lane 87. Hearts of Darkness – John B. Judis 88. Thank You, Doctors Murray and Herrnstein (Or, Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?) – Derrick A. Bell 89. Dangerous Undertones of the New Nativism – Daniel Kanstroom Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part X: White Consciousness, White Power 90. The Rise of Private Militia: A First and Second Amendment: Analysis of the Right to Organize and the Right to Train – Joelle E. Polesky 91. The Changing Faces of White Supremacy – Loretta J . Ross and Mary Ann Mauney 92. Hatelines: Week of Sunday, April 7, 1996 – Compiled by the Center for Democratic Renewal 93. Blue by Day and White by (K)night – Robin Barnes 94. The Race Question and Its Solution – James Armstrong, Jr. 95. The American Neo-Nazi Movement Today – Elinor Lunger 96. Talking about Race with America’s Klansmen – Raphael S. Ezekiel 97. Antidiscrimination Law and Transparency: Barriers to Equality? – Barbara J . Flagg 98. White Supremacy (And What We Should Do about It) – Frances Lee Ansley 99. White Superiority in America: Its Legal Legacy, Its Economic Costs – Derrick A. Bell Synopses of Other Important Works From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

Part XI: What Then Shall We Do? A Role for Whites 100. Treason to Whiteness Is Loyalty to Humanity – An lnterview with Noel lgnatiev of Race Traitor Magazine 101. How to Be a Race Traitor: Six Ways to Fight Being White – Noel lgnatiev 102. Rodrigo’s Eleventh Chronicle: Empathy and False Empathy – Richard Delgado 103. Obscuring the Importance of Race: The Implications of Making Comparisons between Racism and Sexism (or Other Isms) – Trina Grillo and Stephanie M. Wildman 104. White Men Can Jump: But Must Try a Little Harder – Peter Halewood 105. “Was Blind, but Now I See”: White Race Consciousness and the Requirement of Discriminatory Intent – Barbara J . Flagg 106. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness – Ruth Frankenberg 107. Resisting Racisms, Eliminating Exclusions: South Africa and the United States – David Theo Goldberg 108. Dysconscious Racism: The Cultural Politics of Critiquing Ideology and Identity – Joyce E. King 109. What Should White Women Do? – Martha R. Mahoney 110. Confronting Racelessness – Eleanor Marie Brown 111. A Civil Rights Agenda for the Year 2000: Confessions of an Identity Politician – Frances Lee Ansley 112. What We Believe – The Editors of Race Traitor Magazine 113. Segregation, Whiteness, and Transformation – Martha R. Mahoney 114. White Out – Roger Wilkins From the Editors: Issues and Comments Suggested Readings

About the Contributors Index

About the Author(s)

Richard Delgado is Charles Inglis Thomson Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School. He is the editor of Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge (Temple) and the author of several books, including Failed Resolutions: Social Reform and the Limits of Legal Imagination, Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment, and the 1995 Pulitzer Prize nominee The Rodrigo Chronicles: Conversations on Race and America.

Jean Stefancic is Research Associate in Law at the University of Colorado Law School. She is co-author (with Delgado) of No Mercy: How Conservative Think Tanks and Foundations Changed America's Social Agenda (Temple), Failed Revolutions: Social Reform and the Limits of Legal Imagination, and Must We Defend Nazis? Hate Speech, Pornography, and the New First Amendment.