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Waste of a White Skin$
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Tiffany Willoughby-Herard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520280861

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520280861.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

The White Primitive

The White Primitive

Whiteness Studies, Embodiment, Invisibility, Property

(p.79) Chapter 3 The White Primitive
Waste of a White Skin

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard

University of California Press

“The White Primitive: Whiteness Studies, Embodiment, Invisibility, Property” considers whiteness as misery, especially in the thriving legacy of scientific racism well into the 1960s. The chapter draws on black feminist engagements with embodiment, whiteness as property and risk, and visibility and hyper-visibility to reconsider the ideological and material work that the concept of the white primitive does. The chapter contrasts white feminist race traitors’ accounts of whiteness with those accounts of whiteness that uncritically conflate blackness with impoverished whiteness. Several questions are at stake: Is white suffering a ruse for displacing black suffering? Does attacking white privilege naturalize the association of blackness with slavery? How is anti-blackness used to survey and isolate poor whites and create more intractable forms of anti-black racism? When do false parallels between white suffering and blackness emerge and for what set of purposes?

Keywords:   Mobile Testing Laboratory, whiteness studies, whiteness as property, scientific racism, mental hygiene, racial logic of white vulnerability, white misery, hyper-visible whiteness, embodied whiteness, risky whiteness, race traitors

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