Matthew W. HugheyWhite Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race

Stanford University Press, 2012

by Vershawn Young on August 9, 2013

Matthew W. Hughey

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[Cross-posted from New Books in African American Studies] Whiteness studies has confirmed that race is a social construction, even for whites, and that the identity we understand as white is also a social invention. Those who benefit from this invention accrue privileges that others either must pay dearly to obtain or cannot have at all. But there are those who are willing to give up this privilege in the name of equality (white anti-racists) and those who ask ‘Why should we have to?’ (white nationalists). Of course this summary is a reduction. To get a fuller, more meaningful account of what drives anti-racists and white nationalists read Matthew W. Hughey‘s insightfully written book White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race (Stanford University Press, 2012). In it, he reveals that both groups appeal to many of the same discourses on race and also share some of the same underlying narratives. If both groups then ascribe to the same stories and beliefs, what’s the difference between the two and how can anti-racists help the struggle for civil rights and fight against discrimination if they hold white nationalist ideologies? And how can white nationalist serve the interests of white supremacy if they share liberal views? Or is it more complex? To find out listen to this lively exchange.

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