They all seek in different ways to preserve white

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Unformatted text preview: del of race (one which bears a significant resemblance to my own work), theorists of the abolitionist project do not take that insight as seriously as they should. They employ it chiefly to argue against biologistic conceptions of race, which is fine; but they fail to consider the complexities and rootedness of social construction, or as we would term it, racial formation. Is the social construction of whiteness so flimsy that it can be repudiated by a mere act of political will, or even by widespread and repeated acts aimed at rejecting white privilege? I think not; whiteness may not be a legitimate cultural identity in the sense of having a discrete, "positive" content, but it is certainly an overdetermined political and cultural category, having to do with socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, ideologies of individualism, opportunity, and citizenship, nationalism, etc. Like any other complex of beliefs and practices, "whiteness" is imbedded in a highly articulated social structure and system of significations; rather than trying to repudiate it, we sh...
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