The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege

City Lights Books, 2005 - 98 ˹
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In The Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that the question whites wanted to ask him was: How does it feel to be a problem? In The Heart of Whiteness, Robert Jensen writes that it is time for white people in America to self-consciously reverse the direction of that question and to fully acknowledge that in the racial arena, they are the problem.

While some whites would like to think that we have reached the end of racism in the United States, and others would like to celebrate diversity but are oblivious to the political, economic, and social consequences of a nationand their sense of selffounded on a system of white supremacy, Jensen proposes a different approach. He sets his sights not only on the racism that can't be hidden, but also on the liberal platitudes that sometimes conceal the depths of that racism in polite society.

The Heart of Whiteness offers an honest and rigorous exploration of what Jensen refers to as the depraved nature of whiteness in the United States. Mixing personal experience with data and theory, he faces down the difficult realities of -racism and white privilege. He argues that any system that denies non-whites their full humanity also keeps whites from fully accessing their own.

This book is both a cautionary tale for those who believe that they have transcended racism, and also an expression of the hope for genuine transcendence. When white people fully understand and accept the painful reality that they are indeed the problem, it should lead toward serious attempts to change one's own life and join with others to change society.

Robert Jensen is the author of Citizens of the Empire. He is a professor of media ethics and journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.


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Review: The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege

Ԩóҡ  - José-antonio Orosco - Goodreads

Jensen always delivers. A book that challenges white people to deal with their privilege with more than just defensiveness or guilt. ҹԴ繩Ѻ

Review: The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege

Ԩóҡ  - Jean G. - Goodreads

I cried when I read this book. It was an eye-opening book. I am not white but I grew up in a rich white suburb. The author is a former professor of mine and I got to hear him speak on another subject; I can't wait to get more information on this topic! It's a must read! ҹԴ繩Ѻ

Race Words and Race Stories
Past Present and Future
Playing the Fool
Against Diversity For Politics
White Peoples Burden

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Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and a founding board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. He is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (City Lights); Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (City Lights); All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice; Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity; Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream; and Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully. Jensen is also co-producer of the documentary film Abe Osheroff: One Foot in the Grave, the Other Still Dancing. He lives in Austin, TX.