Two correspondents have written to let me know that a book by anthropologist and former SLA president Jane Hill is in the news.
Hill’s Everyday Language of White Racism (2008) presents an ethnographic analysis of everyday discourse.* She argues that although racist discourse has been transformed in the United States racism has not actually gone away.
The television coverage my correspondents pointed to is a story on Fox News titled ‘Problem With Whiteness’. Fox News personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck interviews Lauren Clark, a correspondent from Campus Reform, which is a project of the conservative activist group The Leadership Institute. Clark and Hasslebeck intimate that a course taught by Lee Bebout at Arizona State University called “U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness” is problematic.
Hasselbeck lists three books used in the course.
- Possessive Investment in Whiteness (Lipsitz 2009)
- Everyday Language of White Racism (Hill 2008)
- The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Williams 1993)
According to Clark, “All of these books have a disturbing trend, and that’s pointing to all white people as the root cause of social injustices for this country.”
Hasselbeck notes that Fox News sought comment from Bebout and from Arizona State University but did not receive a reply.
It is not clear from the report whether Clark, Hasselbeck, or anyone at Fox News has read any of the books.
*The links on the book titles go to Abe books, but this is not intended as a recommendation of this or any other seller. Everyday Language of White Racism is also available at Amazon.com; it seems to be out of stock at Powell’s but is in their catalog.