Cheryl Harris Whiteness as Property

Hey all,

     Gabriel asked me to put a link to Harris’ article “Whiteness as Property” up on the blog. I don’t know how to upload a pdf, but here is a link to a site where the pdf can be directly downloaded: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=927850. 

    If I remember correctly, the reference to Harris emerged in the context of Cornel West’s comments regarding affirmative action. Where West critiques affirmative action on the basis that it potentially causes minorities to internalize feelings of inferiority, Harris argues in favor of affirmative action based on the structures of racism already built into, e.g., education systems. Thus, the creation of new structures that disproportionately favor minorities is in actual fact dismantling the systems of white privilege already built into the operative power regime (i.e., the “we”). I believe our conversation of affirmative action was in the context of methods of pluralizing the plural and the resulting impacts within the social sphere. I think we were citing affirmative action as one such attempt to expand the “we” that excludes a majority of the population. 

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