Dismantling White Privilege: Pedagogy, politics, and whiteness

May 15th, 2003 | By | Category: 14-4: Cultural Resilience, Media Reviews

DISMANTLING PRIVILEGE COVEREdited by Nelson M. Rodriguez and Leila E. Villaverde,
Peter Lang Publishing Inc., 2000, 207 pages

Review by Ron Selden

In academic discussions of racial justice, the focus has historically been upon the ways that whites in the United States have restricted and defined people of color. This focus may be helpful for many, but it has largely ignored the cultural restrictions that whites have brought upon themselves. This collection of essays examines that issue from the perspective of primarily writers of color.

The majority of essays are written in the dense style of the philosophy discipline, clearly meant for advanced study of racial issues. To the extent that these issues are discussed in philosophy curricula, this would be useful reading. Unfortunately, there are no essays by Native American authors. Although other authors of color include Indians in a list of individuals oppressed by whites, the authors do not then discuss the manner in which the relationship of oppression differs from that of whites and African-Americans, Latinos, or Asian-Americans. This absence is a serious shortcoming of the collection. Even so, the essays explore issues of race primarily in the contexts of education and sexuality in an entertaining way and would be a solid addition to a college library collection of racial justice materials.

Ron Selden is a Montana-based journalist and photographer who has written extensively about American Indian issues for the past 13 years.

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