Whiteness in America isn’t just the neutral norm against which racial minorities, particularly Black people, are measured. Whiteness in America means having the privilege and power that go along with being part of that supposed norm. And becoming white—not in terms of pigment but of social status—is a choice that nearly every immigrant or refugee group in America has had to embrace or reject. In the second episode of How We Got Here, a podcast by the Columbia Journalism School faculty, Professor Sam Freedman talk with two scholars in the field of Whiteness Studies about how understanding the construction of white identity in this polyglot country gives us keen insights into its troubled racial history.
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The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.