What does it mean to be White?

People are now routinely categorized based on their race all across the world. Whites are one dominant race, particularly in the United States, where they are regarded as the majority. Even though the majority of people are eager to use the term, its meaning and what it means to be White are sometimes unclear and only dimly comprehended. Since society has consistently made a distinction between "Whites" and Asians who have the same skin tone as them, Lopez claimed that being White transcends the stigma connected with skin color (110). Whiteness according to Lopez is the most potent racial fault line (145) in the contemporary society since it acts as the defining race with which all other groups are compared. Similar sentiments are reflected in George’s film that attributes Whiteness to group superiority associated with the assimilation of European migrants and other people of European parentage who quickly merge and lose their distinctive hallmark of their origin to compose the majority group in the United States.

The reading and the film make it clear that being White is associated with numerous privileges not relished by people of color such as blacks or those with some distinctive physical characteristics such as Asians and Latinos. Whiteness is a constructed part of the human society that enjoys false belief of superiority regarding civilization and reflects a compilation of optimistic myths grounded on imagined virtues and concealed failings (Lopez, 118). In this consideration, being White is not a culture as witnessed with other races such as Black-Americans who have the Black culture but rather an absence of one and an attempt to build an identity. The basis of Whiteness has been used as a segregating factor in the past employed to suit the needs of the European immigrants who came together due to the universal concept of exploiting resources while depriving other races the right to do so. According to the film, people who enjoy the privileges associated with Whiteness are aware of the social disparities but lack the skills to change the beliefs that have been firmly rooted in their socialization and have been embodied in the legal structure and the desire for racial supremacy.

Works Cited

Lopez, Ian. White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race. NYU Press, 2006.

Whitewashed: Unmasking the world of Whiteness. Directed by Mark P. George. Dandelion Films, 2013. Top Documentary Films. Web. 16 May 2017.

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