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White Is the New Black: New Genealogies of Subjection in the Conservative Imagination

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Abstract:

The anxiety that African Americans will dominate white citizens is a longstanding one that precedes the abolition of slavery. The explicit discussion of how to oppress African Americans in the slave codes and The Klansman gave way after the Civil Rights era to anxieties about “reverse discrimination”—African Americans had achieved some limited measure of formal equality for a very short time before the Bakke ruling lay the ground for charges that whites were being oppressed by affirmative action. African Americans and feminists emerged as the bugaboos of liberty in populist conservatism, but in the twenty-first century, some conservative political actors began positioning themselves in a genealogy of feminism and Civil Rights, making themselves the rightful heirs of progressive political politics. Through a content analysis of conservative news media about Sarah and Bristol Palin and the Right’s use of slavery and Civil Rights in their rhetoric, I argue that the Right mobilizes affect for white suffering by embracing the suffering of African Americans and women activists while erasing their suffering in the present. In this rhetoric, Sarah Palin epitomizes feminism, Bristol Palin embodies the struggles of unwed single mothers, and Glenn Beck is the heir to Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism. Through a complex of the church, news and entertainment media, and school board activism, the Right crafts a new regime of truth.
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Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p509647_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wanzo, Rebecca. "White Is the New Black: New Genealogies of Subjection in the Conservative Imagination" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p509647_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wanzo, R. A. "White Is the New Black: New Genealogies of Subjection in the Conservative Imagination" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p509647_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: The anxiety that African Americans will dominate white citizens is a longstanding one that precedes the abolition of slavery. The explicit discussion of how to oppress African Americans in the slave codes and The Klansman gave way after the Civil Rights era to anxieties about “reverse discrimination”—African Americans had achieved some limited measure of formal equality for a very short time before the Bakke ruling lay the ground for charges that whites were being oppressed by affirmative action. African Americans and feminists emerged as the bugaboos of liberty in populist conservatism, but in the twenty-first century, some conservative political actors began positioning themselves in a genealogy of feminism and Civil Rights, making themselves the rightful heirs of progressive political politics. Through a content analysis of conservative news media about Sarah and Bristol Palin and the Right’s use of slavery and Civil Rights in their rhetoric, I argue that the Right mobilizes affect for white suffering by embracing the suffering of African Americans and women activists while erasing their suffering in the present. In this rhetoric, Sarah Palin epitomizes feminism, Bristol Palin embodies the struggles of unwed single mothers, and Glenn Beck is the heir to Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism. Through a complex of the church, news and entertainment media, and school board activism, the Right crafts a new regime of truth.


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