The Pervasive Tentacles of Whiteness
Posted by Jack Stephens on February 3, 2007
In general global discourse, nonwhite people are the “other,” the exception to the unspoken rule. The default, average human being is white, or at least the average person in our heads is white. Of all the remnants of global white supremacy and imperialism, the default white subject is probably the most insidious remnant of all. When a business executive talks about the “average Joe,” he’s usually talking about a white man. When entertainment media in the United States or Europe talk about the “audience,” they visualize a sea of white faces. When a feminist talks about “women,” she means white women—usually of the anglophone, middle-class variety. When marginalized peoples around the world talk about “speaking out,” they often picture a white person as their listener.