On Having Whiteness
First Published May 27, 2021 Research Article Find in PubMed
Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has—a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which "white" people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one's body, in one's mind, and in one's world. Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts' appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse. These deformed appetites particularly target nonwhite peoples. Once established, these appetites are nearly impossible to eliminate. Effective treatment consists of a combination of psychic and social-historical interventions. Such interventions can reasonably aim only to reshape Whiteness's infiltrated appetites—to reduce their intensity, redistribute their aims, and occasionally turn those aims toward the work of reparation. When remembered and represented, the ravages wreaked by the chronic condition can function either as warning ("never again") or as temptation ("great again"). Memorialization alone, therefore, is no guarantee against regression. There is not yet a permanent cure.
"There is not yet a permanent cure."
Which isn't true at all. There is one sure-fire permanent cure. Hitler used it on the Jews. Stalin used it on the Ukrainians. Mao used it on the Chinese, winning the numbers game by a wide margin. Mr. Donald Moss appears to be hinting he might like to try it here. On us.
Jessamyn Stanley needs you to know what yoga is really about - and it's not the poses.
In her new book Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance, the yoga instructor and body activist shares reflective personal essays that touch upon everything from racism to the cultural appropriation of American yoga, from consumerism to cannabis.
The book explores the existence of white supremacy and cultural appropriation in American yoga. "I would venture to say that everything in our collective society is rooted in white supremacy. I am sure there are many people who would disagree with that, and honestly I don't care because I believe that and I know it's the case," she says.
"I think that we see it show up in a lot of different ways. In the same way it's everywhere else and it has polluted everything else, it's polluted yoga. It's very much a part of how yoga has spread in America. The popularity of yoga really came down to wealthy white people wanting to learn and explore in a very specific way, and that's why yoga has been so white for so long in America."
Yoga is an Indian, specifically Hindu tradition that goes back well over 1500 years. A spiritual and religious tradition, the aim of which is to extinguish one's karma and get off the Wheel of Reincarnation. Nirvana is the aim. It has nothing to do with race, or Whiteness, or "body positivity" or any of the other things she's talking about in her book.