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The Myth of the White Minority

(Most definitely NOT Bonnie & Clyde / Laurie Skrivan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

In addition to the disproportionate number of deaths by police, Black Americans suffer from the racial disparity in addiction treatment and cultural misrepresentation in the mass media.

In 2009, it was easy for Hua Hsu to say in his article for The Atlantic, “The End of White America?” that “Whiteness is no longer a precondition for entry into the highest levels of public office”. It was easy because the United States had just elected Barack Obama to be our first African American president and, suddenly, our country’s idea of race had turned “post-racial”. This concept seemed so believable that Hsu highlighted the counterintuitive idea of White anxiety. “What will it mean to be White after “Whiteness” no longer defines the mainstream?” he asked rhetorically. He quoted a sociology professor, Matt Wray, on the concept of fleeing whiteness: “We’re going through a period where Whites are really trying to figure out: Who are we?”. Hsu spoke to this white anxiety because America was becoming increasingly multicultural. Having never been oppressed, White Americans were never forced to create a culture so they created subcultures to harness the feeling of something they’d lost and nurture a new culture. It was compelling and I bought it to some degree- that attending concerts like “Burning Man” that are primarily attended by White people- is a way for White people to deal with a feeling of becoming a new minority. But this is a myth.

Oscar Grant’s murder at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, California, happened the very month Barack Obama would be taking the oath of office as our nation’s president. What none of us could have predicted, particularly with a “post-racial” reality proposed by Hsu and others like him, was the excessive force of polic