Daily Archives: March 17, 2010

Subterraneans (HUM470)

The commodification of Beatitude. Gap ad circa 1996 (?): “Kerouac wore khakis.” (But then so did Hitler).

Remember when we talked about the difference between Racism and Racialism? Though both of these ideologies link racial “essence” to the body, where Racism does so in order to place some races over others Racialism is not necessarily hierarchical. So, for instance, early in Du Bois’s career he posited the Racialist idea that “the Negro” possessed gifts unique to himself the exercise of which would ultimately benefit humanity as a whole. This, as opposed to, say, Thomas Dixon, whose novel The Clansman (part of the Ku Klux Klan trilogy which included The Leopard’s Spots and The Traitor) also locates race-based essences in both whites (“Anglo-Saxons”) and African Americans which clearly vindicate the cultural logic of White Supremacy.

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