White As A Race?

1241 Words Dec 15th, 2016 5 Pages
In her essay, Morrison consistently makes sure to emphasize the fact that white is a race—even though we fail to acknowledge this in society. When discussing race, white is usually left out of the conversation; white functions as the standard and as above being racialized in a sense, while every other skin color is compared to this “standard” and categorized accordingly. Deveare Smith also emphasizes white as a race and tries to un-construe this backwards idea of white as the standard in her performances by not setting apart white characters from the other characters. She does not idolize and raise up white as a race like society does—instead, she performs white characters just like the others. The most telling performance about white as a race and what is stands for metaphorically can be seen in her reenactment of the high class white woman, who escaped to the Beverly Hills Hotel as a means of fleeing the riots and being “safe”. Not only does this show the complete self-absorption of the woman herself, but it also pokes holes in the idea of white being the superior race—the only thing that the woman’s values and ideals caused her to care about was herself and her own racial safety. The selfishness depicted in this scene through this character sheds light on the lack of recognition regarding other races in white culture mentioned earlier by Morrison, and similarly pokes holes in the idea of white as the standard. Both Morrison and Deveare Smith emphasize and show that as…
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