I know that we said that we are reserving Wednesdays to post on White History Month, but I just couldn't resist. Like most black people, I am very aware of race and language in popular culture. To kick of White History Month, I have decided to celebrate one of white people's rich cultural traditions, namely, white language. I've compiled a list of five terms that use “America” but are actually code for “white people.”
Any time this word is used as an adjective and it isn’t in the context of high school or college sports, you can rest assured that it’s describing a white person.
e.g. All-American girl, All-American boy, All-American family.
While it is supposed to signal beauty and innocence, it is reserved for young white women.
e.g. “Oh, Jennifer Aniston, we love you! You truly are
This and its cousin “The Heartland” (which brings to mind Nazi Vaterland), rests upon the idealization of such noble “middle American values” as maintaining peaceful towns, promoting family values, and educating children. These pathologies are not limited to white people or those in the Midwest, of course, but whiteness as ideological, practical purity is definitely a subtext of the term “
4.) Red-blooded American male
This one is supposed to signal fierce heterosexuality and manliness, but it almost always signals popular straight white male desire.
e.g. “What red-blooded American male doesn’t find the Olson Twins hot?” Uh, maybe ones who aren’t into the stick figure junkie troll look?
I have a handful of rules about cultural critics: never trust one who 1) attaches the prefix “post” to musical genres; 2) romanticizes “the golden age” of anything, or 3) uses the word “
If you hear white people chanting “