We are finally talking in an explicit way about what it means to be white (and male) in America.
Some of these conversations have been necessitated by the country's demographic changes.
The election of Barack Obama (twice), and the Republican Party's deep devotion to the politics of white racial resentment have also helped to force a national conversation about the meaning of Whiteness.
And as I and others have talked about in great detail, the recent murder sprees in Newtown and Aurora, where young white men have killed people by the dozens, have demanded that we discuss the relationship(s) between white masculinity, gun culture, and violence.
Many white folks have not responded well to these types of conversations.
Despite the opposition and shrill voices, the flurry of discussions online and in the mainstream media about the meaning of Whiteness in the Age of Obama is a positive development.
What was once an inside game of Left leaning cultural critics, scholars, and social justice types is now more fashionable and mainstream. As such, a chorus of voices are joining the conversation.
Many of these new voices are tempted, quite naturally, to call out the deleterious impact of Whiteness and White elites on America (slavery; Jim and Jane Crow; racial inequality; labor market and housing discrimination; wealth inequality; genocide against First Nations people; the Great Recession caused by an almost exclusively white financier and banking class), as well as the world (Colonialism and Imperialism; environmental destruction; two World Wars).
These moves are exhilarating. Yet, they often lack precision, a thinking through of end goals, and a consideration of the long plan going forward.