A Letter of Love: And the Return of White Backlash

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In this talk I will explore what it means to deploy love in the process of critically engaging whiteness. Love will be discussed as a site of vulnerability, courageous listening, and the capacity to be what I call un-suturing. I will then explore some of the graphic white racist vitriol that I received as a result of asking white America to face its whiteness/racism. I explore this hatred as a response grounded partly in the arrogance of whiteness and its failure to tarry with the fact that the "innocence" of whiteness no longer exists. I will conclude with a brief discussion about what it involves for whiteness to be in crisis, which I argue is a positive way of beginning to undo whiteness.

George Yancy is among the most prominent and important philosophers of race in America today. He is a professor of philosophy at Emory University and the Philosophy of Race book series editor for Lexington Books. Among Yancy's many books written and edited are Black Bodies, White Gazes and Buddhism and Whiteness: Critical Reflections. He came to international public prominence after he published “Dear White America” in The New York Times. His Backlash describes the harrowing subsequent events and continues the essential discussion. Professor Yancy's talk was delivered on July 3, 2019, for the Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy held in Clinton, New York.

Type of Work


Event Name

Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy

Event Sponsor

Philosophy Department, Hamilton College

Event Location

Clinton, NY, USA

Presentation Date


Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Scholarship Series

Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy

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