Why I teach about Whiteness.

Why I teach about Whiteness.

Race and Reflection

Lee Bebout, Associate Professor of English
Arizona State University

I will be teaching “the whiteness class” in a few weeks, and it seems like a good time to reflect on where I’ve been and where we’re going. Last spring was simultaneously a headache and a joy. I received national media attention, became the focus of neo-Nazi vitriol, and was asked not to respond to the media. But the class was great. One of those invigorating experiences that remind you why you became a professor: 19 of us gathered each week, committed to an in-depth interrogation of how race is made, experienced, and resisted.

Last year, many folks asked me why I teach critical whiteness studies. I was not speaking openly to the media, so I often could not answer. For those who asked and for myself, here is my answer: I do the work I do because racial inequality is a very real problem in the US and globally…

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