On Working-Class White Women, Interracial Dating and China

Recently, I’ve been reading this book by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva titled Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism & Racial Inequality in Contemporary America. On the chapter regarding white progressives, Silva mentioned the following in his conclusion:

Contrary to those who hold the “commonsense” view on racial matters, racial progressives are more likely to come from working-class backgrounds. Specifically, I found that young, working-class women are more likely than any other segment of the white community to be racially progressive. They were more likely to support…interracial marriage, have close personal relations with minorities in general and blacks in particular…

Elsewhere I have argued that whiteness is “embodied racial power” because “all actors socially regarded as ‘white’…receive systemic privileges just by virtue of wearing the white outfit whereas those regarded as nonwhite are denied those privileges. However, the wages of whiteness are not equally distributed. Poor and working-class whites receive a better deal than their minority brethren, but their material share of the benefits of whiteness is low, as they remain too close to the economic abyss. Hence, white workers have a powerful reason to exhibit more solidarity toward minorities than whites in other classes…

…racially progressive women, one after the other, used their own experiences of discrimination as women as a lens through which to comprehend minorities’ racial oppression. It was also clear that their shared class vulnerability with minorities (such as bad jobs and low wages) was involved in their racial progressiveness and it may even be the reason why they were the most likely subgroup of all the whites in these samples to have dated across the color line…

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