"What's White Got To Do With It: Giuliani, The 'Holy Virgin Mary,' and The Critical Study of Whiteness"
Roediger's essay is an effort to bring together two generations of thinking about whiteness as a moral, political, and historical problem. In addition to sampling an array of critical studies of whiteness, it also seeks to demonstrate the utility of these studies in addressing the controversy generated by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's attacks on Chris Ofili's painting "Holy Virgin Mary" and on the Brooklyn Museum for displaying it. The article's purpose is not to argue that the museum controversy "was really about" race and whiteness but rather to show how powerfully white consciousness operates to shape debates which are also about religion, politics, and gender.
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