Racism and Sexual Oppression in Anglo-America

Racism and Sexual Oppression in Anglo-America

A Genealogy
Ladelle McWhorter
Distribution: World
Publication date: 3/2/2009
ISBN: 978-0-253-00293-8
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Does the black struggle for civil rights make common cause with the movement to foster queer community, protest anti-queer violence or discrimination, and demand respect for the rights and sensibilities of queer people? Confronting this emotionally charged question, Ladelle McWhorter reveals how a carefully structured campaign against abnormality in the late 19th and early 20th centuries encouraged white Americans to purge society of so-called biological contaminants, people who were poor, disabled, black, or queer. Building on a legacy of savage hate crimes—such as the killings of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd—McWhorter shows that racism, sexual oppression, and discrimination against the disabled, the feeble, and the poor are all aspects of the same societal distemper, and that when the civil rights of one group are challenged, so are the rights of all.

Author Bio

Ladelle McWhorter is the James Thomas Professor of Philosophy and Professor of the Women's, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Program at the University of Richmond. She is author of Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization (IUP, 1999).


"A moving and engaged book that is evidently the product of several years of intense research worn effortlessly." —Eduardo Mendieta, SUNY Stony Brook

"A significant contribution to our understandings of the concept of race, with particular emphasis on its intersections with concepts of sexuality, and more largely, abnormality." —Shannon Winnubst, The Ohio State University

". . . an important book on the study of race and sexuality studies. . . . By using definition, theory, and discussion of 'normality' and 'abnormality' as put forth by Foucault, McWhorter is able to highlight issues of sexual discrimination within the Anglo-American world. This text offers many insights into the topic of homophobia and discrimination in the US. . . . Highly recommended." —
Choice , September 2009

"[This book] is a powerful fact-based philosophical epic of oppression in Anglo-America along its two central axes—racism and sexuality." —Cynthia Willett, Emory University,
Journal of Speculative Philosophy , Vol. 23.4 2009

"McWhorter's expanded conception of racism is a path-breaking and far-reaching contribution to critical race theory, disability theory, queer theory, and Foucault scholarship that complicates some of the most accepted understandings of these fields and shows how these understandings have at different times, in unexpected ways, enhanced relations of subjection, domination, and control." —

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Two Great Dangers
1. Racism, Race, Race War: In Search of Conceptual Clarity
2. A Genealogy of Modern Racism, Part 1: The White Man Cometh
3. A Genealogy of Modern Racism, Part 2: From Black Lepers to Idiot Children
4. Scientific Racism and the Threat of Sexual Predation
5. Managing Evolution: Race Betterment, Race Purification, and the American Eugenics Movement
6. Nordics Celebrate the Family
7. (Counter) Remembering Racism: An Insurrection of Subjugated Knowledges

Works Cited