Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Mirror: Football, Race, and Nationalism

The US national anthem is a racist barroom ballad, celebrating militarism and slave-catchers. Which is appropriate, because that's who we are as a (White) nation, and those racialized Others, especially African Americans, are mere signifiers for us White folk, interpreted to demonstrate two things at once: White normativity and Black deviance to define the boundaries of that norm. All our most cherished social, economic, and political norms are White as can be, because they were all developed in milieux of unquestioned (by White people) White supremacy, conscious White supremacy, whiteness being the core cultural organizing principle of the American polity. Whiteness is a sin, our original sin, because the invention of whiteness was a rationalization for the bloodthirsty development of capitalism in the Atlantic states, which devoured brown and “black” bodies by the millions . . . and whiteness devours them still.

American football began as White nationalism and White imperial militarism.