Possessed by Ideology | Sojourners

Possessed by Ideology

A review of 'Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland,' by Jonathan M. Metzl

IMAGINE A MAN seized by a demon. He cannot be bound by chains or confined within walls. He is a danger to himself and everyone around him. In Dying of Whiteness, Jonathan M. Metzl lays out a compelling case that white folks are so convinced of an ideology of whiteness that we are willing to kill, and even to die, for it. One Christian way to talk about this would be to say that white people are possessed.

In his book, Metzl examines three public health case studies: gun culture in Missouri, particularly white male suicide; the failure to expand Medicaid in Tennessee; and the gutting of public schools under cruel budget and tax policies in Kansas. For each, he calculates the years of life lost because of poor political decisions made under an ideology of white supremacy.

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