The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American Narratives by David Mura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself – Racial Myths and Our American Narratives, by David Mura, is a collection of essays aimed at showing how white America is brought up to believe a set of ideals about itself that allows systemic racism to continue and proliferate, even among those whites who consider themselves as liberal thinkers.
Muir’s essays are often a bit dry, but that can be forgiven as much academic writing cannot hope to be riveting material. His essays cover contemporary news stories such as the police killings of Philando Castile, George Floyd, and Daunte Wright, to slavery, the founding fathers, and Abraham Lincoln. Muir also compares the differences in how blacks and whites tell stories.
In the section titled “Racial Absence and Racial Presence in Jonathan Franzen and ZZ Packer,” I felt Muir strays from a factual analysis of his subject and loses objectivity, albeit briefly. However, I felt that the subject of this particular essay, Franzen, wrote something that Muir did not find believable but was not precisely on the topic of whiteness in literature.
Regardless, I feel this is a must-read for anyone who wants to see positive change from the current divisive rhetoric in today’s political and social arena.