For a second, we really thought that the Whiteness Project was just an extension of the SNL skit about white people that got attention last week, but after doing a little more digging, the project is actually serious.
According to the site, the Whiteness Project “is a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.” It continues:
The project is conducting 1,000 interviews with white people from all walks of life and localities in which they are asked about their relationship to, and their understanding of, their own whiteness. It also includes data drawn from a variety of sources that highlights some quantitative aspects of what it means to be a white American.
This first installment, “Inside the White/Caucasian Box,” is a collection of 24 interviews filmed in Buffalo, NY in July 2014. Further installments will be posted in the months to come. To comment, or ask a question, please visit the project’s Facebookpage.
Of course, we checked the Facebook page and it’s just getting started, as you can imagine.
For example, visit this from The Frisky:
I too believe this country is hungry for discussions on Whiteness. However, in the absence of honesty — without White acknowledgement of its cultural history, appropriation and privilege — such conversations are not incredibly freeing for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity. They merely serve to reinforce and display White prejudicial attitudes and privilege — which is actually extremely hurtful and demoralizing for people of color in the continued fight for social equity. Any progress that can be gained from this project will be because of those individuals who take the time to point that out.
And that’s the bigger problem with this all, no matter what the filmmaker tries to say.