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Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of…
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Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing… (Original 2019; 2019. Auflage)

von Jonathan M. Metzl (Autor)

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2581182,598 (4.1)12
A physician reveals how right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences -- even for the white voters they promise to help Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Esquire and the Boston Globe In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death. Physician Jonathan M. Metzl's quest to understand the health implications of "backlash governance" leads him across America's heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment has fueled progun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. And he shows these policies' costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, falling life expectancies, and rising dropout rates. White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise.… (mehr)
Mitglied:trishrobertsmiller
Titel:Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland
Autoren:Jonathan M. Metzl (Autor)
Info:Basic Books (2019), 352 pages
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Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland von Jonathan M. Metzl (2019)

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Overall a good book but it focused more on the philosophy and culture of a set of Americans who have been convinced to oppose their own best interests through racial animus and left out the most important reason: why? Cui Bono, who benefits?

Such views would have as much political cachet as beliefs in ancient aliens if no one wished to exploit, exacerbate, and ride them into office.

Powerful financial interests fund the policy institutes creating the slogans and talking points and fear campaigns and fund the think tanks that generate the studies saying whatever their donors want to hear, they support the candidates that campaign on it, they benefit from what the candidates do once they are in office thanks to the misdirection.

Only in the Kansas section in looking at the tax cuts that cut funding to schools is this even acknowledged, but the who and why and broader goals because it goes far beyond mere tax cuts is left out.
  LamontCranston | Jan 14, 2022 |
Apparently many people need to be persuaded that doing the right thing is in their interest. Being anti-racist needs to be sold to White people as being inherently in *our* best interests as well, because simply benefiting people of color is not enough. While decades of evidence that trickle down policies do not benefit those (of any skin color) at the bottom rungs of capitalism, bottom-up policies seem to defy gravity in their trickle up effects. Unfortunately, many of those (White folks) at the bottom rungs cling to trickle down policies so that they can hold on to a few of their greatest privileges: those afforded them due to the color of their white skin, and the fact that they were born in the United States.

At any rate, this book quantifies the effects of austerity, White supremacy, and neo-liberalism and their exceedingly negative effects on White lives. (This is to say nothing of the lives of immigrants, people of color, and others, who have been living in a country both inherently and overtly hostile to their lives.)

Things I liked about this book: just about everything. Except, of course, for the fact that I'm living in this dystopian United States (albeit in a somewhat blue state).

Things I didn't like about this book: the author's claim that individuals in support of White supremacist policies "aren't racist" (not being an overtly racist person doesn't make one not racist, and if you don't believe this, you need to read more Ibram X. Kendi), pretty much all of the graphs and charts in this book (showing a relationship between two data points and calling it a trend... yikes, plus all of the other things that can go wrong with graphs, were done wrong in this book). ( )
  lemontwist | Aug 27, 2021 |
This was excellent but infuriating. In this book, Dr. Jonathan Metzl, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt (and KC native) seeks to answer the eternal question, "why do white Americans endorse policies that hurt them?" And his answer is that the most basic cause is racial resentment and ensuring their place at the top of the pyramid. They will support policies that hurt them, as long as they hurt people of color--especially African-Americans, but increasingly Latinos--more.

He looks at three examples: gun violence in Missouri, healthcare in Tennessee, and education in Kansas. He uses research to learn about why people support policies, and many of them say outright that they don't want money to go to black people/Mexicans/welfare queens. This includes people who are literally dying: a man suffering from liver disease due to Hepatitis C opposes Medicaid expansion because he doesn't want to give money to "welfare queens." The white participants in the healthcare section frame their beliefs about health as a matter of individual responsibility. Black men, on the other hand, talk about healthcare as a communal benefit that makes everyone healthier. It would be easy to dismiss quotes and interviews as cherry picking, except for the fact that large numbers of people continue to vote in politicians who implement these policies.

This is combined with a look at the rhetoric of politicians that promote these policies and how they use the politics of race. Gun rights are promoted as being about white self defense, ignorant of the link to white male suicide. The specter of black male violence is constantly raised, despite its actual decline.

Metzl goes beyond the usual sociological observations, though, and tries to quantify what these policies have actually cost white Americans--and it's a lot of lives lost and a lot of horrifying statistics. Of course, the statistics on gun violence aren't as robust as they could be, since there are legal limits to gun violence research. But even taking the specifics with a grain of salt, the conclusions are grim.

The section on Kansas is, in some ways, particularly revealing. Brownback's Kansas experiment was popular when it was believed to focus on waste. When his education cuts hit affluent Johnson County suburbanites who were proud of Kansas' tradition of strong public schooling, there was a revolt. (It's worth noting that after the book was completed, a Democrat won the race for Kansas governor, and moderate Democrat Sharice Davids won the Congressional seat for the KC suburbs.) This raises questions about the limits of how much white people are willing for themselves to suffer in order to take away from people of color. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
A well detailed, stunning, and bleak work on how ideology kills us. Jonathon bases his premise on the tales of 3 states and 3 issues: Missouri (guns), Tennessee (healthcare), and Kansas (education). Without condescension he lays out the evidence that more guns leads to more deaths, less insurance coverage leads to more deaths, and austerity decimates educational outcomes (and you guessed it, more deaths). Sobering, non-condescending, and a worthwhile read. ( )
  illmunkeys | Apr 22, 2021 |
Interesting research on why people hold opinions counter to their best interests. Well worth the read. Gun rights, health care, etc. ( )
  addunn3 | Apr 13, 2021 |
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Before Donald Trump could implement his agenda - in some cases, before he even took the oath of office - reporters and pundits were already tallying the negative implications of his proposals for many Americans.
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A physician reveals how right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences -- even for the white voters they promise to help Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Esquire and the Boston Globe In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death. Physician Jonathan M. Metzl's quest to understand the health implications of "backlash governance" leads him across America's heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment has fueled progun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. And he shows these policies' costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, falling life expectancies, and rising dropout rates. White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise.

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