I have been following NPR Code Switch on Twitter for a good time now and I have been patiently waiting for them to start a podcast. On May 31st, my prayers were answered. The first episode of NPR Code Switch, a podcast to discuss race, ethnicity and culture, aired. They dedicated the first episode to discussing “whiteness.” On the surface it may seem weird that they started out with this topic, but I think it is important because whiteness is often “both inescapable and invisible,” it needs to be talked about and the nuances should be explored.
In this episode, two college professors share their experience of teaching courses on race, and whiteness. Like most academic conversation about race, Peggy McIntosh’s classic piece, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” became the foundation of the discussion.
This past semester I took a brand new course titled: Racial Performance. Throughout the semester we moved through different racial groups by analyzing the “racial performance” in various pieces of media. By the end of the semester my Professor consistently mentioned how she wished she would have included a section on whiteness because it would have helped ground our discussion about race in America and how we talked about other races in comparison to the concept of “whiteness.”So for that reason, I appreciate NPR’s decision to start with “whiteness.”
Overall, as a podcast full of voices of color, I am excited for what it can bring to the
podcasting world and I’m interested to hear what other topics of discussion will come in the future.