Francesca Maximé welcomes Jacqueline Battalora for a conversation around how the invention of the idea of “white people” became the foundation of America’s institutionalized racism.
Jacqueline Battalora is the author of Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today. While she is currently a lawyer and professor of sociology and criminal justice at Saint Xavier University, she is also a former Chicago Police officer. She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has been engaged in anti-racist training since the mid-1990s. Learn more about Jacqueline here.
This fall, (ReRooted podcast host) Francesca Maximé is offering a 5-week embodied antiracism online course through the Academy of Therapy Wisdom launching in October. Please sign up for 90 minutes of FREE antiracism teaching videos offered by Francesca in late September. You’re also invited to sign up for the course launching with a FREE 60 minute LIVE antiracism webinar conversation with Francesca October 14th, with the course beginning October 21st. Sign up for your free 3 embodied antiracism video teachings from Francesca at: Therapy Wisdom
The Invention of White People
Francesca welcomes Jacqueline to ReRooted, and the two discuss how non-white people in America are most adversely affected by two institutions that are very visible in our current times: law enforcement and health care. Jacqueline talks about what white supremacy really means, and how the term “white people” didn’t even exist until after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.
“It’s institutionalized white supremacy, and it’s nobody’s fault. It was here before we all arrived… it is a baked-in feature of this country… every law and policy that has been birthed out of this country is built upon a foundation of white supremacy.” – Jacqueline Battalora
Race relations expert Daryl Davis talks about bringing down the walls of hatred on Mindrolling Ep. 360
The Pervasiveness of Whiteness (23:13)
Francesca and Jacqueline cover a series of laws enacted after Bacon’s Rebellion as a divide and conquer campaign by the ruling elite to ensure no further rebellions. These laws were all cruel and dehumanizing, and meant to ensure white people a position of power and cultural pervasiveness that has lasted throughout the history of America.
“Being born into a culture that enacts whiteness, every moment of every day through literally every institution, how that lands upon and shapes white people is such that it diminishes our humanity.” – Jacqueline Battalora
The Empathy Gap (41:23)
Jacqueline shares the story of the moment she realized she had more empathy for white lives than those of people of color, and how that changed her life. She talks about her work as a police officer in Chicago during the tail end of the crack epidemic, and how that influenced her work today. Francesca and Jacqueline end the show with a discussion of how significant this legal policy of whiteness has been throughout this nation’s history.
“Even though now those racially unequal policies and laws have been removed, the consequences of those laws continue to promote economic inequality today.” – Jacqueline Battalora
Images via Speak Out Now and @VforVictoria on Twenty20