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Dying of Whiteness: The Politics of Racial Resentment

May 26, 2020 @ 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

In his bestselling book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, Dr. Jonathan Metzl set out to explore and answer the question: why do working class and struggling white Americans often vote against their own interests? His interviews to understand the health implications of “backlash governance” led him to examine how racial resentment fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas.

Now, in the midst of a national health and economic crisis, we’re seeing white resentment play out with the protests against the quarantine. And based on conversations with Trump supporters for his book, Dr. Metzl also has a dire warning in this election year: Trump’s followers will not turn on him, even as they are sickened or killed by the pandemic that he made dramatically worse.

How can we build a movement for justice in a nation where whites are so blinded by racial resentments and anxieties as to not even care for their own well-being, to say nothing of the well being of others? Join us as we look at what it will take to overcome the politics of white resentment and steer the nation toward cooperation, compassion, and unity.

Jonathan Metzl MD, PhD, is an acclaimed physician, psychiatrist, sociologist, and author who speaks and writes on a range of topics including race, gender, and social justice in healthcare as well as guns, gun violence, and race. He is the Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

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