Phenomena 1: Reading America

The project of “decentering Whiteness” should consist first and foremost of a total upending of how America reads itself, quantitatively, statistically. For it is an undeniable fact that data-driven studies are determined by the parameters of their research. That is, if we stop breaking down America in terms of the white-black binary what might we find? How would we think about myriad topics, from police brutality to college acceptance rates, differently if different variables were used? How might we think about ourselves as Americans — and as citizens of a world where “black” and “white” mean very little, if arguably nothing — if we eradicate the use of the white-black binary altogether? How else might we understand America and its inhabitants?

We are more complex than our skin color — will the Digital Age, with its ocular-centered epistemology, allow us to be human? Or will we continue to be reduced to appearances?