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Jeffrey Montez de Oca

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Jeffrey Montez de Oca

This article looks at the Hollywood “blockbuster” movie The Blind Side (2009) to explore intersections of race, class, and gender in a significant neoliberal, cultural commodity. Animating the production and, apparently, the consumption of the film is the “inspiring” story of Michael Oher, an impoverished young African American man who was adopted by a wealthy white family and rose to success in the National Football League in the United States. The film mobilizes postracial and postfeminist discourses to tell a story of redemption and how private charity can overcome social problems that the state cannot. Ultimately, charity operates as a signifying act of whiteness that obscures the social relations of domination that not only make charity possible but also creates an urban underclass in need of charity.

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Kenneth Sean Chaplin and Jeffrey Montez de Oca

This article examines how 32 mostly white university students understand the NFL players’ protests. We argue students processed the protests (and protesters) through a racialized lens of whiteness that led to two modes of interpreting the protests: the protests are unpatriotic and the protests are patriotic. These categories are primarily based on how students account for African-American NFL players’ resistance to white supremacy and their own whiteness. We propose these student’s responses demonstrate a denial and avoidance of race, which many understand as a personal experience with racism, even when discussing a racially charged protest movement. Further, competing discourses of patriotism animate their positions on the protests, but also limit their understandings of the protests and the operation of white supremacy.

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Jeffrey Montez de Oca and David J. Leonard

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M. Ann Hall, Jeffrey Montez de Oca, Joel Nathan Rosen and Faye Linda Wachs