#142 | Reckoning With Whiteness: Privilege & The Wounds Of Identity w/ Tad Hargrave

In this episode, I speak with writer Tad Hargrave about his work exploring, unpacking, and addressing the concept and social reality of “whiteness” — more broadly the roots, or lack thereof, of “white culture” as we understand it to be today.

Tad and I discuss the difficult subject of race, in particular the modern and the relatively recent (historically speaking)formation of the concept of “whiteness.” To be labeled and exist as a “white” person in our current era is to live with certain privileges within the dominant culture of North America — some of which are subtle, and many of which are not subtle at all. It is important to note that along with the privileges that come with existing as a white person in modern North America, to be "white" is also to lack a connection to the land and place white people reside in. Also, to be "white" is to bear unacknowledged wounds -- intergenerational traumas that inevitably stem from being the descendants of people that fled the brutalities of Europe during centuries of land enclosures, colonial expansion, and rapid industrialization. In the process of assimilating to the dominant culture of North America, North Americans of European descent shed themselves of their ethnic and cultural traditions and ties to their homelands, and instead adopted the racial identity and social category of “white.” Of course, I’m speaking in broad generalities when it comes to this subject, but I do think that by understanding the historical trends and events that have brought us to this time and place we are in, we can begin to have an honest conversation about the subject of race, as well as engage in the difficult task of unpacking the concept of “whiteness” and begin reckoning with what we may find in this exploration. Tad provides a nuanced and enlightening perspective in our examination of the concept of “whiteness" and superbly wrestles with the complexity of the subjects discussed in this episode.

Tad Hargrave is a man with an eclectic background. Tad is a founding member of several comedy troupes, dedicated almost two years of his life learning his ancestral language (Scottish Gaelic) in Nova Scotia and Scotland, runs a marketing website “Marketing For Hippies,” worked as the Executive Director of the Canadian branch of Youth for Environmental Sanity (a world renowned youth organization), and writes for the the blog “Healing From Whiteness: Remembering the Larger Story of History” — which is the basis of this discussion. Tad lives in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.♰

♰ Source: http://bit.ly/2NDenI4


Episode Notes:

- Read Tad’s excellent essays on the subjects discussed in this episode at his blog “Healing From Whiteness” here: https://healingfromwhiteness.blogspot.com

- Learn more about Tad’s website “Marketing For Hippies” here: https://marketingforhippies.com

- Follow Tad’s page on Facebook “Dear White Men” here: https://www.facebook.com/DearWhiteMen

- The introduction features the voice of James Baldwin. Source: https://youtu.be/nAmL3F5uylo

- The songs featured in this episode are “What Can I Do (feat. Jonwayne)” and “Rough” by Samiyam from the album Pizza Party.