Why Is It So Difficult to Engage in a Sacred (or Even a Civil) Conversation on Race? Racism, Class, and the Psychological Wage of Whiteness

In 1935, W. E. B. Du Bois coined the expression, “the psychological wage of whiteness” to refer to “the sense of entitlement” felt by rural and working-class Whites in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. As University of Utah political scientist Ella Myers characterized Du Bois’s argument, “whiteness serve[d] as a ‘public and psychological wage,’ delivering to…