The once prestigious Lancet medical journal has published a bizarre book review asserting that “white Americans continue to mobilise to maintain or extend the exclusive advantages whiteness offers those who can become white.”
The Lancet selected Rhea W. Boyd, a Minority Health Policy Fellow at Harvard’s School of Public Health, to review a 2019 book called Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan Metzl, whose thesis is that “right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences — even for the white voters they promise to help.”
In his book, Metzl argues that white mortality is up in the United States ever since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, since in order to “maintain an imagined place atop a racial hierarchy,” white Americans who harbor “racial resentment” support policies that seem to limit the freedoms or resources available to non-whites, even though such decisions threaten their own wellbeing as well.
“From expansive gun legislation to broad divestment in government programmes, Metzl characterises white liberties that endanger white lives or imperil white futures as ‘dying of whiteness,’” Boyd observes.
While in her review Boyd fundamentally agrees with Metzl’s contentions, she believes that he is too soft on whites by attributing whites’ self-destructive white political actions to “racial resentment,” which “erases white agency through emotional euphemism.”