Has White Male Privilege Run Amok?

Challenging Karen Finney's racial identity is just another way of attacking the "tanning" of America.

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As with the flurry of attention given to Elizabeth Warren's racial identity during her 2012 campaign for senator of Massachusetts, Karen Finney's racial identity is ultimately less significant than the fact that questions about her race persist as a means to disqualify her and others. Such questions not only demonstrate the ongoing problems of racial identification and passing in the 21st century but also prove that our vision of a postracial, "tan" America is not yet realized.

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg and the award-winning author of Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity and Eminem: The Real Slim Shady. Follow her on Twitter.

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