Branding Humans: Selling White Supremacy to America

Branding Humans: Selling White Supremacy to America

by Lowell D. Thompson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780964761650
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 04/04/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 100
File size: 379 KB

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Branding Humans: Selling White Supremacy to America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
GHSchechter More than 1 year ago
Lowell Thompson's overall premise of human branding -- with a play on the word "brand" as both the searing mark of ownership (as in livestock or slaves), and product identification, with all the emotional and practical content evoked by it -- is spot-on. This book deserve a wide audience . Once race in America is deconstructed as the making of a brand over history, as Thompson illustrates through his timeline, we can reconstruct a brand that is simply about being human, encompassing similarity and difference as a matter of life itself. Presenting readers with a list of books worth reading on the insidious use of race to divide people, Thompson pulls a quote by Pres. Lyndon Johnson, cited in "White Trash" by Nancy Isenberg: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." This encapsulates how racism has been institutionalized in the USA. The equation of the Black, or AfrAm, brand with money, usually for extortion purposes even if in the context of a compliment (for example, Elvis popularizing southern AfrAm R&B), can't be understated. In a recent Supreme Court case on fair and affordable housing in Texas, Texas v. Inclusive Communities, a group of sociologists wrote an amicus brief that had the following chilling anecdote: "... in one recent study participants were asked to evaluate a middle-class, suburban house for sale. The characteristics of the house remained constant except for the perceived race of the family selling the home. Researchers manipulated this variable by including either a Black or White family photograph in the living room of the house, ensuring that the family photographs did not differ in dimensions of perceived social class, racial prototypicality, friendliness, or attractiveness.... Despite the fact that the houses were otherwise identical, when the prospective home was owned by a Black family the study participants estimated a lower value for the house, liked the house less, and rated the neighborhood as less desirable. The researchers concluded that the mere presence of Black people in a physical space activates images of blight, lower quality schools and municipal services, less access to commerce, and lower perceived safety. Those images caused the subjects to then devalue the property itself. " Although this is not in Thompson book, it epitomizes the nearly complete branding of dark skin as tarnished goods. Merely by a family portrait, an inference of the race of the homeowner, the value of the house and the neighborhood changes. Talk about branding. I've often thought of how neighborhoods or suburbs are branded, especially when a north suburban Chicago minister said to me that the reason so many people fight "diversity" is that it "messes with the brand" of these communities as rich, good schools, elitist, full of trees, no crime -- and yes, mostly white. He pointed out that real estate depends on the reliability of the brand of the community. This is why Lowell Thompson's book -- and his optimism -- is essential. Now that he has raised our consciousness -- with a refreshing sense of humor and readable style to boot -- it's time to work together to brand all humans as worthy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fascinating, necessary read. Mr Thompson exposes the shameful branding of African Americans from the 19th century to present, with simple steps to challenge the establishment. Required reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See the review by GHSchechter. I don't know what to add to this comprehensive other than to say that is is right on. As a recovering adman, Lowell has formatted the book in a free form style that draws on his graphic design background, There are bullet points and asides to the reader, bold fonts and loose paragraph formatting, quickening the pace. It is a good read. This is basically heavy material but a lighter, humorous tone can sneak in the truths before you notice. And the bibliography is a good guide to further reading.