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Xenoracism and Double Whiteness: How Ben Franklin, “True-blue English/First American,” Still Confuses Us
Abstract

Abstract:

What unites Arizona’s current xenophobic, border cultural politics and the exemplary life of Benjamin Franklin, “True-blue English/First American”? What transhistorical resonances and parallels are there in those states of affairs? Casting a double look at “the inside looking out” and “the outside looking in,” Anglo Americana vis-à-vis (Post-)Pax Britannica and vice versa, this piece (re)turns to the postcolonial identity disorder endured then by our dear Ben, a ghostly transitory figure here, as a way to initiate a critical philosophical discourse on transatlantic Anglocentrism and its psycho-geopolitical legacy of xeno-thinking in the cultural and historical imaginary of the United States, where a psycho-geopolitical reaction-formation of WAS (White Anglo-Saxon) self-identities has been the operative norm, a particular form and force of ethnonationalizing racial discourse in the United States, namely, “xenoracism”: the amalgamated categorical interactions of xenophobia and racism, a porous sub(terranean)genre rather than sealed subset of xenophobia or racism, where the foreign is racialized and particular “aliens” become further alienized at once with catalytic, categorical reciprocity. Presented as a preamble to a fuller conceptualization of U.S. xenoracism, this exposition spotlights the post/colonial complexity, including irony, of that “special” gray/grey tie between the two bound and “divided” by shared Anglophonocentrism, “Comyn Englysshe,” this wounded attachment.