What Would James Baldwin Do? Classics and the Dream of White Europe
Denise Eileen McCoskey
Denise Eileen McCoskey is a Professor of Classics and affiliate of Black World Studies at Miami University (Ohio). She is the author of Race: Antiquity & Its Legacy, and past recipient of the John J. Winkler Memorial Prize. In 2009, she won the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.
… In “Stranger in the Village,” Baldwin pointed out the sheer futility of the nostalgia residing at the heart of white supremacy, noting that “No road whatever will lead Americans back to the simplicity of this European village where white men still have the luxury of looking on me as a stranger.” He concluded even more powerfully: “This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.” Our goal, as classicists, should surely be to finish the dissembling of this dangerously misguided dream of white Europe. To join hands with Baldwin and add: it was never white in the first place. [Emphasis mine]Despite Professor McCoskey’s award-winning Excellence in Philology, she made an amusing Freudian slip in her verb choice, thinking “dissembling” is a synonym for “deconstructing” instead of an open admission of the intentions and methods of Eidolon. From Choose Your Words on disassemble vs. dissemble:
Disassemble is to take something apart, like an old car motor, but dissemble is sneaky — it means to hide your true self, like the guy who said he was a mechanic but had never actually seen a motor, much less put one back together.That’s some fine editing, Dr. Zuckerberg.