In this description, Lewis conducts a phenomenological reduction of his ambiguous experience of being a white male in a situation of subtle racism during a conference panel about W.E.B. Dubois. Through the reduction, Lewis comes to recognize how whiteness reproduces itself even as it stumbles over itself. This insight complicates overly voluntaristic notions of agency while also holding onto the possibility of bearing responsibility for one’s actions. As a thought experiment, Lewis then concludes with a perplexing challenge: what would it mean to fall from rather than stumble over whiteness?
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