Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society

By O'Connor, Jennifer | Herizons, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society


O'Connor, Jennifer, Herizons


AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BLUE-EYED DEVIL: MY LIFE AND TIMES IN A RACIST, IMPERIALIST SOCIETY INGA MUSCIO Seal Press

REVIEW BY JENNIFER O'CONNOR

Inga Muscio's first response when asked how she would describe her book, Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society, is to say that it "is about white supremacist racism, and how it is enacted and sustained, from the perspective of a white woman who grew up in the post-civil rights movement U.S.A."

In the next minute, however, she adds: "It would be much more accurate to say that this book is a very difficult and exacting personality. It is blistering and relentless. At the same time, it's a sucker for a good joke and sees humour in horror."

It's a fitting way to sum up a book that is highly analytical and deeply personal. In Part One of Autobiography, Muscio looks at the history of white supremacist racism from the day Columbus came ashore to today. It is why, she explains, the areas most affected by environmental disease have the largest population of people of colour and poor communities. In Part Two, she looks at how racism permeates all of society. Take this example of "white normativity": a white woman in her mid-fifties looked at Muscio's lunch from a bento place and inquired: "What do they call that?" Muscio replied: "Who is 'they'?"

"I'd like for it to be like one of those You Are Here stickers you see on maps at an amusement park," she says of Blue-eyed Devil. "It's a map of white supremacist racism, and my intention is that any reader from any racial experience will be able to see themselves in there somewhere."

Muscio's previous book, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, was published in 1998. …

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