I agree with you, up to a point.
Consider that white people were NOT calling for the end of ‘whiteness’ fifty or a hundred years ago. Why is that? They didn’t, as a group, feel any pressure to do so because the overarching system of white supremacy was already enriching them unjustly at very high rates and at the expense of other POC, in particular black people, without the ‘threat’ of equality we see now: the potential inclusion of others.
Therefore, as a nonwhite/nonblack mixed POC who has been subjected to many years of discrimination, I must wonder why all of a sudden white people are calling for an end to whiteness as a category. Is it because they feel the pressure of others asking for equal rights? If whites thought discrimination was so bad, why were they so interested in embracing whiteness just a generation or two ago?
Here is the problem with eliminating the white label: white supremacy is still very active. In corporations, POC’s with higher performance are consistently sidelined to keep a white majority through tossing out CV’s (that often aren’t even examined!) because of names that look ‘black’ or ‘foreign,’ something which has been proven in studies. White women are rapidly gaining on higher performing POC”s of any gender with the same subpar performance as their male counterparts. Whiteness still dictates which sort of hair color sells (yellow), which contacts people want (blue), who gets to be ‘pretty,’ who gets to be included. White people, as a group, are still gerrymandering to keep black people and others from voting. White people created a prison system which keeps black people oppressed, as well as myriad institutions which operate to oppress black peoples. White women continue to advocate for the public maintenance of Confederate statues that ‘remind’ black peoples the period during which they were slaves is desirable (to the white population). White people, as a group, consistently determine who is artistic, and you guessed it: guess who wins at the Oscars? White people as a group are encouraging the disaggregation of data into ‘poor’ whites and ‘rich’ whites, thus maintaining economic benefit in the hands of whites instead of where it should be shifted — to African-Americans, who need it most (this is the manipulation that is JD Vance’s book. NO other ethnicity or race disaggregates into economics except for white people, in order once again to pull the most economic benefit to white people as a group. Who else in this country separates their data by wealth?! Racial and ethnic minorities know that the greatest form of subordination is nonwhiteness, not economics.) And this is hardly a comprehensive list.
Multiple studies have shown that the dominant group, when facing threat, will behave in a manner that supports ‘crowd invisibility;’ that is, despite an individual feeling that they are helping POC’s, in fact, the group of white people behaves, as a group, as if ‘whiteness’ needs to be preserved. Thus, white liberals do the same, as a group, but ultimately are less honest about it. There are a lot of studies on this and the way it supports the cognitive dissonance that white people, as a group, embrace readily in their efforts to delude themselves about the fact that white supremacy is ‘over.’
Until this vague, subconscious (I have yet to meet the white person who admits that they may unconsciously participate) desire to maintain dominance is addressed, the concept of whiteness should be maintained in order to address the very real issues. African Americans are still laboring under a real national institutionalization that oppresses them — not just in a small region of the US which is suddenly getting attention (and thus advocating to shift money to this group — see Sir Angus Deaton’s high investment in this) but ALL OVER, in every setting.
I would say one more thing: there is a strong desire on the part of people identifying as ‘white liberals’ to lie to themselves about their own investment in white supremacy. Overt white supremacists, though dangerous and threatening, have already been targeted as a group which requires attention and remediation. White liberals have not: they continue to fly under the radar, and support white supremacy in covert ways.
Until the white population is ready, as a group, to take wholesale responsibility for the events of the last 500 years (I would say not only in the US but worldwide, as a group of Europeans) the elimination of ‘whiteness’ cannot work. Because regardless of what we call it, white supremacy still exists, and it still favors white people regardless of their ability to contribute or perform at the expense of a wide range of peoples who continue to be oppressed primarily due to the stubborn attachment that white liberals have to their own innocence. It also continues to work worldwide, where a wide range of POC’s have been deleteriously affected by the imperialist shenanigans of the European ‘superior.’
We can eliminate the label ‘white’ once we eliminate the real ‘whiteness’ that continues to encourage the derogation of all POC in order to continue, even as I write this, to enrich white people unjustly.