The federal government has long propagated marriage and education as anti-poverty institutions. From the Moynihan Report to LBJ’s War on Poverty to A Nation At Risk, there seems to exist a tacit acceptance that strong (hetero-)nuclear families and access to education have the possibility to alleviate (racialized) poverty in the United States. Over the past five years, these conversations have shifted and had both media and juridical moments. Represented most iconically by rainbow flags and Bill Gates, marriage “equality” and charter schools have emerged at the forefront of political discourse, support for both becoming something of liberal platitudes.
In conversation with queer, critical race, and post-colonial theories, this talk examines how the affective capital of love and equality are being deployed in support of these contemporary education and civil rights policies. Paying particular attention to how racial tropes of whiteness trade in the processes of legitimation, support for (white) weddings and charter(ed) schools will be analyzed in relation to contemporary literature on biopolitics, citizenship, and assimilation.