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White Out

Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age

Christopher S. Collins and Alexander Jun

Colleges across the country, and the nation as a whole continue to be divided along racial lines. White Out: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age is about the role of Whiteness and a defense of White dominance in an increasingly diverse society. Whiteness is socially constructed, just as race is undoubtedly a social construct, documented through various periods in history. This book proposes that White Out is a learned habit that serves to defend White dominance in a multicultural age. White Out is a strategy that covers systems, dispositions, and actions that cannot cover the full indentation or impact. However, the action of blotting, either intentional or unintentional, serves to obscure experiences of people of color in lieu of a competing definition of reality. The authors introduce the White Architecture of the Mind as a metaphor highlighting the mind as a collection of walls, doors, windows, and pathways that influence individuals to react based on a systemic logic that was socially constructed reason. White Out, a byproduct of a White architecture of the mind, is a set of individual actions, choices, behaviors, and attitudes that are guided by a system that predisposes these attitudes and perpetuates privilege for core members of a dominant majority. The often-unconscious purpose in denying privilege and articulating colorblind ideology is to support a larger system and view of reality. The concepts covered in this volume include: White Pain, Whitefluenza (privilege as a virus), White 22 (White if you do, White if you don’t), Whitrogressions, Angry White Men, White Pilgrims, and Good White Friends.

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Chapter Six Angry White Men: Making America White Again


Chapter Six

Angry White Men: Making America White Again

On the evening of June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof entered a Bible study at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof sat down, prayed, read the Bible, and then killed nine Black Americans. Only one person was left alive, so she could tell the world what he had done and why—Roof said, “You’re taking over our country.”1 He was a 21-year-old White high school dropout who used violence to recapture something that he felt he was losing. Although Dylann Roof did not have a formal education, he was actively learning from a variety of websites, including the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has roots in the 1950s White Citizens’ Council that terrorized Black people, schools, and churches.2 He wore a jacket with the colonial flag of White-ruled Rhodesia, which existed next to apartheid-era South Africa.

As with many killings committed by White men, a mental health explanation of his actions was quickly deployed to dissociate his actions with the fabric of White America. His actions were connected to being deranged and uneducated. Although he lacked formal education, he had been consuming a curriculum from the fabric of an an←71 | 72→gry subset of White America. Less than a month after this massacre, the eventual Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke to an enthusiastic and mostly White audience with the primary promise, “Don’t worry, we’ll take our country...

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