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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 Nine Conclusion: A Way Forward


Chapter Nine

Conclusion: A Way Forward

We recently watched a seminar by Joy DeGruy Leary on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome in London.1 At one point in her seminar, DeGruy Leary asked the audience to raise their hands if they believe in White racism and again if they believe in Black racism. As hands stayed still, moved up, or moved slowly halfway up, the room became tense. Dr. DeGruy Leary then asked the participants how they could know the effects of White racism. Some of the answers included inequalities in education, healthcare, and other areas. She went on to ask how they can know the effects of Black racism. The room fell silent and she explained the silence is due to the fact that power makes White racism have pervasive and real effects. Conversely, Black racism often carries some layers of disdain and even hate, but does not have the influence on the ability to get a loan or even incarceration rates. She explained that the only influence Black racism carries is fear. White people are afraid of Black people. It is deeply psychological. Norm Stamper’s work revealed the extreme version of this fear among police officers.2 The bigger and darker the Black man, the more extreme the level of fear.←117 | 118→

I (Collins) enjoy stand up paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean. Spaces inhabited by people are inherently racialized—deserts to oceans and suburbs to wilderness. A warm day at the beginning of...

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