Confronting Racism

 Glenn Bigonet, M.A.

Social Activist for Racial Equity

Facilitating Discussions about Racism

 

617-462-6642

gbigonet@icloud.com

           

 

White Solidarity

 

"Why do so many of you reflexively defend, identify with, and antagonize

on behalf of whiteness whenever blackness is involved?"

Jesse Williams

 

White Solidarity is an unspoken cultural norm that when a white person is challenged in any way that the other white people around him will come to their defense. This defensive response is not unusual but a normal human response. When a member of a tribe is threatened by someone outside the tribe, the tribe comes to their defense. The way this shows up today is that with the strong belief in the good/bad binary the predominant response of white fragility whenever a person of color challenges a white person's racism the other white people around them will see it as an attack and jump to their defense. The conversation quickly becomes about how the person calling out the racism is wrong, or being over sensitive, or reverse racist.

 

The end result of white solidarity is that our systemic racism is reinforced by silencing anybody who challenges a white person's racist behavior. The person who was harmed, usually a person of color, or is pointing out the racial harm is marginalized and made separate from the group. The end effect of white solidarity is that it makes it highly risky for anyone to address racist behavior and thus the racism is allowed to continue.      

Copyright © 2020   Glenn Bigonet, M.A.