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Theorizing White Racial Trauma and its Remedies

Theorizing White Racial Trauma and its Remedies

Chapter:
(p.234) 9 Theorizing White Racial Trauma and its Remedies
Source:
The Construction of Whiteness
Author(s):
Becky ThompsonVeronica T. Watson
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496805553.003.0010

In this paper we will be drawing upon historical work on race consciousness, contemporary work on trauma, and scholarship on activism and social change to offer a vision of what a critical white double consciousness might look like. We juxtapose this critical white consciousness with what Veronica Watson has termed a “white schizophrenic subjectivity” which has been explored by intellectuals like Du Bois, Charles Chesnutt, James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr. Each of these writers called attention to a whiteness that works to maintain disconnection from people of color and disassociation from their own moral selves, a white schizophrenic subjectivity that prevented white folks from acknowledging or challenging racism while still continuing to think of themselves as moral and upstanding citizens of their communities and nation.

Keywords:   Race consciousness, Trauma, Activism, Critical white double consciousness, White schizophrenic subjectivity

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