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Theorizing White Racial Trauma and its Remedies

Theorizing White Racial Trauma and its Remedies

(p.234) 9 Theorizing White Racial Trauma and its Remedies
The Construction of Whiteness
Becky ThompsonVeronica T. Watson
University Press of Mississippi

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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