Important Note: In order to fully appreciate the information on this page, you should already have read the explanation of “How and Why it Works.”
Benefits of being a White Anti-Racist
1. Psychological Benefits of Being a White Anti-Racist
Learning about and otherwise focusing on racism puts white people at risk for loss of a positive identity. This is a very serious matter. Among white people, positive white identity is a primary component of one’s self-image and ability to project one’s image toward others. Image is extremely important for white people’s success and sense of worth. Failure to maintain one’s image can result in cultural alienation, low self-esteem and decreased ability to promote and market oneself.
Initial learning about or focusing on racism calls into question our often unconscious assumption that because we are white, we are by definition good people. Suddenly, whiteness and goodness are not synonymous! Our taken-for-granted positive white identity begins to crumble and our image is at risk. We feel depressed and listless. We are often tempted to simply deny being white, which makes us look absolutely ridiculous.
Being a White Anti-Racist provides strong protection for your positive white identity/image. In fact, White Anti-Racist offers a better, more sophisticated positive white identity/image than has been previously available to white folks.
White Anti-Racist is a durable, extremely flexible, lightweight, and easy to manage identity/image for your needs. It works by turning the weakness of attending to racism into a strength. You remain a good white person, and your identity and image are not threatened by attention to racism or criticism of the “good white person” assumption. Instead, as a White Anti-Racist, you have a series of ritual steps you can follow to maintain that positive white identity and image in a whole new way. For example, you can confess your racism and admit that no white person is exempt from being a racist while at the very same time implicitly using that confession to show that you are actually one of the good white people. As a White Anti-Racist, you can easily agree with criticisms of even your own racism — while your positive white identity/image remains intact!
2. Intellectual Benefits of Being a White Anti-Racist
Critical attention to white supremacy calls into question the cultural assumption that as white people, we know better, perceive better and are best equipped to interpret reality, “make meaning” and otherwise control the terms. Without this cultural assumption, our modes of communication can appear deceitful, manipulative, overly aggressive and/or spiritually damaging, while the content of our communication can appear unoriginal, inaccurate, hackneyed, largely irrelevant, and/or otherwise not so useful.
As a White Anti-Racist, you will be able to criticize assumptions of white intellectual superiority while still maintaining your own right to be an intellectual decision-maker. As a White Anti-Racist engaged in discourse against white supremacy, you will have the opportunity to develop and display your expertise related to understanding and interpreting what racism/white supremacy is, and what should be done about it. The discourse focus of White Anti-Racist ensures that you can even question the value of what you yourself do without changing your actual practice or having to give up an ounce of your intellectual credibility and control.
3. Career Benefits of Being a White Anti-Racist
You might expect that engaging in critique of white privilege might actually lead to practices designed to directly remove the inequity. The problem with such a scenario is that it could put white people’s actual access to resources at risk. White Anti-Racist offers a solution to this dilemma. In actual practice, being a White Anti-Racist has been a positive career move for many who have adopted this identity. It could be for you, too!
One of the most interesting careers for White Anti-Racists is Educator. Whether affiliated with a formal educational institution or situated as a speaker-writer-consultant, White Anti-Racist Educators find that the White Anti-Racist identity/image serves as an asset in building their careers.
White Anti-Racist academics can secure degrees and enhance CVs and promotion prospects by developing an expertise in Ethnic Studies and/or Whiteness Studies and publishing on the topic.
White Anti-Racist writers-speakers-consultants (whether affiliated with an academic institution or not) can charge stipends for talks, publish books and articles, hold workshops for a fee, found and direct non-profit organizations, build web pages that can enhance status and be listed on resumes, and much much more.
The discourse focus of being a White Anti-Racist means that it is actually possible for white people to criticize unearned white privilege while using that very criticism to enhance our own access to resources. It’s a win-win proposition!