Whiteness 101

As you engage with this site, there are a few things you need to know about “whiteness” and what we are referring to when we use that term and any variation thereof. Each of the following points will be covered in more detail on our blog and in other sections of this portal, but for now you need to know that:

  • When we speak of “white people”, “whiteness”, etc. we are not concentrating on skin color, but on an entire group of people whom the United States created for a very specific purpose (yes, created… more on that in a moment). By and large, we discuss “whiteness” in terms of the overarching system of white supremacy. To the extent that we address individual people classified as white, we do so primarily as a call to action. Your whiteness comes with power. We aim to jar you into recognizing this and we expect you to learn how to use your powers of whiteness responsibly.
  • White people were created in the late 1600s for the sole purpose of dividing and distracting America’s working class so that they would never again join forces to challenge the elite class.
  • By design, whiteness confers privileges that other groups, especially blacks, are not automatically regarded.
  • White fragility was first coined by Dr. Robin DiAngelo. Essentially, it refers to the inability of white people to discuss race in a constructive manner without experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress causing an individual to halt such conversations by any means necessary.
  • It is natural for you to feel uncomfortable, offended, hurt, responsible, angry, attacked, vulnerable, combative and ashamed as a white person… especially if this is your first time venturing beyond the surface of your privilege. These are the beginning stages of your awakening. Stick with it and all of these feelings will eventually help transform your whiteness into something useful toward the dismantling of a system that has deceived, divided and destroyed us long enough.
  • Racism is perpetuated by whiteness. When we use the word “racism” we always do so in the context of the SYSTEM of white supremacy. Therefore, we don’t spend a lot of time entertaining so-called “reverse racism” or people who’ve had their feelings hurt by isolated instances of people who did not like them for being white. What we are discussing here is the type of discrimination that is empowered and emboldened by an entire system of laws, history, policies and socially engineered ideas designed to oppress black people.
  • WPWU addresses America’s specialty brand of white supremacy/racism. While we are aware that people have self-segregated, enslaved others and practiced bigotry throughout the world and throughout history, we will not allow this awakening to be distracted by those discussions. If you don’t already know this, you will soon come to understand that America’s practices of white supremacy/racism have been unique in origin and execution. This brand of white supremacy/racism has had lasting effects on the lives of black people and that impact is what we are here to specifically address and repair.

Again, all of these points will be addressed in detail as time goes on. We needed to get this out of the way first just so that you know where we are coming from and so that we can move forward with a general understanding of the whiteness you possess, as well as the racism that it has been trained to undergird.