White Complicity

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James Lindsay:

"You are “complicit” in a “system” of racism, according to scholars of whiteness studies because you enjoy the benefits of “whiteness” inherent in the system—even if you’re not white, so long as you still support it, hence “white-adjacent” complicity. If you are white, or “white-passing,” you enjoy these benefits automatically, whether you want them or not, no matter your social or economic standing, as a result of your whiteness or willingness to accept “white” culture. This is called “white privilege.” Enjoying access to the benefits of whiteness and white privilege allegedly leads all such people to tacitly conspire to keep these benefits, which critical whiteness scholars call “white complicity.” These ideas came from a relatively small but highly influential group of activist-scholars who genuinely think this way about the world and the people in it.

This “white complicity” is the relevant concept we need to comprehend to understand the present moment. This idea was developed in considerable depth in a moderately densely philosophical book from 2010, Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy, by Barbara Applebaum. In this book-length, defining treatment of the concept, Applebaum expands the usual definition of complicity from intentional participation in a crime to include everyone who benefits from any “oppressive system.” This passive “support,” defined as everything short of actively attempting to dismantle the oppressive system, is what Applebaum identifies by the term “white supremacy.” Her goal is to expand the concept of “white moral responsibility” far enough to induce all white and white-adjacent people to take up activism to unmake this system.

This dangerous idea is presently in the process of remaking the world, and probably not in a good way." (https://newdiscourses.com/2020/07/nobody-systemically-racist/)