Whiteness – A Racial Concept That Has Been Weaponized

Whiteness – A Racial Concept That Has Been Weaponized

Presenter:  Barrie Webster

Is whiteness an invention? If so, when was it invented? Can the way we view it help counter racism?

Whiteness has allowed slave owners to justify the slavery.

Whiteness has fueled right wing populist support for racism. Whiteness has arguably been wielded as a weapon around the globe:  https://truthout.org/articles/its-time-for-whiteness-as-usual-to-end/

How far back in time did whiteness begin to influence British Columbia?

How does understanding whiteness help us to deal with colonialism and the way in which we have treated Indigenous peoples? Can it aid reconciliation?

[Ed. note]  “In the study of white privilege and its broader field of whiteness studies, both pioneered in the United States, academic perspectives such as critical race theory use the concept to analyze how racism and racialized societies affect the lives of white or white-skinned people….Whiteness studies is the study of the structures that produce white privilege,”  -Wikipedia


1. How do you see whiteness – as an invention, a biological fact, as a justification for superiority, as an impediment to humanity?

2. Does the concept of whiteness as described by Robert Baird help or hinder progress in dealing with racism in Canada? Around the globe?

3. Can you apply the concept of whiteness to the challenge of reconciliation in BC?

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