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Witnessing Whiteness$
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Kristopher Norris

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190055813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190055813.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

Racism at the End of White Christian America

Racism at the End of White Christian America

(p.13) 1 Racism at the End of White Christian America
(p.iii) Witnessing Whiteness

Kristopher Norris

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 engages in social analysis to outline the current racial landscape in churches in the United States. Beginning with our current political and religious moment, it addresses and defines the many layers to the problem of whiteness. Drawing on the work of James Baldwin, womanist theology, and contemporary sociology, this chapter describes whiteness as a process of social and identity formation currently experiencing a crisis of legitimation. This current legitimation crisis has precipitated the phenomenon of colorblindness, which leads white people to see our interests and perspectives as universal, blinds us to our epistemological limitations, and leads to a posture of defensiveness and fragility. The chapter concludes by arguing that whiteness presents itself as a “wicked problem” with no identifiable solution.

Keywords:   colorblindness, whiteness, legitimation, wicked problem, Charlottesville

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