The psychological rages of Whiteness: acceptable casualties and the White American identity

Rachel F. Gómez, Mignonne C. Guy, Julio Cammarota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

W.E.B. Du Bois states that psychological wages of Whiteness (1935) are unearned wages granted to White people of any class; including access to spaces and opportunities reserved solely for their use, enjoyment and ownership. This article discusses how White rage is a deadly expression of anger toward BIPOC 1 who are a perceived threat against the systemic maintenance of psychological wages of Whiteness. Therefore, psychological rages of Whiteness are central and formative throughout US history, while driving policies and practices framed as American 2 “progress.” We believe that psychological rages of Whiteness are contempt for minoritized peoples who represent a perceived threat in denying White people something of value that only in-group members, those identified as White, are entitled to possess. This article provides historical and contemporary examples of psychological rages of Whiteness and concludes with a discussion of the influence of Whiteness on US White American identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2246-2265
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume45
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Psychological wages of Whiteness
  • White rage
  • White supremacy
  • identity
  • race
  • racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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