I Don’t Want to Be an Excuse for Racist Violence Anymore: White women’s passive role in racist attacks like Charleston

This insightful article is cross-posted from New Republic:

By

We cannot talk about the violence that Dylann Roof perpetrated at Emanuel AME last Wednesday night without talking about whiteness, and specifically, about white womanhood and its role in racist violence. We have to talk about those things, because Roof himself did. Per a witness account, we know that he said: “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” “Our” women, by whom he meant white women.

There is a centuries-old notion that white men must defend, with lethal violence at times, the sexual purity of white women from allegedly predatory black men. And, as we saw yet again after this shooting, it is not merely a relic of America’s hideous racial past. American racism is always gendered; racism and sexism are mutually dependent, and cannot be unstitched.

As Jessie Daniels writes at Racism Review, white womanhood has been and remains essential to the logic of American white supremacy.

Read more