How Good White People Perpetuate Racism

“In order to explore, identify, and dismantle our racist and judgmental beliefs, we need the defensive parts that scream “But I’m a good person” to take a step back.”

Britt Frank

After sharing that quote on Instagram, some good white people took offense and felt the need to push back by defending against something that never happened, and thereby becoming great examples of what the quote was pointing out.

The initial response was:

“The term ‘racist’ is being applied in too many and too broad of circumstances. Most people by the correct standard definition are not racist, they take offense when they are labeled as such, and they are absolutely correct to push back against that.”


Note that the original quote did not apply the term racist to anyone in particular, nor to any group, or to any broad circumstance. It just said that if a person is gonna work with their racism they gotta beware of their defensiveness. But the good white people interpreted it as an attack on themselves, and needed to defend.

This is how good white people avoid doing the work to dismantle racism, by jumping straight into defense and a focus on terms, rather than being open to an honest examination of themselves and the systems they participate in.

This interaction inspired me to share my thoughts in a video. If you wanna hear more, check it out above.

If you are a good white person who also wants to do the work, here’s a blog post we put together with some resources to get you started on the path. There are amazing teachers out there who can help you start the journey into being anti-racist, so listen to them, not to us 😉

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