Antiracism and Affirmational Identities Among White Evangelicals

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The negative orientation of antiracism, in both semantics and philosophy, is an important obstacle for those who teach the subject. In this essay Jenell Williams Paris and Kristin Schoon analyze how evangelical college students make meaning of whiteness, and how they develop identities that promote antiracism. After being exposed to antiracist ideas in the classroom, these students describe whiteness as privilege, invisibility, isolation, fear and silence, and inescapable. In developing affirmative identities, many turn away from race and whiteness to rely upon religion as a conceptual, explanatory, and motivational tool for engaging racism. These findings carry significant implications for pedagogy in Christian higher education. Ms. Paris is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Bethel University. Ms. Schoon is Assistant Director of traditional admissions at Concordia University.


Originally published as:

Paris, Jenell. “Antiracism and Affirmational Identities Among White Evangelicals,” Christian Scholar’s Review (2007):3:285-302