Intersections – Seminar

A JOINT PES CoRE and PESGB CoRE Initiative – White Virtue Signaling

As the first in this international event series, Intersections proudly presents an exciting panel discussion.

10:00-11:30 am (EST)/3:00-4:30 pm (BST)

The panel will consist of three scholars – Barbara Applebaum, Dana Francisco Miranda, and Lawrence Blum – and their distinct perspectives surrounding white virtue-signaling and virtue-signal criticism.

Virtue signaling, or the act of doing something that is meant to demonstrate one is morally good, often seems to be about intentions or the desire for others to think the signaler is virtuous. Often demonstrating the hypocrisy of the signaler exposes the conspicuous intention to make others think well of oneself. In the case of virtue signaling on the part of white people, however, the white person can signal goodness even when genuinely having good intentions.

In this panel, Barbara Applebaum will argue that the white virtue-signaling criticism highlights the need for white people to interrogate the ways one can be complicit in reproducing injustice even when they attempt to disrupt it. Dana Francisco Miranda will contend that white virtue-signaling criticism functions as an act of “racial banding”—an identification process that serves as a warning sign for dominated groups by tracking the threat of white innocence. Lastly, Lawrence Blum will raise two concerns with calling out perceived white virtue-signaling: 1) a movement-building perspective embracing people with mixed motives, and 2) an educational perspective that understands people as always in the process of learning.

Please contact series organizers, Winston C. Thompson and Paul Standish, with questions.

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