Description: Despite seeming changes in race-relations in the United States, White supremacist ideology and White privilege continue to pervade our values, practices and identities of “privileges.” Often when we describe our individual privileges, for instance, we resort to listing things we get to do because of our race, gender and/or social class. Rarely do we think about the ways in which these individual privileges are contingent on systemic and structural powers grounded in White supremacy that could either grant and/or forbid the exercises of these benefits. Rarely do we consider the implications and fragilities attached to it in our pursuit toward an anti-racist and socially just world. Indeed, White privilege has a history, a context and a purpose, and if we are to advocate for social justice and equity, we must acknowledge the ways in which it functions in our lives and community, and what it means for people of color, White allies, and social action and justice. How do we have conversations and collective actions when White fragility distracts us? Dr. Liu describes the purposes of White privilege, and discusses how consequences and fragilities often frustrate collective social action and what we may do differently.
William Ming Liu, PhD., is Professor of Counseling Psychology at The University of Iowa. His doctorate is from the University of Maryland. He served as program coordinator for the counseling psychology program from 2005-2015, 2016-2017. His research interests are in critical race theory and application, social class and classism, men and masculinity, and multicultural competencies. He has been identified as one of the most frequent producers of research in the Psychology of Men and Masculinity and most cited in multicultural competency research. He received the Emerging Leader award from the Committee on Socioeconomic Status (APA), Emerging Young Professional Award (Division 45, APA), and the Researcher of the Year Award (Division 51, APA). He is an editor of the Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology (Sage, 2003), an editor of Culturally Responsive Counseling with Asian American Men (2010, Routledge), the author of Social Class and Classism in the Helping Professions: Research, Theory, and Practice (2011, Sage), the editor of the Handbook of Social Class in Counseling (2013, Oxford University Press), and author of the forthcoming book The Psychology of Privilege, White Supremacy, and Power (Oxford University Press). He currently serves as the editor for the Psychology of Men and Masculinity. He is a fellow of Division 17 and 51. He also recently received the Iowa Board of Regents Faculty Excellence Award (2017).