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Beyond the Nation

An excerpt on a postcolonial theory of change

When George Floyd was killed by a white police officer in May 2020, it tore open the racial fault lines that have run through the United States for centuries. The impact was felt elsewhere in the Anglosphere, particularly in Britain, stirring renewed debate about the nature and scale of white privilege. But to have honest and respectful conversations about white privilege, there is a need for everyone (white or otherwise) to recognize what it is, acknowledge how widespread it is and reflect on the impacts it has had and continues to have across the world.

In particular, the discussion must be elevated from within national confines—white privilege in the U.S. or U.K., for example—to consider white privilege on a global scale, and just as importantly, from a non-Western perspective. This is what 'Dismantling Global White Privilege: Equity for a Post-Western World' aims to do.

White privilege is one of the best lenses to understand the power gradient that exists between the West and the Rest, and how this power differential has been perpetuated across the colonial and modern periods. The examination of global white privilege also reveals that due to centuries of subservience, non-white populations around the world pursue “whiteness” for social and economic betterment, discarding their local values and culture in favor of Western equivalents that are seen as somehow superior and holding more power. Thus, even though we are supposedly living in a post-colonial world, white privilege is fueled by colonization of the mind.

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