White Ignorance Qualities

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As interpreted by Charles Mills, white ignorance is a cognitive phenomena that has been viewed as evidence from past events implying the absence of actual belief or a false belief. Whiteness does not refer to people who are socially classified as white in a racist social system, but rather to those who are socially classified as white in a racialized social system. This ignorance must be a social epistemology. The white group's interest in privilege and black subordination is a determinant of the level of ignorance, resulting in self-deception, poor faith, evasion, and misrepresentation of individual races (Mills 1998). (Roediger 1998). White group interest puts an individual to be perceived as a member of the privileged group which eventually interferes with one’s ability to acquire truths on critical beliefs of human worth. Societal practices encourage the group entity where there is spread of error and misinformation. Therefore, according to Mills, there is contrasting knowledge between the said whites and another inferior group.

Moral ignorance is a characteristic of white ignorance not of facts but moral non-knowing where incorrect judgments on rights and wrongs of moral situations follow an epistemic injustice path. Social oppression should be eliminated by improvements in cognitive practices (Campbell 2000).Oppression witnessed from the adaption or being in the white culture is a clear indication of lack of heightened cognitive power.

Background knowledge that guides judgment and inference is also shaped by testimony. When testimony is recorded, there is need of perception, conceptualizing and memorizing which is integrated into developing cognition. Therefore, there is an intimate relationship between white memory and amnesia with especially with how they perceive the other race. Education on historical events has the profound truths about the nonwhites erased from records thus deliberate white ignorance in schools is created. Factual testimonials are erased in the form of racial amnesia to the creation of false beliefs on truths.

Eurocentrism constitutes factors that make up white ignorance. Ethnocentrism has a negative cognitive tendency. The gradual rise to Europeans dominating the world shaped the perceptions of facts that have resulted in geographical misrepresentation and inflation. White blindness is not about the physical deficiencies of the eye instead to the inner eye where construction of reality is developing to ignorance that perceives one not from what can be seen but from their environment of decent (Ellison 1995). The party under injustice here is the black whose route of knowledge is because of the realization of white ignorance. White ignorance constitutes the creation of a black racial ignorance in this case.

Support and Maintenance of the Dominion Contract

Dominion of the white, as they are envisioned as superior creates a form of white blindness. Inferiority felt by the black leads to the development of critical white studies by the black to understand the gaps between them and the superior white. Self-conscious recognition of white ignorance is created. Despite the black feeling the dominion above them, the power bestowed upon the white is the causation of white blindness where the approach and judgment towards the other race are only from their surroundings and figments of individualistic racial imagination.

The studying of the culture, customs and mindset of the white tribe by the non-whites are fueled by the frightening dominion over them. This aspect is in support of the Racial Contract and maintenance of it as the contract stipulates that the non-white are a lower and inferior class of person. The historical development of the white ignorance overtime and its functionality in society from when slavery was established to the present day domineers the rooting of superior power by the whites.


Campbell, Richmond and Bruce Hunter. 2000. "Moral Epistemology Naturalized." Canadian Journal of Philosophy.

Ellison, Raph. 1995. Invisble Man. New York: Vintage Books.

Mills, CharlesW. 1998. The Racial Contract . NY: Cornell University Press.

Roediger, David R.,. 1998. Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means To Be White. New York: Schocken Books.

June 12, 2023

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