Whiteness as Guilt

17 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2022

See all articles by Marissa Jackson Sow

Marissa Jackson Sow

Open Society Foundations (OSF); United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; St. John's University - School of Law

Date Written: January 18, 2022


The year of racial justice awakening following George Floyd’s 2020 murder have been accompanied by a rise in attacks on Black thought, including Critical Race Theory, led by far-right activists who are invested in maintenance of a white supremacist status quo in the United States. This Essay uses artist Kara Walker’s 2014 Sugar Sphinx to contextualize the critiques on Critical Race Theory and other manifestations of Black intellectualism as a campaign for perpetual absolution of white guilt, and even redemption of white supremacy, that is openly embraced by white nationalists but also secretly nourished—and cherished—by the white liberal elite.

Keywords: critical race theory, legal theory, Kara Walker, art, philosophy

Suggested Citation

Jackson Sow, Marissa, Whiteness as Guilt (January 18, 2022). UCLA Law Review, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4056168

Marissa Jackson Sow (Contact Author)

Open Society Foundations (OSF) ( email )

224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
United States

United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ( email )

Palais des Nations
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva

St. John's University - School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics