Michael and Simon, two white men, discuss whiteness as a paradigm. Their conversation draws on their personal experiences and addresses the wider systemic issues that are at play. They reflect on how white fragility plays out, and what it will take to enable people to move from being defensive, to engage with the vulnerable curiosity that is required to lead to change? Whiteness is often referred to as a place of privilege and entitlement, as clearly it is in many social settings. Yet ‘whiteness’ is not homogenous, and there are millions of white underclass in the USA (referred to as 'white trash') and across Europe, economically impoverished who have lost the dignity of work and class solidarity, and don’t feel privileged and entitled at all. What can we do to address this aspect of ‘whiteness’ whose rage can lead to supporting populist and xenophobic right-wing leaders? Acknowledging complexity, this conversation explores what can be done to challenge centuries of racial domination and abuse, and the endemic racism that still exists in society today. Questioning the whiteness paradigm is an important part of this process.
Michael Lindsay is a consulting and clinical psychologist practicing in San Diego, CA. He is interested in supporting the development of consciousness and courage in leaders, organizational cultures, and in society, using Systems Psychodynamic and Integral frameworks.
Michael is serving his first year as an Internal Director on the Board of the AK Rice Institute.
He is a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations.
In addition to his clinical and consulting practices, Michael is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of San Diego in the Leadership Studies Dept. He has also been a yoga instructor for over 10 years and together with his husband, Michael is raising two boys, one 7 and the other 3, in a bi-lingual household.