The Woke Disrupter
A Call to Action
Keywords:Dismantling racism, anti-racism, White supremacy, institutional racism
This article examines one of the most dangerous personifications of white supremacy, the Woke Vigilante - the “liberal do-gooder” and the social work profession’s role in their creation. White supremacy is frequently named to identify overt racism and discrimination by hate groups, ultra conservatives and increasingly throughout the government. There is another breed of white supremacy which lies beneath the surface and believes itself to be an ally, this is the Woke Vigilante. Unexamined social work education provides the right ingredients with the moral authority to turn white social workers into Woke Vigilantes. This conceptual article highlights the ways in which social work education currently addresses competencies of diversity and difference, as well as social justice. The authors then present a persuasive argument for white academic social workers to alter course and promote teaching and practice skills which incorporate social justice skills at all levels of practice, in other words social justice meta-practice skills. The danger of white supremacy when it is disguised as the Woke Vigilante may be best captured by Malcolm X when he spoke of the white liberals who disguise themselves as friends to the Black man only as a means to benefit their own self-interest without genuinely asking or listening to that which the Black community actually wants (X, 1963). Social work is all too familiar with the white liberal and must consider this a call to action, as well as a forewarning against further perpetuation of white hegemonic societal structures giving license to white do-gooders eager to go into Black communities and effect change. Authors present a resolve for white social workers to adopt the role of the Woke Disrupter.
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