The Dialogue of Denial: Perpetuating Racism Through Thoughtful Inaction

  • Amy J Samuels University of Montevallo
Keywords: Antiracism, Critical Whiteness, Racial Identity Development, Racism, White Privilege


This conceptual essay explores the idea of negotiating race-related tensions through the lens of critical Whiteness and antiracism theory. Introducing the concept of thoughtful inaction in relation to White privilege and antiracist work, the essay examines what it means not to act and the consequences of such inaction. Current ways of thinking related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and how mindsets are manifest into (in)action will be investigated, along with barriers confronted when attempting to maintain and facilitate antiracist dispositions and actions in sociopolitical contexts. The author emphasizes conceptualizations of antiracism and argues the benefit in framing antiracist development to better contextualize personal understanding and encourage growth in relation to one’s own racial identity development.    

Author Biography

Amy J Samuels, University of Montevallo

Amy Samuels is an assistant professor of Leadership at University of Montevallo.  She teaches classes in both the Teacher Leadership and Instructional Leadership programs.  Her research interests include application of Critical Race Theory, Critical Pedagogy, and Culturally Responsive Teaching in instructional and leadership practices.

How to Cite
Samuels, A. (2017). The Dialogue of Denial: Perpetuating Racism Through Thoughtful Inaction. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 7(1), 66-82. Retrieved from
Creative Works & Self-Reflections