U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Negative Impact on White Values (From Impacts of Racism on White Americans, P 119-151, 1981, Benjamin P Bowser and Raymond G Hunt, eds. -- See NCJ-121103)

NCJ Number
R W Terry
Date Published
33 pages
In assessing the negative impact of racism on white values, this essay contends that racism undermines and distorts personal and organizational authenticity.
Authenticity operates along two vectors, true to self and true to the world, and is characterized by the interdependent dimensions of mission, power, structure, and resources. An authentic person has a clear mission that enhances self and others, a mission that directs sufficient energy to make and keep decisions over time. An authentic person also has a workable plan of action and adequately mobilizes appropriate and available resources. An authentic organization has a clearly stated mission, shares power with appropriate stakeholders, supports and challenges organization members to be authentic, and distributes appropriate human and material resources to the right people and agencies. Racism, on the other hand, perpetuates an unclear mission, does not share power, denies appropriate support and challenge, inequitably distributes resources, and rationalizes racism by blaming or ignoring the other group. Racism violates authenticity by distorting people's relationships among themselves and with the world. Whites in power use inauthentic power when they are racist, and their efforts to maximize inauthentic power result in their downfall. The dilution of authentic power by racism results in aggression, exploitation, revenge, manipulation, bribery, and even tyranny. Racism causes inflexible or unresponsive structures that restrict white people's normal ways of coping with themselves and the world. 6 figures.