White Face, Black Friend: A Fanonian application to theorize racial fetish in teacher education

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Black Skin, white masks (1967, Grove Press) , Franz Fanon uses a psychoanalytic framework to theorize the inferiority-dependency complex of Black men in response to thecolonial racism of white men. Applying his framework in reverse, this theoretical article psychoanalyzes the white psyche and emotionality with respect to the racialization process of whites and their racial attachment to Blackness. Positing that such a process is interconnected with narcissism, humanistic emptiness, and psychosis, this article presents how racial attach-ment becomes racial fetish . Such a fetish reifies whiteness by accumulating fictive kinshipswith friends of color; hence, the common parlance of ‘But I have a Black friend!’ The article,then, overlays this theoretical interpretation onto the subject of teacher education in the US,specifically urban teacher education programs that are predominantly comprised of whitemiddle-class females who claim a desire to ‘save’ urban students of color. Ending with thedangers and hopes of a more humanistic friendship, this article offers emotional ways one canself-actualize the racialization process.