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Does Witnessing Racism Online Promote Individual and Institutional Anti-Racism Advocacy Among White Individuals? The Role of White Empathy, White Guilt, and White Fear of Other Races
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking  (IF4.157),  Pub Date : 2021-11-10, DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0629
Brian TaeHyuk Keum

The current study examined the role of White emotional responses (White empathy, guilt, and fear of other races) to (a) witnessing racism online (seeing racial/ethnic minorities discriminated in online interactions) and (b) exposure to online content on the group- and systemic-level racism against racial/ethnic minorities on White individuals' individual and institutional advocacy behaviors. Path analysis using data from 227 White adults revealed that White empathy explained significant indirect relations of witnessing online content on systemic- and group-level racism in society on individual and institutional advocacy behaviors. No significant indirect relations were found regarding witnessing racial/ethnic minorities being discriminated online interactions, but a significant direct link was observed on individual advocacy. In response to witnessing racism online, White empathy appeared to be promotive for advocacy engagement, whereas guilt and fear of other races seemed to be barriers. Limitations and implications for research are discussed.