What does it mean to whitesplain?

To explain something as a white person

Whitesplaining is when a white person attempts to explain something. The term combines "white" and "explain," and its origins date back to at least 2010 as a variation of mansplain.

"Whitesplain" can be used as a verb or noun and may refer to any topic. However, it often describes a person's attempt to explain something they haven't personally experienced. For example, a white person may try to explain something from a different culture or a racial topic they only partially understand.

When people whitesplain something, they may have good intentions, but are oblivious to the enormity and sensitivity of the subject. They might try to share their perspective to be helpful, but not in a way that conveys a true understanding. In these instances, their attempts come across as condescending and inappropriate, especially when they try to whitesplain directly at a person of color.

Whitesplaining on Social Media

While people may whitesplain in real life, you may also see it online, especially on social media, like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook. These sites house the debates of many controversial opinions.

For example, on Twitter in 2017, actor Rob Schneider attempted to explain to John Lewis, a civil rights activist and politician who was friends with Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK), how he should best honor MLK's legacy. The predictable backlash soon followed.


Did you see his tweet yesterday?
No, was it bad?
Well, do you think whitesplaining racism to a civil rights leader is bad?
Yikes. :-/
Response to a Rob Schneider whitesplain tweet
Response to a Rob Schneider whitesplain tweet

Related Slang


Updated January 24, 2023

Whitesplain definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Whitesplain" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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