Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘White Mythologies’ on a Campus Near You


More leftist racial hate in academia

The following article appeared in Frontpage Magazine on June 18th

By Jack Kerwick

Traditionally, a classical liberal arts education had as its point and purpose the disinterested pursuit of truth and knowledge.

 Yet most of today’s academics scoff at this mission as a “white mythology.”

The most recent example of this phenomenon comes from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, which offer the course, “White Mythologies: Objectivity, Meritocracy, and Other Social Constructions.”

The course is co-taught by a sociology professor, Kendralin Freeman, and anthropology professor, Jason Rodriguez.  According to its description, the course “explores the history and ongoing manifestations of ‘white mythologies,’” which it characterizes as “long-standing, often implicit views about the place of White, male, Euro-American subjects as the norm.”

In fulfilling its objective, “White Mythologies” will also examine “how systematic logics that position ‘the West’ and ‘whiteness’ as the ideal manifest through such social constructions as objectivity, meritocracy, and race.”

According to the watchdog organization, Campus Reform, Freeman and Rodriguez co-authored an article that featured in the journal, Whiteness and Education.  In their essay, the two argue that “discourses” over the topics of “‘diversity’ and ‘intersectionality’ can undermine efforts to address racism [.]”  Such “discourses” can also “protect white privilege” and “marginalize people of color.”

According to the abstract for their essay, Freeman and Rodriguez seek to substantiate their thesis by supplying “an ethnographic account of student, staff, and faculty efforts to infuse campus cultures at a small liberal arts college with an anti-racist pedagogy in response to a string of racist events on campus.” Yet these “intentions” aside, “some community members put forward intersectional arguments and calls for ‘diversity’ in ways that re-centered whiteness and situated discussions about race as exclusionary dialogues that victimized white subjects.”

Moreover, these “discourses” on “intersectionality” and “diversity” “subsumed the experience of racism into a generalized and ostensibly universal experience of marginalization.”

The authors contend that this pattern “reflects the growing dominance of understanding racism as something that white subjects experience as much as people of color, which has emerged alongside a discourse of ‘diversity’ that compels a focus on individualized difference rather than structural inequity.”

Since the average reader, blessed as he is to have dodged the ideological indoctrination that has superseded education in academia, is likely to have a challenging time deciphering this post-modern gnostic Newspeak, we should attempt a translation:

Diversity talk is bad because it tends to imply that individuals—including white individuals—can be harmed by racism.  But, since racism is fundamentally a structural or institutional thing that systematically benefits whites while harming people of color, diversity “discourses,” by obscuring this fact, perpetuates these systemic iniquities. 

Objectivity and meritocracy are fictions that serve to facilitate and augment a system of “White Privilege” and “minority underrepresentation.”  As Freeman and Rodriguez see it, because “diversity measures are…framed as either avenues for addressing historical injustices or issues of simple representation,” focus on diversity are not “tactics for addressing the unfair, systematic advantages that white subjects experience [.]”

This means that “the ongoing structural relations that produce minority underrepresentation and white privilege…is particularly easy to co-opt into the ideology of [a] ‘culture of poverty’ or to denounce in the name of meritocracy.”

This same institution offers the upper-level philosophy course, “Feminism: Ethics and Knowledge.”  The second half of the course will attempt to address the following questions: “Historically, how has science contributed to the subordination of women?  Are social and political considerations relevant to science? Is it possible for science to be ‘objective’? What can be done to make science less biased?”

Science is an instrument of misogynist oppression that white men wield behind the veneer of objectivity.

This view that objectivity, meritocracy, impartiality, and neutrality are “white mythologies” is ubiquitous throughout the academic world.

Victor Ray is a sociology professor at the University of Tennessee. Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Ray charges its conservative proponents with invoking “diversity of thought and free speech” for the nefarious purpose of legitimizing their “racist and misogynist ideas [.]” Conservatives are guilty of appropriating the rhetoric of “diversity of thought as a political tactic to exert power over higher educational institutions.”

Ray continues at length with one bad argument after the other. He concludes thus:

“Conservative ideas are hegemonic. The (empty) call for so-called diversity of thought is a Trojan horse for white identity politics.”

As proof for his thesis Ray offers the following:

Most of the staunchest advocates of free speech are white men.

“It is no coincidence that the majority of people advocating for this position are white men who feel slighted by an imagined diminution of their power. They remain stubbornly at the top of the organizational hierarchy across the landscape of higher education, and their calls for so-called diversity thought are attempts to extend this lead.”

Parents beware: The odds are that your children, for whose four years at college you will wind up spending thousands and thousands of dollars, will spend their time hearing their professor debunk “white mythologies.”   

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