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June 26, 2003
Whiteness studies

A common blogosphere experience for me is to follow a link from Instapundit and then find something else with a link to something else of extreme interest. By which time I usually lose all track of how I got there, and fail to thank those responsible This time I remembered.

Anyway, the something else I finally got to is about something called "Whiteness Studies", which is a kind of reverse Nazism being taught in American universities, and no doubt soon to arrive here if it hasn't already.

Now, we didn’t have “Whiteness Studies” back when I was in college. Then, all the rage was multiculturalism, of which I got more than I could handle when, as a freshman, a scheduling snafu forced me into a section of the mandatory freshman-English program bearing the ominous title of “Differences.” There we studied literature through – to use the most pervasive cliché in academia – the lens of “race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.”

What that meant, in application, was that in the first weeks of class, we read books by African-Americans, the theme of which, unfailingly, was hatred for white people. Next we moved on to books by Hispanics, the theme of which was hatred for white people. From there it was books by Asians and Native Americans on—you guessed it—hatred for white people. There were a few variations, including some readings on anti-Semitism and homophobia, but otherwise, the theme was constant. This was a study of oppression, and the oppressors were always white guys.

Of course, all this took place way back in the early 1990s, eons ago for the modern-day Ivory Tower. Multiculturalism, once the primary fetish of academia, is now old hat in a culture that values the avant-garde above all else. Its permutations are spent. There are no more -isms to define; no more ethnic groups to balkanize; no more victims to patronize. That leaves academics looking for the next Big Thing, and they think they’ve found it in WS.

The focus has changed from multiculturalism, but the “hating whitey” theme remains.

“Whiteness,” as its would-be studiers see it, is the underlying cause of most every conceivable social ill. As David Horowitz has observed, “Whiteness Studies” is different in kind from other ethnocentric disciplines: “Black studies celebrates blackness, Chicano studies celebrates Chicanos, women’s studies celebrates women, and white studies attacks white people as evil.”

If you are my friend the pessimistic David Carr (a favourite quote went something like: "I fear that things will get a lot worse, before they get even worse than that") you are now plunged into yet more despair at all this. If you're more like optimistic me, you'll be at least hoping that sooner or later this idiocy will cease, and that the academics pushing it will make such public fools of themselves that even the public will eventually notice. And the truth will probably lie somewhere between the two, which is not good.

When the Whiteness Studies crowd speaks of abolishing “whiteness,” what they really mean is abolishing Americanism, most notably the American ideal of a society in which people are judged not by color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Yes, that makes sense, and to some extent that will be the result.

But surely the most obvious consequence will be to keep a lot of stupid, semi-educated black people out of the big tent, by making them believe in being out of it.

Ask yourself this. If you were a hardcore white racist from straight out of the worst nightmares being plugged by these academics as white business-as-usual, what would you say about all this? Would you be scared? I really don't see how. Would be you pleased? Surely: yes:

If the niggers want to wallow in this self-deluding crap, let them. It's all they're good for. And obviously we need some of our people to keep an eye on things, to see that the niggers remember how heavily they are outnumbered, in America and in the world as a whole, and that they don't try to do any of this nonsense, and confine themselves to miseducating themselves. On the other hand, if they do try to start a race war for real, we can be good and ready and wipe them out.

Well, maybe not. But if that was the plan, would things be happening much differently?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 05:37 PM
Category: Bias

the quote from the above anonymous character is just as likely to be a quote from an intolerant person who instead of understanding the literature as empowering from whatever perspective it was written was instead read as a threat to his (i bet) whiteness (i bet). so the question is what value is there in citing it?

brian, you admit you know nothing of white studies, but for some reason take this guy's read as correct and/or illuminating. is it because of his "hating whitey" call to arms? (i do not understand what you have written in the final few paragraphs about "niggers" - is this your racist voice, or are you going into character?)

my understanding of white studies is that it centers on issues of power and privilege. that it is white studies is due to that fact that power and privilege most often manifests in white skin. is this an invalid area of study?

you make the statement that you hope "this idiocy will cease" - what do you mean by this? i would have suspected that your libertarian bent and homeschooling values would make room for others to pursue what is of interest to them - isn't this the case?

some clarification would be handy. thanks.

Comment by: jonk on June 27, 2003 09:54 PM


I had heard often enough about American students being fed white guilt with everything. But I haven't actually heard the term White Studies before. I wonder if it is connected to the Abolitionist Movement of the Race Traitor folk. I believe that they are grouped around a white-hating, jewish professor at Harvard (perhaps someone can clarify that).

As you say this, one would think, highly illegal campaign may finally prove too hard even for the liberal-left to swallow. America's marxist tendency may have had its time in the professorial sun. But you have to give them their due. They are going for broke here.

Obviously, the longer and further it runs the more WS will be resented beyond just the campus, and will polarise broad white opposition. Obviously you are right that the National Alliance will see it as a godsend: "Who but us can defend white society now, etc?"

However, I am not so sure that the NA wants or needs a full-out, black v white race war. Blacks are not actually seen as the true enemy, more as a naturally inferior, indeed uncivilisable people who must be kept well away from orderly white society. The true enemy of the NA will always be organised jewry: the nexus of jewish power in Hollywood, published & broadcast media, banking, the academic, legal and political establishments and the hated holocaust industry.

If I was a jew in America I would view any fellow jew promoting WS as a suicidal schmuck, and may even be moved to ask him to desist forthwith. But the NA would probably say that only a white man thinks that way, and sooner or later "the jew" always takes destruction of the host society several steps too far.

Anyhow, congatulations on an interesting and brave post - and long live rational thinking.

Comment by: Guessedworker on June 27, 2003 10:52 PM

I am 53 years old, white, male and hetero. I've labored under punitive quotas that punish me for my race and sex for my entire working life.

The Supreme Court just ruled that that will continue to be the case for the remainder of my working life.

My great-grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany and Ireland in the 1880s to escape starvation and serfdom. I am the first member of my extended family to graduate from a four year college. Until the mid-1960s members of my family commonly died of poverty related diseases.

Where in the hell is my privilege?

Comment by: Stephen on July 1, 2003 02:23 PM

Since you ask I will tell you, my friend. Your privilege exists in the minds of people who crave cultural egalitarianism, perhaps even mono-culturalism. The first does not require you to be destroyed for the sin of the privilege of being white. But the second does.

Who are these people? They are the disciples of Boas and the Frankfurt School and they are the sixties and seventies marxist activists who disappeared into the DP. They are Gramsci's Long Marchers who lecture your children in philosophy and politics and law. They are the militant feminists and in-your-face gay right activists who promote their identity at your expense. They are the race campaigners whose most private, most inmost desire is to bring down your culture because it is an unbearable testimant to your supremacy. They are the human right lawyers who keep the valve of Mexican and Third World immigration to America wide open. They are the worm in the apple of your world. They are the shock troops of the culture war.

By 2050, as you will surely know, they will have made you a minority, too, and their work will be almost complete.

Comment by: Guessedworker on July 1, 2003 07:00 PM
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