January 19, 2006

"Whiteness" studies

Ah. The latest field of "study" -- one born out of a "meeting" at "Berkeley some 10 years ago" -- is now featured at "hundreds of universities."

Aren't we lucky.

"Whiteness studies is not about white-bashing, and it's not about white supremacy," said Duncan Rinehart, who will teach CU's (Colorado University's) fourth whiteness-studies course this semester. "As long as whiteness is invisible, it's contributing to inequality and injustice. There is a fair amount of just flat-out denial, not malicious, but denial nonetheless."

As I said, aren't we lucky to have people like "Professor" Rinehart to assist us with white "denial."

And what happens when campuses stray from real academic endeavors to re-educational rubbish like this? You attract other nuts. Case in point -- Louis Calabro, head of the The European/American Issues Forum, has centered on whiteness studies courses.

Calabro, a 73-year-old retired San Francisco police lieutenant, found out about the white-privilege symposium on the Internet and was incensed. He said CU has created a culture of white guilt by teaching that "everybody else are the victims and we're the perps."

"The University of Colorado has a campus that's hostile to European American white people," he said.

But "student-government leaders say they are trying to ignore Calabro":

"We were getting a lot of types of these crazy e-mails," said Stephen Fenberg, chief of staff for the student union. "They were on Web sites discussing the issue, saying (white privilege) is this liberal idea that doesn't really exist."

Fenberg is an environmental-studies major, but he can define whiteness studies -- proof, he says, that the campus is awakening to the concept.

CU is extremely lucky to have such an enlightened student leader as Fenberg, isn't it? Calabro is "crazy," but how DARE whiteness studies be mocked as a "liberal idea," a problem "that doesn't really exist," and hey -- Fenberg can define whiteness studies, so there's an "awakening."

I think I'm gonna lose my lunch.

And, to finish off this enlightening tidbit, we have Prof. Eleanor Hubbard, who once taught the CU course:

To fight racism, whites need to see they have advantages that are a "result of them being white, not for any other reason like they are smarter or have a better education."

I think it's safe to say that any white person with a decent education is cognizant that being white in America today is easier than being black. Martin Luther King's era was still only a mere 40 years ago. Much of the US's population still have .... anachronistic ideas about race. Still, blacks have it magnitudes better in America than 40-50 years ago, and to deny this is just plain, utter nonsense. Hubbard is quite disingenuous when she says "not for any other reason like they are smarter or have a better education." Well, with "smarter," sure, as that infers inherent ability, and I do not subscribe to the notion of genetics and intellect. However, "better education" is a whole other matter. The fact is that there is a huge gap (oft cited as -- get this -- "The Gap" by educators) between white and black student academic performance. Is white "privilege" responsible for this gap? Is racism the cause of this gap? People like Hubbard, I think it's safe to say, would answer "yes," in whatever labyrinthine way they can muster.

But is it?

Black illegitimacy rates at over 70%? That has nothing to do with the gap? Rampant black single parenthood? That has nothing to do with the gap? Why do Asian students surpass the academic results of whites? In the minds of the racialists, wouldn't they suffer from the "white privilege" syndrome too? How do they succeed?

The list of questions can go on and on and on.

Posted by Felix at January 19, 2006 05:13 PM | TrackBack

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