Earlier this week at the University of Boston, Robin DiAngelo, a professor with the University of Washington, gave a presentation in which she blamed white people for being “dangerous” if they fail to see people for their skin color. She claims that white people who deny the “reality of being black” while claiming to believe all men are equal are exhibiting white supremacism. What is the reality of black people that she is speaking of? Is she suggesting that they are incapable of achieving anything on their own, without the help of the white liberal welfare state? Is she suggesting they simply accept their place in society as an oppressed underclass and not even try? That is what is implied. Wouldn’t DiAngelo be the white supremacist for thinking this way?
The University of Washing recently made headlines when it was revealed their writing program is teaching students that the English language is racist. They claim there is no conclusive standard for the English language; therefore, holding people to any standard would be unfair because not everyone can be expected to keep up with its constant changes. The following is the full description of the University of Washington’s writing program.
The writing center works from several important beliefs that are crucial to helping writers write and succeed in a racist society. The racist conditions of our society are not simply a matter of bias or prejudice that some people hold. In fact, most racism, for instance, is not accomplished through intent. Racism is the normal condition of things. Racism is pervasive. It is in the systems, structures, rules, languages, expectations, and guidelines that make up our classes, school, and society. For example, linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent “standard” of English. Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.
Because we all live, work, learn, and communicate within such racist systems, the consultants in the writing center assume that a big part of our job is to help students become more critical of these unjust language structures as they affect students’ writing and the judgment of that writing. In particular, being aware of racism as structural offers students the best chances to develop as writers and succeed on their own terms in an inherently racist society.
Furthermore, by acknowledging and critiquing the systemic racism that forms parts of UWT and the languages and literacies expected in it, students and writing center consultants can cultivate a more socially just future for everyone. Just avoiding racism is not enough because it means we are doing nothing to stop racism at large, and it amounts to allowing racism to continue.
Is it any wonder our society is falling apart? Our universities are teaching that everything about our society, including the language we speak, is racist. The message of white privilege has become so perverted and twisted that Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a color-blind society, where people were judged by the content of their character, has been turned upside down. The word racism now implies believing that black people are equal with whites.
In a journal article entitled The English Only Movement in the U.S. and the World in the Twenty First Century it is argued by University of Arizona professor Teresa Pac that the English language has historically been used to oppress minorities and prevent them from gaining access to American culture. She also argues that white elitists enforced English as a national language because they feared minority languages would become dominant. This is a ridiculous assertion as English has never been the national language and the United States opens her doors to more immigrants from the third world than any other nation. This is an academic journal your children are reading in college.
The roots of racism can be traced back to the fields of psychology and psychiatry. These fields are heavily influenced by Darwinian/atheistic thinking, meaning that the study of human behavior is generally conducted from a scientific as opposed to a spiritual or religious perspective. Evolutionary theory then, is being applied to the development of mankind. Francis Galton, according to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, was an English psychologist who was related to Charles Darwin and shared many of his views concerning his theory of evolution. Galton, because he believed in evolutionary science, was convinced that Africans were inferior. Stating in his book “Tropical South Africa” that they had no independent will of their own, Galton believed that Africans needed leadership and preferred a life of servitude. This belief is what was later used to justify slavery. In fact, Africans who resisted slavery were considered mentally ill, as it was generally believed that blacks were incapable of self-care and freedom. This disease was referred to as Drapetomania and it is the root belief in what is driving the discussion of racism today. The left’s fundamental argument, as expressed by Professor DiAngelo, is that white people who view blacks as equal, and deny their “reality” as oppressed victims are racists. They are essentially arguing that black people are not as good as white people and need the government to make sure they have an equal chance at success. Isn’t that the very nature of white supremacism? Suggesting that whites are superior and are the only ones capable of helping blacks overcome oppression?
Article posted with permission from David Risselada
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