Category Archives: Education

“I wanted to be a special, different White person”

The good white professor...

The good white professor…

Huffington Post: Rachel Dolezal is a fascinating case study in White racial identity development. She is stuck in the immersion/emersion stage, in which White people, having learned extensively about the realities of racism, and the ugly history of White supremacy in the U.S., “immerse” themselves in trying to figure out how to be White in our society, and “emerge” with a new relationship to Whiteness. Only in the case of Dolezal, her way of dealing with the pain of the reality of racism, was to deny her own Whiteness and to become Black.

She is an extreme example of a common phenomenon. The “immersion” stage is typified by White people taking more responsibility for racism and privilege and often experiencing high levels of anger and embarrassment for racism and privilege, which they sometimes direct towards other Whites. They sometimes try to immerse themselves in communities of color, as Dolezal did. She’s not alone.

I definitely experienced this. There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors… and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.

If I was going to pass on my privilege, I wanted to pass it on to someone who doesn’t have racial privilege; so I planned to adopt. I disliked my Whiteness, but I disliked the Whiteness of other White people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make other White people feel guilty for it too. And then, like Dolezal, I wanted to take on Africanness. Living in South Africa during my junior year abroad, I lived with a Black family, wore my hair in head wraps, shaved my head. I didn’t want to be White, but if I had to be, I wanted to be White in a way that was different from other White people I knew. I wanted to be a special, different White person. The one and only. How very White of me…

white racist

Beverly Daniel Tatum has written that White people don’t choose to identify as White because the categories to choose from are loaded from the start. Traditionally, one can identify as a colorblind White person, a racist White person or an ignorant White person: those are the three ways White people get talked about as White. If those are the options, who would choose to identify as White? And so White people identify as “normal” and “Irish” and “just American” and do not self-identify racially. And that leaves us with a society in which only people of color have a race, where only people of color seem to be responsible for racialized problems. It makes it hard for all of us to know and tell our racial stories — because White people think we don’t have any. And it makes it hard for us to own our history, because we don’t see it as ours.

Many White people also feel like we don’t have culture, and this isn’t a coincidence. Throughout the 20th century, countless immigrant groups abandoned the artifacts of cultures that racialized them as immigrants (language, religion, food, styles of speaking, gesticulations, family structures, traditions, etc.) in order to become White. And this was not just a matter of fitting in; it was about accessing rights that were reserved for White people: citizenship, land ownership, police protection, legal rights, etc.

The more one could cast off the markers of otherness, the more likely it was that one could become White. And so while the desire to become White is really the opposite of what Rachel Dolezal had, the process of becoming White that her ancestors undoubtedly went through in the great American star-off machine, may be connected to her desire to un-become White, to lose that feeling of being cultureless, of being part of an unidentified group, and to leave behind that identity that has no positive way to be. And lots of White people — myself included — do this in thousands of tiny ways as we appropriate the cultures of others (from Africa, India, Compton, Guatemala, Harlem, Mexico…) to fill in the blanks in our own.

Daniel Tatum said we need to change this. We need to give White people new ways to identify as White. Because at the end of the day, we need White people to see that we are White. When we recognize and own our Whiteness, we can account for our own portion, our one 1/billionth of responsibility for what White people have done throughout history. We can work with other White people to begin to challenge bias, ignorance and colorblindness. We can use our privilege to confront the sources of that unfair favoring.

I was lucky. The Black family I embedded myself in during my “Rachel Dolezal phase” insisted on my inherent goodness, and that of my family and even — I thought this was a stretch — of my ancestors. They helped me focus on my capacity to make change as a White person. They appreciated my desire to be Black, they teased me, they let me know in no uncertain terms that I would never be Black. I read James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Steve Biko. I swore off White authors. But the Black authors I read saw the immersion stage coming, and they reminded me that Black people don’t need White people to help them pursue liberation, that the job of White people lies with teaching other White people, seeing ourselves clearly, owning our role in oppression.

I’m not sure what happened with Rachel Dolezal. Maybe it was mental illness. Maybe it was a desire to connect to her adopted brothers. Maybe she felt safer and more loved in Black communities. Maybe it felt good to distance herself from the overwhelming oppressiveness of Whiteness — her own and that of her country and of her ancestors. But the lesson for me is remembering how deep the pain is, the pain of realizing I’m White, and that I and my ancestors are responsible for the incredible racialized mess we find ourselves in today. The pain of facing that honestly is blinding. It’s not worse than being on the receiving end of that oppression.

The professor suffers pain from realizing she's white.

The professor suffers pain from realizing she’s white.

Being White — even with the feeling of culturelessness and responsibility for racism — is nothing compared to not being White. But being White — and facing the truth of what that means historically and systemically — can drive you to do the weird and unthinkable that we see in Dolezal today.

It seems like a good warning. Rachel Dolezal’s actions are a potential pitfall for any White people on the journey towards recognizing the truth of what it means to be White and accepting responsibility for it. But we cannot not be White. And we cannot undo what Whiteness has done. We can only start from where we are and who we are.

DCG

Georgetown prof calls for gender-neutral ‘Parent’s Day’

The good professor...

The good professor…

Campus Reform: Forget gender-neutral bathrooms. One professor revealed his new goal this weekend: gender-neutral holidays.

On the eve of Father’s Day, Preston Mitchum, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, took to Twitter to condemn the gendered holiday.

He tweeted, With all the debate about single mothers and fatherhood, this is why I wish we would have a PARENT’S DAY and stop gendering everything.”

“What I’m trying not to do, however, is discount Caitlyn’s story because of her privileges… but instead use her story to challenge you, me, us about owning our messed up ways of only standing up for people when they are wealthy, not of color, republican [sic], and who has [sic] access to a plethora of resources,” Mitchum wrote in a series of tweets.

Prior to joining Georgetown’s faculty, Mitchum worked for the left-leaning Center for American Progress as an LGBT policy and racial justice analyst. He has previously contributed to Huffington Post and The Atlantic.

From Mitchum’s bio:

“Preston Mitchum is a Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a nonpartisan research and educational institute, in Washington, D.C. Specifically, he works for the FIRE Initiative, which works to eliminate the social, economic, and health disparities faced by LGBT people of color. Preston’s research interests include the intersection of law and policy as it relates to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and poverty. Prior to joining CAP, Preston served as the Research Fellow of the Behavioral Health Initiative at the National Coalition for LGBT Health, where he researched and identified short and long-term strategies for translating LGBT-inclusive behavioral health policy, cultural competency training, and theory into practice.”

Liberals want to fight for LGBT and women’s rights yet they want everything to be gender neutral. Seems they want to have it both ways.

stupid2

DCG

Rutgers ‘professor': ‘There are no good white people … only less bad white people’

The good "professor...

The good “professor…

The College Fix: Rutgers scholar: ‘We (white people) should be seen in grades of ‘less bad’ to balance out the ways other groups are unfairly seen’

A graduate student lecturer at Rutgers University recently tweeted “until the entire system changes there are no good white people. There are only less bad white people” to his more than 500 followers.

The tweet by Kevin Allred, a self-described queer feminist who is also white, told The College Fix in an email that he stands by his comments.

[W]hiteness plays an invisible role in dominating and oppressing everyone else. And I’m speaking about a U.S. context specifically here,” said Allred, who is currently teaching a summer course at Rutgers called “Politicizing Beyoncé.”

“Our system was built on the labor of many while few benefited from that labor – those few were typically and still typically are rich, straight, white men,” Allred continued in his email to The Fix. “This is a basic conversation about privileges, which I know from our exchange we have different opinions on.” (Editor’s note: The author of this article informally exchanged tweets with the scholar prior to contacting him as a reporter.)

“I was trying to point out the irony that stereotypes affect people of color so that they are never seen as individuals, they are always answering for the stereotype that is applied to an entire group,” Allred said in his email. “That doesn’t happen to white people as a whole. … I was using ‘white people’ as a group to point out the ways that other people of color and other marginalized groups are usually lumped together.”

“And I didn’t say there are ‘no good white people’ – I meant until the system changes completely to erase these stereotypes in general (which was the condition on my tweet that you’re taking issue with) no white people should be seen as de facto good. We (white people) should be seen in grades of ‘less bad’ to balance out the ways other groups are unfairly seen.”

allred2

In his tweets, Allred stated friends on Facebook had taken offense to a caption “White people, NO! DON’T DO THINGS LIKE THIS” that Allred had added to a story about former Spokane-NAACP Chapter President Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who had pretended to be black. They had criticized how he grouped all white people together.

“White people never answer for the actions of other white people,” tweeted Allred, later adding: “As #WHITEPEOPLE, we can pretty much anticipate that other white people are gonna do more terrible sh*t in the near future-let’s be proactive.”

When other Twitter users questioned his statements, Allred defended himself by saying “I’m a college professor” and “Google my name.”

Allred is no stranger to media attention. He frequently guests on MSNBC’s “So Popular” as a member of the “Smart A*s Pop Culture Feminist Clique.” Many news outlets also covered Allred’s course “Politicizing Beyoncé” when it was first offered through Rutgers University’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

In the course, Allred discusses “the thin line Beyoncé walks as a sex kitten-cum-girl power role model,” Rutgers Today reports.

On his website, Allred describes himself as “a Ph.D. candidate in Women’s and Gender Studies and shamelessly outspoken independent scholar interested in black feminism, pop culture, and United States politics.”

“One of his goals as a teacher, writer, and speaker is to break down barriers that exist between the academy and the lived experiences of communities by engaging students in conversations across and about difference,” his website states.CG

Teacher: I Don’t Want to Assign ‘Dead, British, White Guy’ Shakespeare to Students

Dusbiber: "I, I, I, I, I, and I"

Dusbiber: “I, I, I, I, I, and I”

Fox News: One high school English teacher says she doesn’t want to teach the works of a “long-dead, British guy” to her students. That British guy in question is Shakespeare, who has long been a staple in high school classes across America.

Luther Burbank High School teacher Dana Dusbiber said in a Washington Post op-ed that she doesn’t think educators should “cling to ONE  (white) MAN’S view of life as he lived it so long ago.”

She wrote:

I do not believe that I am “cheating” my students because we do not read Shakespeare. I do not believe that a long-dead, British guy is the only writer who can teach my students about the human condition. I do not believe that not viewing “Romeo and Juliet” or any other modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play will make my students less able to go out into the world and understand language or human behavior. Mostly, I do not believe I should do something in the classroom just because it has “always been done that way.

[…]

What I worry about is that as long as we continue to cling to ONE (white) MAN’S view of life as he lived it so long ago, we (perhaps unwittingly) promote the notion that other cultural perspectives are less important.

Truesdale: Judge the works by their content, no the color of the author's skin.

Truesdale: Judge the works by their content, not the color of the author’s skin.

Wren High School English teacher Matthew Truesdale disagreed with Dusbiber, arguing that the tradition of Shakespeare should stay in the classroom. “I’ve taught Shakespeare to students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and I’ve had success with it,” he said. He added, “I would hate for us to look at Shakespeare and reduce him to a skin color as well.”

Why does Dusbiber have such disdain for ONE (white) MAN’s works? If you are going to teach English, you just might have to include studies of poetry and plays from one of the greatest writers in the English language.

DCG

Busted! President of Washington NAACP is white

There was a time when, desperate to escape the scourge of racism, half- or part-blacks in the U.S. would pretend to be white.

Nowadays, it’s just the opposite.

With incentives like Affirmative Action and racial quotas, Americans who are part black identify themselves as “African American,” ignoring the “white” part of themselves.

Take Obama for example. He’s bi-racial: half black, half white. But Obama defines himself as black, and is celebrated by Democrats and the media as black.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Then there’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-NH), the darling of the Left, who looks wholly “white” with blonde hair and blue eyes, but claims to be a Native American, specifically a Cherokee.

Interestingly, she didn’t self-identify as Native American until she was 38 and climbing the law professor ladder. It was then that she claimed to be 1/32 Cherokee and so received “Affirmative Action” “diversity” benefits. When questioned about her Cherokee heritage, other than two recipes she offered in a 1984 cookbook, Pow Wow Chow, which she claimed to have been passed down to her through the Five Tribes families, Warren insisted that she didn’t need to provide documentation of her Cherokee ancestry because family “lore” backs her up.

Now, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Spokane, Washington, is revealed to be not a “colored” or black person, but white.

Rachel Dolezal

Jeff Humphrey reports for KXLY4 that on Thursday, June 10, 2015, the City of Spokane announced it’s investigating whether Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, had violated the city’s code of ethics in her application to serve on the citizen police ombudsman commission.

Dolezal is chair of the independent commission, in addition to being an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Washington University and president of the NAACP local chapter. On her application to serve on the commission, she identified herself as African-American. But public records, including Dolezal’s own birth certificate, list her biological parents as Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal of Montana. The Dolezals said Rachel is their biological daughter and that they are both white.

Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal

Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart said in a joint statement: “We are committed to independent citizen oversight and take very seriously the concerns raised regarding the chair of the independent citizen police ombudsman commission. We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated. That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions.”

On the NAACP Spokane Facebook page, a picture was posted earlier this year showing Dolezal and an African-American man who was identified as Dolezal’s father.

On Wednesday, KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey asked Dolezal: “Ma’am, I was wondering if your dad really is an African-American man.”

Dolezal answered, “I don’t understand the question, I did tell you [that man in the picture] is my dad.

Humphrey asked, “Are your parents white?” At that point, Dolezal removed the microphone, ended the interview and walked away.

KXLY4 was interviewing Dolezal about several hate crimes she’s reported over the last several years. Most recently, Dolezal said she received a packet of hateful letters and pictures at the NAACP post office box in North Spokane. Her accusation led to rallies of support for her outside Spokane City Hall. Police say whoever placed the mail must have had access to the box, as it was not processed through the regular mail. Dolezal denied any implication that she was responsible.

Dolezal says she’s been the victim of eight documented hate crimes in Idaho; a public records request filed by KXLY yielded just three reports. Each was closed by police because of insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Rachel Dolezal as young girl

FOTM’s Three Percent recently did a brilliant post on the new media-concocted popularity of transgenders. With tongue firmly in cheek, he confessed that he’s a new type of “trans” — a “transrace” who “feels” he’s another race stuck in the wrong body. (See “Bruce Jenner is transgender? I’m a transrace!“)

Expect that to be Rachel Dolezal’s defense. /sarc

And why not?

How is claiming to be another race stuck in the wrong body any different from claiming to be another gender stuck in the wrong body? America has devolved to the point where hard facts like our DNA and chromosomes no longer matter; it’s all about how you “feel.” If you “feel” you’re a woman, even though your body is that of a male, then it’s your body that’s mistaken, because your “feelings” are all that matters.

Rachel Dolezal is the rotten fruit of post-modernism’s deconstructivism that maintains there are no objective truths. Instead, truth is relative and subjective.

We have been warned about relativism.

Nearly three thousand years ago, the prophet Isaiah sounded a warning about the confusion and disorder that are engendered by relativism: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

In our times, author Michael Novak warned about the political dangers of a society that holds truths to be relativist and subjective:

“During the next hundred years, the question for those who love liberty is whether we can survive the most insidious and duplicitous attacks from within, from those who undermine the virtues of our people, doing in advance the work of the Father of Lies. ‘There is no such thing as truth,’ they teach even the little ones. ‘Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are as many truths as there are individuals. Follow your feelings. Do as you please. Get in touch with your self. Do what feels comfortable.’ Those who speak in this way prepare the jails of the twenty-first century. They do the work of tyrants.”

 

Theologian Lesslie Newbigin is blunter still. In The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Newbigin writes: “The relativism which is not willing to speak about truth but only about ‘what is true for me’ is an evasion of the serious business of living. It is the mark of a tragic loss of nerve in our contemporary culture. It is a preliminary symptom of death.

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

~Éowyn

Setting the bar high: LA School District Lowers Minimum Grade Needed To Pass College Prep Classes

airm

Daily Caller: The Los Angeles Unified School District Board (LAUSD) voted Tuesday to lower the minimum grade high school students needed to pass college preparatory classes, NBC Los Angeles reports.

Prior to the vote, students were required to earn at least a C average in these classes in order to pass. With the restriction removed, students earning failing grades according to most school systems will still be allowed to graduate.

During the meeting, a group of students and parents assembled outside to protest the lower benchmarks being set by the school district. Many believed that the lower grades are allowing students to graduate while still being unprepared for college-level classes.

The lessened restriction will be enacted starting with the class of 2017. Within this class less than half of students are projected to meet the C average. This statistic further bolsters the protesters argument that the school board appears to be taking the easy way out. Rather than trying to fix protocol, the school district appears to be turning its back on its students.

Cortines

Cortines

Within the next few months the superintendent of schools must present a plan to help these students achieve the new average. In an effort to help Superintendent Ramon Cortines, extra funding has been put aside for the sole purpose of pursuing higher success rates.

Those in the Los Angeles area will certainly be keeping a watchful eye on the L.A. school system as it attempts to improve the percentage of students meeting these goals.

DCG

Students demand conservative-libertarian columnist be fired for ‘racist, unsafe’ views

zhao

College Fix: A student at Duke University who has penned columns for the Duke Chronicle that favor conservative and libertarian principles is now the target of a student protest demanding his termination as the campus newspaper’s opinion editor in a petition that calls the columnist’s views “racist” and “unsafe.”

Duke student Jonathan Zhao – a rising senior tapped as the new opinion page editor of the Duke Chronicle – has written columns in the past titled “Gay marriage is not a right,” “Equal pay is anti-feminist” and “A farewell to arms control.”

Zhao has also held positions with the Romney for President campaign and the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, according to his LinkedIn page.

While he has often touted positions counter to mainstream politically correct beliefs on campus, the tipping point against Zhao came after he penned a column May 27 titled “The plight of black America” that stated: “The greatest obstacle to the advancement of black Americans isn’t racism or past injustices but rather the black community itself.” PetitionImage

Between that and Zhao’s appointment as opinion page editor, it was all too much for Duke University’s left-leaning students, who savagely smeared Zhao’s reputation in a Change.org petition demanding Chronicle editors fire him. The petition is headlined: “We are demanding the immediate removal of Jonathan Zhao as editor of the Duke Chronicle’s editorial page.”

“[W]e do not believe students have a protected right to use a student publication meant to serve and represent the Duke community as a platform to proliferate racist stereotypes and misinformation about an entire group of people – a group of people to which the writer does not even belong,” stated the petition, written by a group calling themselves “Concerned and Conscious Duke Students.”

The petitioners do not address Zhao’s lengthy “black America” column point by point, but rather attack his character and suggest anyone who believes as he does is unfit to serve as editorial page editor.

“Certainly, that student shouldn’t be permitted to oversee one of the most well-read sections of the paper,” the petition continued. “Not only was this particular article by Jonathan Zhao abhorrent, but this writer also has a history of publishing inflammatory and ill-conceived pieces in the newspaper.” The petition suggests Zhao is too biased to fairly edit the opinion section.

“We are concerned that if Zhao continues as an editor of the opinion column, he will also continue to abuse his position of power to create an unsafe educational environment for marginalized students,” it states. “This is not a question of being ‘politically correct,’ nor is it a matter of censorship.  Rather, this is a call to hold The Chronicle’s staff and the content they produce to a higher standard of journalistic ethics.”

As of Sunday, the pseudo-censorship petition had almost 900 signatures, with many signers posting vicious comments about Zhao, calling him a disgrace and accusing him of bigotry.

In an email Saturday to The College Fix, Zhao stated that “unfortunately due to Duke Chronicle policies governing interactions with other news outlets, I am unable to provide you with a statement.”

In his column on “black America,” Zhao argued that racism and past injustices are not the main things holding the African-American community back from success.

“Instead of paving a road to prosperity, the self-defeating economic policies advocated for by the black community are shackles of poverty and disillusionment, miring blacks in a cycle of underachievement and social immobility,” Zhao wrote. “In addition to failed economic policies, there are also cultural issues within the black community such as the erosion of marriage that must be internally overcome. Because the economic and cultural problems are casually interrelated, they must be addressed simultaneously if any real progress for black Americans is to be achieved.”

Zhao acknowledged in his column that it would likely rile feathers and concluded by writing, “the black community must embrace societal institutions like marriage and the rule of law and also disavow the mentality of victimhood in favor of an outlook of empowerment. Only having done so can America truly achieve Dr. King’s dream of an integrated, colorless society.”

Following backlash from that opinion column, the Duke Chronicle released a statement saying “we have changed the policy regarding guest columns to avoid any appearance of bias in the process.”

Oh the horror! An Asian has an opinion about the black community! Since when did students expect they can put qualifiers on an opinion?

Guess this Duke professor was correct: College leaves liberal students ill-equipped for the real world because they are unable to defend and argue their points against counterarguments. All you need for a counterargument is “racist” and “unsafe”!

racist

DCG