The Smithsonian Retracts Its Offensive Pamphlet on ‘Whiteness’

by Christopher Paslay

Although the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture recently retracted its pamphlet on “whiteness,” their mission to racialize every aspect of American life and society — from education to parenting — is still moving full speed ahead.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture wants everyone to talk about race — teachers, students, parents, children — everyone. And when they say “talk” about race, what they mean is for people to willfully accept the toxic tenets of modern anti-racist ideology, which teaches that America is an inherently racist society steeped in white supremacy culture, a country that is illegitimate because it was founded on slavery and murder.

“Talking” about race also means dividing entire groups of people into dualistic camps such as white oppressors/non-white oppressed, and stereotyping entire races of people as “privileged” or “targeted,” as being “anti-black” or suffering from “internalized dominance.” Those who identify as white are taught to confront their “whiteness,” because according to anti-racist dogma, whiteness is inherently racist, oppressive, and provides unearned privileges to whites at the expense of people of color.

According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s website:

Whiteness and white racialized identity refer to the way that white people, their customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups of are compared. Whiteness is also at the core of understanding race in America. Whiteness and the normalization of white racial identity throughout America’s history have created a culture where nonwhite persons are seen as inferior or abnormal.

This white-dominant culture also operates as a social mechanism that grants advantages to white people, since they can navigate society both by feeling normal and being viewed as normal. Persons who identify as white rarely have to think about their racial identity because they live within a culture where whiteness has been normalized

According to anti-racist ideology, a white person’s “whiteness” must be confronted, disrupted, and dismantled. Up until several days ago, the National Museum of African American History and Culture had a pamphlet up on their website titled “Aspects & Assumptions of Whiteness: White Culture in the United States.” (See above.)

The pamphlet was so provocational and dripping with racial stereotypes, it could have been written by a white nationalist group. In fact, popular YouTube podcaster Benjamin Boyce did a segment on this titled “‘Anti-Racists’ Indistinguishable from White Supremacists,” which I urge everyone to watch; his witty interpretation and dramatic reading of the pamphlet is worth eight minutes of your time.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture recently removed the pamphlet after allowing it to remain on their website for several months, and issued the following half-apology on Twitter: 

At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, we believe that any productive conversation on race must start with honesty, respect for others, and an openness to ideas and information that provide new perspectives. 

So basically, it was a non-apology apology. As for the notion of “openness,” this doesn’t include discussing data on things like school violencecrime, and father-absenteeism; these topics are clearly off the table when it comes to anti-racism, as having a “tough” conversation on race only involves attacks on so-called “whiteness.”

Benjamin Boyce also covered the retraction of the pamphlet on YouTube in a podcast titled, “Racist-Anti-Racist Propaganda Retracted—But Not Really.” Boyce’s sharp, insightful exposure of the website’s counterproductive message is also worth watching, as he lays bare their flawed methods, conflicting positions, and all round use of logical fallacies.

In short, it’s best to stay clear of the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Talking About Race” webpage (or maybe give it a good read to prepare to defend yourself against such dogma when it pops up in your school — see recommended reading list of criticisms here), unless you want a lesson in how to demonize whiteness and racialize society, making sure the content of a person’s character gets further obscured by polarizing, dualistic and divisive identity politics.

For those teachers looking for a positive, holistic and unifying approach to ending systemic oppression, classic multicultural education is your best bet.  

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