Recently on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, John McWhorter once again gave his candid opinion of Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book, White Fragility. The only use for the book was “to keep tables from wobbling,” McWhorter said, insisting such approaches to race relations treated Blacks like “silly babies.” In July of 2020, McWhorter published an article in The Atlantic titled “The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility.”
Long-time radio host Dom Giordano, an educator in a past life, returns with his fourteenth installment of his podcast centered on the ever-changing landscape of education. This week, Giordano is joined by Christopher Paslay, Philadelphia teacher and author of Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools. In Exploring White Fragility, Paslay takes an in-depth look into the concept of ‘white fragility’ and ‘white guilt’ as the two phrases have become regular topics in discussions of race. In the book, and on his new YouTube channel, Paslay examines the effects that whiteness studies have on America’s schools, and investigates how the antiracist movement to dismantle “white supremacy culture” is impacting student and teacher morale and expectations, school discipline, and overall academic achievement. For more from Paslay, check out his YouTube channel HERE.
Reinventing Racism author Jonathan Church, and Exploring White Fragility author Christopher Paslay, discuss white fragility with Benjamin Boyce on his popular YouTube podcast, The Boyce of Reason. Thanks for watching!
Click here to purchase Chris’s new book from amazon.Click here to purchase directly from Rowman & Littlefield.
“Paslay’s thorough review of attitudes and actions associated with whiteness studies and racism give voice to all sides of diversity and pluralism so that we, as a nation, can continue the ongoing conversation about how to treat each other with the respect ALL humans deserve.” –Dr. Eugenia Krimmel, education professor and ESL/Bilingual education advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education
“This is a brave book. Paslay reveals and cuts through the endless layers of antiracist gospel which, in the name of enlightenment, leave one cohort of brown kids after another uneducated. Aspiring teachers seeking clear eyes and genuine progressivism should start by inhaling this book.” –John H. McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics and comparative literature at Columbia University
“This well-researched, well-argued, and thoughtful book provides a clear and comprehensive account of how the theory of white fragility is dividing rather than uniting American society and America’s classrooms. A must-read.” –Jonathan Church, author of Reinventing Racism: Why ‘White Fragility’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality“
Paslay provides a thorough exposition and measured critique of the new ideology that has colonized the minds of America’s school administrators and threatens to wreak havoc on our students—especially students of color. It’s a must-read for any parent or teacher who is concerned about the soul of the next generation.” –Max Eden, education policy expert and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute
Bree Picower, an Associate Education Professor at Montclair State University, projects her own racist anti-white worldview onto preservice teachers in education programs, as well as on active teachers in K-12 schools.
Bree Picower, an Associate Education Professor at Montclair State University, is anti-white. Her new book, titled Reading, Writing, and Racism: Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom, projects her own racist anti-white worldview onto preservice teachers in education programs, as well as on active teachers in K-12 schools.
Which makes Picower’s particular brand of anti-whiteness even more concerning, being that her audience are educators instructing America’s children, who not only mold the minds of youth, but also have the ability to indoctrinate these young people with Picower’s poisonous ideas.
Like DiAngelo’s White Fragility (which begins with a Forward from noted Black Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson), Picower’s book begins with a Forward from Bettina Love, a Black “abolitionist” professor from the University of Georgia. Beginning each book with a Forward from a person of color is obviously their attempt to provide a level of authenticity to their racist worldviews — worldviews which see America as a nation founded on slavery and oppression, and see “whiteness” and the cultures of those who identify as white as violent entities that must be disrupted and dismantled.
“The United States is not just racist; it is anti-Black,” Love writes in her forward to Picower’s book. “The word ‘racism’ does not adequately describe the ways in which the US kills, destroys, and spirit murders Black people.”
Love goes onto write that “America’s obsession with greed, violence, hate, and Black suffering always reaches into the most sacred spaces of American democracy, including schools.” This line is important, because it serves as a thesis for Picower’s book, Reading, Writing, and Racism: that the United States is a violently racist and anti-Black country, and that this violence and anti-Blackness stems directly from the white supremacist curriculum pervading K-12 schools, curriculum steeped in so-called “whiteness” that must be called out and eradicated.
Love states in her Forward:
Too often teachers want to reflect a happy world to children, where no one was enslaved, no one was beaten, no families were separated, and White people never hurt anyone. These feel-good stories of White heroes and do-gooders uphold White supremacy and undermine the mental well-being of youth of color. To be frank, I am tired of seeing children, all children, opening up a textbook and reading about Black people as slaves and Native Americans as savages. I am even more appalled when teachers do not see anything wrong with these representations.
Love’s logic, or lack of logic, is a microcosm of the fallacious and propagandistic nature of Picower’s entire book. In literally the same paragraph, Love insists slavery shouldn’t be white-washed from school textbooks, but then complains that she’s sick of seeing children opening up books that portray Black as slaves. But again, this lays bare the central theme of the book: that whites, no matter what they teach, are racist and oppressive and can do no good.
Thus the stage is set for Bree Picower’s anti-white book titled Reading, Writing, and Racism: Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom. In it, Picower cherry-picks bizarre and strange examples of so-called “viral racist curriculum,” some of which she literally pulls from anonymous sources on Facebook, others which she dredges up from dusty, long-abandoned textbooks from the early 1970s. And it’s these strange, cherry-picked curriculum resources, which have been collected under the #CurriculumSoWhite, that Picower holds up as the norm in America’s K-12 schools.
“I have made the choice to focus on these viral examples because they are telling for many reasons,” Picower writes in her Introduction. “These singular examples reflect the toxicity of the entire body of school curricula. People outside of education rarely have a window into what happens behind classroom doors, so when these examples appear online for all to see, they call into question what other racial injustices are going on in schools.”
This is a key part to Picower’s anti-white indoctrination: like DiAngelo, she prays on naïve and unsuspecting preservice teachers and college education majors, baiting them with distorted facts and misinformation, hoping to turn them into activists who will go out and recruit others to push the radical message.
But these singular examples do not reflect the entire body of school curricula, not by any stretch of the imagination, and saying so is a form of educational malpractice. Like DiAngelo, Picower seems very comfortable generalizing about entire groups of people and entire bodies of curriculum.
The ideas at the heart of Picower’s book, most of which are creative regurgitations of DiAngelo’s questionable theories, are packaged into five chapters. The first is titled “Curricular Tools of Whites” (defined by Picower as “scripted responses used to maintain teachers’ investment in White supremacy”), is a clear rip-off of what DiAngelo refers to as “moves of whiteness” (defined by DiAngelo as “a linguistic strategy used to support or challenge current power relations”).
In a nutshell, the chapter lays out seven “tools” racist teachers use to maintain white supremacy in schools, none of which are based in any rigorous scientific analysis or backed-up with any quantitative research. In short, these “tools of whiteness” have come straight out of Picower’s brain, invented to increase the appeal of her anti-white racism and to better enable her to indoctrinate young, unsuspecting preservice teachers into this toxic ideology.
Chapter 2 is called “The Iceberg: Racial Ideology and Curriculum,” which is a reinvention of DiAngelo’s “iceberg of culture” and “white racial frame,” and examines four “case studies” to show how America’s teaching force both consciously and unconsciously produces curriculum based in white supremacy and anti-black racism.
Chapters 3, 4, and 5 continue to recycle DiAngelo’s writings on historical racism, white socialization, white privilege, systemic racism, colorblind racism, and how these combine to form a K-12 educational system steeped in white supremacy and anti-blackness. Again, no rigorous testing of any of these theories are done by Picower, and she employs no quantitative studies of any kind.
Picower indeed acknowledges in her book that she is a privileged white person, who has no right profiting off of black suffering. She has two principles when it comes to her racial justice work. One, she keeps her “gaze” on “Whiteness” (which means she focusses all her research on how only whites need to change for the world to improve). And two, when asked to present or consult on racism, she makes sure she has a person of color with her, so she can hide behind them and claim she’s not racist.
Perhaps a third principle could be to refrain from indoctrinating America’s future teachers with racist propaganda aimed at disparaging entire groups of people, or to stop writing racist books that do all of the above.
“It’s definitely not sensitivity and it’s definitely not diversity. There used to be sensitivity and diversity years ago, and this is not that.”
Christopher Paslay has spent 24 years working as a Philadelphia teacher, and has a background in multicultural education. He told the Daily Caller that celebrating diversity in the classroom used to include tolerance and understanding, but schools across the country are taking a different approach to educating about different cultures by hiring “anti-racism” trainers, who accuse others of being complicit in racism.
“I think it’s gotten to the point where people fear [being accused of not participating in racial justice efforts],” Paslay said. “People still don’t know what anti-racism is. They think it’s just social justice, but they don’t know the other components to it.”
The trainings have a variety of names. Conservatives refer to them that as “critical “race theory” sessions. Progressives have called the sessions “sensitivity” and “diversity” training. Paslay’s book explores research and presents alternative recommendations on approaching diversity and inclusion in the classroom to bringing in guest speakers to conduct “anti-racism” trainings. While school and workplace administrators may invite such experts with admirable intentions of remedying disparities, Paslay claimed such trainings carry the potential of being counterproductive in achieving social justice.
His book is written from the perspective of a longtime educator with a background in multicultural education. Paslay has spent 24 years teaching high school English, where he crafts his lesson plans with a selection of texts and literature that represent the different cultures of his students in an effort to be inclusive, he told the Caller. . . .
Tragically, today’s leading anti-racist educators are anti-science, and forward theories filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry.
Modern anti-racism, which is based in Critical Race Theory and focusses on systems instead of people, has become the new way to think about race in America. Although the term “anti-racism” sounds admirable and courageous — and brings to mind equality and justice — its core tenets are far from productive, healing, or unifying. Anti-racism actually turns Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” on its head, because it uses race and skin color to stereotype and judge entire groups of people, and operates under the premise that in order for one race or culture to succeed, we must disrupt or dismantle another.
Unlike classic multiculturalism — or Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey’s “Mutual Accountability Approach,” which uses Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening to unify rather than divide — anti-racism is zero-sum and teaches that all whites are inherently racist and privileged and suffer from internalized superiority; that all people of color are victims who suffer from internalized oppression; and that failure to support anti-racism is to support and perpetuate racism and white supremacy.
The most concerning thing about anti-racism is that it is anti-science. Not only do the leading scholars promoting anti-racism fail to adequately test their theories using measurable, quantitative analysis, but today’s leading anti-racist educators have outright rejected the scientific method as biased, because they argue objective science is the product of Western, white European culture.
Robin DiAngelo, whose book White Fragility has sold over two million copies, has minimalized the use of quantitative analysis. In an article by writer and economist Jonathan Church, titled “The Orwellian Dystopia of Robin DiAngelo’s PhD Dissertation,” Church exposes DiAngelo’s lack of scientific rigor:
For her dissertation, DiAngelo conducted four two-hour sessions on inter-racial dialogue with only thirteen participants—a very small sample from which to derive wide-ranging interpretations about things like whiteness and racism. But that is par for the course in fields like Whiteness Studies and Critical Race Theory. As one paper argues, “many critical race scholars are fundamentally skeptical of (if not simply opposed to) quantitative data and techniques to begin with.”
In DiAngelo’s seminal paper, “White Fragility,” she states “Whiteness Studies begin with the premise that racism and white privilege exist in both traditional and modern forms, and rather than work to prove its existence, work to reveal it.”
DiAngelo starts her work with a conclusion (that racism and white privilege exist everywhere), not a hypothesis (do racism and white privilege exist everywhere?), and rather than running tests to prove this false, she only performs scant qualitative studies, based on anecdotal observations, to prove it true. In other words, she sets up her theories so that they can only be confirmed, not falsified — which is a major flaw and does not meet what is known as the principle of falsification.
DiAngelo turns the classic six-step scientific method on its head. She skips the “research question,” the “hypothesis,” and the “experiment,” and goes right to the so-called “results and conclusions.” And what are her conclusions? That racism and white privilege exist everywhere. Has she run tests or done any rigorous quantitative studies to prove this? Of course not. Why? Because she considers objective science biased, and the tools of a white supremacist culture.
Anti-racism is anti-science, and is filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry; one common fallacy of anti-racism is that correlation equals causation. Which is why DiAngelo refuses to engage in any kind of scholarly debate. She’s more of a political activist or cult leader than she is a serious social scientist. In July of 2020, when her book White Fragility blew up after the George Floyd protests, she was invited to debate John McWhorter on MSNBC’s Moring Joe. But of course, DiAngelo didn’t show. She stayed behind, sending Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson to do her dirty work.
Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Anti-Racist, is also anti-science, which forces him to play the same game as DiAngelo. Kendi refuses any kind of public debate — turning down invitations from Coleman Hughes and John McWhorter — instead preferring to play the role of activist minister, lecturing his faithful anti-racist congregation, shielding himself from any real academic debate over his ideas.
Why? Because as John McWhorter has pointed out, Kendi’s ideas are overly simplistic and lack the backing of scientific research and rigorous quantitative analysis.
Take his idea about the racial achievement gap in America, for example. The very idea itself is racist, he argues, insisting the supposed gap is simply the result of poorly designed, culturally biased standardized tests. As Jonathan Chait writes in The Intelligencer:
It does not matter to [Kendi] how many different kinds of measures of academic performance show [the achievement gap] to be true. Nor does he seem receptive to the possibility that the achievement gap reflects environmental factors (mainly worse schools, but also access to nutrition, health care, outside learning, and so on) rather than any innate differences.
To Kendi, all racial disparities are the result of only one thing: racism. Hence, the racial achievement gap in America isn’t really a gap at all, but merely the result of racist thinking.
But science shows this isn’t the case. The Princeton study, called “Parsing the Achievement Gap II,” by noted researchers Paul Barton and Richard Coley, use three decades of educational and social science research to show that the skills gap is indeed real, and that a multitude of factors — in addition to systemic racism — play a part in the gap. Things like rigor of curriculum, teacher preparation, teacher experience and turnover, class size, technology in the classroom, fear and safety at school, parent participation, frequent school changing, low birth weight, environmental damage, hunger and nutrition, talking and reading to children, and television watching, have an effect on academic achievement.
But to Kendi, who espouses the anti-science behind anti-racism, the skills gap is a myth, based in racism and white supremacy. Because to Kendi, any suggestion that any of these factors has an impact on success in school is a racist idea.
To Kendi, you are either racist or anti-racist, period. Like DiAngelo, Kendi starts with his conclusion — that every racial disparity is the evidence of racism — and instead of running tests to prove this false, he only performs research to prove it true. In other words, he sets up his theories so that they can only be confirmed, not falsified — which is a major flaw and does not meet what is known as the principle of falsification.
Kendi also turns the classic six-step scientific method on its head. He skips the “research question,” the “hypothesis,” and the “experiment,” and goes right to the so-called “results and conclusions.” And what are the conclusions? That racism and white privilege exist everywhere, and are the sole factor at the heart of the skills gap. Has he run tests or done any rigorous quantitative studies to prove this, as Barton and Coley did with their groundbreaking paper, “Parsing the Achievement Gap II? Of course not. Why? Because he considers objective science racist, and the tools of a white supremacist culture.
Anti-racism is anti-science, and is filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry. Until we admit as much, this trendy yet divisive movement will further polarize and divide, placing politics over science, and indoctrination over education.
Classic multiculturalism — or Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey’s “Mutual Accountability Approach,” which uses Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening to unify rather than divide — is a better option for bringing about positive, holistic change.
It’s become clear Facebook doesn’t want to get in the way of society’s coordinated disruption of whiteness, white people, or white culture.
Facebook is readjusting it algorithms to police anti-black hate speech more aggressively than anti-white hate speech. According to an article in USA Today:
Facebook bans hate speech based on race, gender and other characteristics. It relies on a set of rules called “Community Standards” to guide decisions about what violates that ban. The standards are enforced by computer algorithms and human moderators.
According to Facebook’s hate speech policy, derogatory statements about men and white people are treated the same as anti-Semitic statements or racial epithets.
For years, civil rights activists have lobbied Facebook to change its policy of protecting all groups equally. . . .
And protecting all groups equally — judging whites and people of color by the same standards — is definitely a big no-no in contemporary American woke culture.
Take, for example, the Associated Press’s new rules for capitalizing the word “black” in its news articles, but not the word “white.”
“AP’s style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black,” the AP writes. “AP style will continue to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic and cultural senses.”
And why don’t white people deserve to have their race capitalized?
“After a review and period of consultation, we found, at this time, less support for capitalizing white,” the AP states. “We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore those problems. But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.
So when you capitalize “black,” it’s social justice, but when you capitalize “white,” it’s racism and white supremacy.
The idea that so-called “whiteness” and white culture must be disrupted and dismantled is steadily gaining ground in a society infiltrated by wokeness. In March of 2019, The Paris Review published an article by black college professor Venita Blackburn titled “White People Must Save Themselves from Whiteness,” which stated that white people suffer from “cognitive dissonance” and “profit off of gruesome human suffering” while remaining happy.
In June of this year black education activist Nahliah Webber, the Executive Director of the Orleans Public Education Network, published an article in the Education Post titled “If You Really Want to Make a Difference in Black Lives, Change How You Teach White Kids.” In it she speaks of the “pathology of whiteness,” explaining that whiteness is literally a disease that needs to be cured. Her article was so offensive and radical, that Megyn Kelly pulled her children from the Upper West Side private school that allegedly circulated the article.
In the fall of 2019, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza held a training for administrators that aimed to end “white supremacy culture in schools,” a training some parents and administrators called “toxic and polarizing.” Carranza was later sued by four white female administrators for racial discrimination after they were allegedly demoted and replaced simply for being white.
In July of this year, the National Museum of African American History and Culture published a pamphlet titled “Aspects and Assumption of Whiteness and White Culture,” where white children were 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.
In August, the City of Seattle held a training called “Internalized Racial Superiority for White People” for its 10,000 city employees.
According to an article in the City Paper by Christopher Rufo:
The trainers require white employees to examine their “relationships with white supremacy, racism, and whiteness” and explain how their “[families] benefit economically from the system of white supremacy even as it directly and violently harms Black people.”
Robin DiAngelo, whose book White Fragility has sold several million copies, says Whites must be blunt and actively call out the oppressiveness of “whiteness” in order to stop systemic racism. To be “less white,” DiAngelo states, “is to be less oppressive racially. To be less arrogant. To be less certain. To be less defensive. To be less ignorant.”
Cal-Berkeley now offers a course titled “Deconstructing Whiteness,” which “aims to confront conversations about privilege and positionality to understand where white bodies have the responsibility to be in movements against white supremacy and in solidarity with marginalized peoples and groups of color.” The class will not “coddle white fragility,” the course description states, but will help students “deconstruct and relearn whiteness through case studies, speakers, and critical readings.”
It’s become quite clear that Facebook doesn’t want to get in the way of the coordinated disruption of whiteness, white people, or white culture.
“Facebook still considers statements about men and white people to be in violation of its hate speech policy, and users can still report these statements, but the company’s algorithms will no longer automatically flag and delete them, resulting in about 10,000 fewer posts being removed each day,” Facebook said.
It’s good to see that Facebook is living up to its obligations to remain fair and impartial.