Bettina L. Love: Abolishing Whiteness in Your Child’s School

Bettina L. Love, an antiracist professor at the University of Georgia, calls on educators to abolish “Whiteness” in schools across America. Her organization, the “Abolitionist Teaching Network,” demands teachers “disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression,” and offers “antiracist therapy for White educators and support staff.” In July, the U.S. Department of Education removed a link to the ATN website, claiming it was a “mistake.”

As Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in the National Review:

We Want to Do More Than Survive, the title of Love’s book, alludes to a saying of Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.” Who can argue with that? A more accurate title — say, We Need a Socialist Revolution — would have been a tad more contentious. Yet somehow the book manages to move from “thriving” to revolutionary socialism. The connection comes from Love’s life story. . . .

Her book’s subtitle, “Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,” supplies the name of Love’s “Abolitionist Teaching Network.” So, what does Love hope to abolish? Plenty. The educational survival complex must go, as we’ve seen, but also the prison-industrial complex, and pretty much every other pillar of the existing social order, including capitalism. Most especially up for abolition is “Whiteness.” At base, Bettina Love wants to abolish America itself and replace it with an entirely different system.

Parents and citizens concerned with upholding MLK’s “Dream” should keep a close eye on Love and her radical ATN, as both aim to abolish the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement by rejecting “colorblindness” as well.

Thanks for watching. 

When Progressives Say ‘Whiteness’ They Mean ‘White People’

The following is an excerpt from the Federalist article by David Marcus titled, “When Progressives Say ‘Whiteness’ They Mean ‘White People’.” (Please click on the picture above to watch the companion video.)

American progressives are the masters of euphemism. They don’t “censor” books or plays; they “retire” them. They don’t “remove” lessons about the founding fathers from our kids’ curriculum; they “de-center” them. At every turn, they find some friendly-sounding phrase to obscure the illiberal and savage attacks they make on our culture. But one progressive euphemism stands out as uniquely dangerous: whiteness. . . .

What makes all of this so dangerous is that progressives are not railing against a system; they are railing against people. They are not demonizing a culture; they are demonizing people. This is why white people must confess their privilege. They must feel shame and contrition for the immoral nature of their pigmentation. Any clear-headed person can see what a dangerous game this is.

The antidote to progressive doublespeak is to say what they refuse to say. They do censor, they do remove, and yes, they do mean white people when they talk about who has to change and how to save our society. In this way, progressives regularly express good old-fashioned racism about white people and their ways under the guise of some broad investigation of that society. But do not be fooled. The next time you read about whiteness, the next time it is scapegoated into the cause of all that ails society, know what is being said. They truly believe the problem is white people.

Facebook Will Make Policing Anti-White Speech a ‘Low Priority’

by Christopher Paslay

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.”

Entire academic journals now exist for dismantling  so-called “whiteness,” like the journal “Whiteness and Education.” An article published in October of 2019 was titled, “Unmasking white fragility: how whiteness and white student resistance impacts anti-racist education.”

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. 

What is Anti-Racism?

by Christopher Paslay

The advancement of one group should not depend on the disruption, de-centering, or dismantling of another, either individually, culturally, or systemically.

Addressing racism as a system of unequal power between whites and people of color, anti-racism emerged as dissatisfaction grew with multicultural education, which only superficially dealt with the issue of systemic racism. As University of South Dakota sociologist Jack Niemonen wrote in his paper after doing an exhaustive analysis of 160 peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject:

Generally, anti-racist education is understood as a set of pedagogical, curricular, and organizational strategies that hope to promote racial equality by identifying, then eliminating, white privilege. . . . One of its strengths, it is claimed, is the ability to move beyond prejudice and discrimination as a problem to be corrected in individuals in order to examine critically how institutional structures support racist practices economically, politically, and culturally.

Anti-racism’s mission to eliminate white privilege is notable, in that it operates from a zero-sum mentality, and associates Whiteness with oppression and structural racism. By redefining “racism” to mean inherent white privilege and oppression, all whites become guilty by default, even those whites who are caring people free from discrimination. Robin DiAngelo, whose white fragility theory has become one of the most influential ideas about racism in America, openly calls for the de-centering of whiteness in order to end white privilege and so-called white supremacy culture in America. She defines “white,” “white identity,” and “whiteness” as follows:          

White: The “top” classification of the socially constructed and hierarchally arranged racial categories. Those perceived and categorized as white are granted social, cultural, institutional, psychological and material advantages.

White Identity: To be socialized as a white person, enact whiteness by implicitly and explicitly upholding racism and white supremacy, and participate in the rewards of being perceived as white.

Whiteness: A term to capture all of the dynamics that go into being defined and/or perceived as white and that create and reinforce white people as inherently superior through society’s norms, traditions, and institutions.  Whiteness grants material and psychological advantages (white privilege) that are often invisible and taken for granted by whites.

However, addressing systemic injustice starts with personal accountability and action, as anti-racists call on American educators to self-reflect and personally adopt anti-racist ideologies in their lives and classrooms. Therefore, “Whiteness” solely as a systemic, non-individual entity with its own existence is a logical fallacy (see here), and when anti-racists speak of Whiteness, they can only be referring to the cultures, behaviors, and attitudes of those who identify as “white.”

Anti-racism shouldn’t be anti-white. The advancement of one group should not depend on the disruption, de-centering, or dismantling of another, either individually, culturally, or systemically. Bringing positive change is a two-way street between whites and people of color, and involves cooperation and synergy; approaches which divide learning communities into political identity groups, and separate teachers and students into “oppressors” and “oppressed,” are misguided and counterproductive.

Schools Should Not Teach ‘Whiteness’ Is Problematic

by Christopher Paslay

Whiteness is not a problem that needs to be solved, and educators should refrain from pushing this divisive message in schools.

In his fifth edition of Cultural Diversity and Education, research scholar and “father” of multicultural education, James A. Banks, offers an interesting approach to fair and equitable education called multicultural ideology. Published in 2006, it’s less aggressive and confrontational than current 2020 anti-racist educational approaches, which tend to be more accusatory than celebratory; in 2006, mainstream multicultural education focused on unity over dichotomy, which is no longer the case today, as zero-sum anti-racist philosophies — which seek to deconstruct so-called problematic “Whiteness” — are now heavily influencing policies and perspectives.

Multicultural ideology is a blending of assimilation and cultural pluralism, where the American national identity adapts and develops to become more diverse and pluralistic, yet doesn’t abandon the nation’s core values — the fundamental principles that make America unique and one of the most successful countries in the world. In Cultural Diversity and Education, Banks writes that multicultural ideology is reflected in educational policy that is “guided by an eclectic ideology that reflects both the cultural pluralists position and the assimilation position, but avoids their extremes.”

Multicultural educators hope to end racism by celebrating diversity, and by interacting with people through fundamental human values, both at the conscious and subconscious levels; anti-racists hope to end racism by becoming hyper-focused on race and the cerebral concepts of implicit bias and microaggressions in order to end so-called “white supremacy culture.” The former creates a society based on values from the heart, where both racism and the preoccupation with skin color are eliminated using a moment-by-moment present awareness. The latter creates a world where, in theory, racism ends through a highly cerebral “chatter mind” process which analyzes and rejects all forms of bias whether conscious or unconscious, but still leaves us with a hyper-focus on race.

The double-standards at the heart of anti-racism are many. Tragically, the fact that there are one set of rules for whites, and another set of rules for people of color, does a disservice to the very cause of anti-racism — which is to level the playing field and bring people of all races equal access to America’s resources. Believing that “Whiteness” is a fundamental problem that must be solved is not the best approach to opening the minds of whites.

It’s well documented that the provocative approaches employed by anti-racist educators have an adverse effect on white people, as evidenced by Robin DiAngelo’s theory of “White Fragility.” Unfortunately, whites who are triggered by the divisiveness of anti-racism are not offered compassion, because according to DiAngelo, “niceness is not anti-racist.” On the contrary, whites are told to “get over it,” and that their tears are disingenuous ploys for keeping white racism in place. 

The fact that these anti-racist approaches, despite eliciting such adverse reactions, continue to be put upon whites is reminiscent of a concept made popular by Dr. David R. Hawkins called Power vs. Force,” which analyzes “the hidden determinants of human behavior.”  While true power resides from within, force is applied through projection—an outside force trying to impose its will. Force can only work for so long; once it encounters true power, it immediately unravels. Interestingly, many of the emotions cited by DiAngelo as evidence of white fragility — such as anger, shame, guilt, and apathy — are listed by Hawkins as being a reaction to force. Nowhere in white fragility theory can one find positive responses related to true power, such as courage, love, joy, or enlightenment; everything tied to white fragility is zero-sum and is based on dichotomy rather than unity.

But for some reason, unity — as well as universalism, colorblindness, and other concepts which prioritize racial harmony over dichotomy — are resisted by people like DiAngelo. Such things are delegitimized and even stigmatized, and often rebranded by anti-racists as perpetuating racism. This is necessary in part to shock sheltered whites out of their bubbles and bring systemic racism to light. But the simple fact is that America needs more racial unity, and less confrontation. Provoking whites with the notion that they all suffer from implicit bias and are perpetuating racism by default, is limited in its effectiveness. The goal of disturbing a white person’s racial comfort in order to disrupt a racial hierarchy is using force instead of true power. While whites may be pressured into compliance, is this compliance genuine and long lasting? Is insisting that the advancement of people of color depends on the disruption, de-centering, or deconstruction of problematic “Whiteness” ultimately empowering people of color to live independently from the crutch of identity politics?

Educators should adhere to the mainstream definition of “Whiteness.” The zero-sum fallacy of “Whiteness” is inappropriate in American educational settings, as it does little to empower people of color, and is based in resistance and disruption, rather than cooperation and collaboration.

What is Whiteness?

by Christopher Paslay

Anti-racists view Whiteness as an independent entity separate from any one individual, a “ghost in the machine” of society that perpetuates white privilege and oppression on its own, and thus can be attacked and deconstructed without accusations of discrimination against any one person or group —despite the fact the cultures, behaviors, and attitudes of those who identify as “white” are being targeted.

  • Whiteness (mainstream definition): The cultures, behaviors, and attitudes of those who identify as “white.”
  • Whiteness (anti-racist definition): term to capture all of the dynamics that go into being defined and/or perceived as white and that create and reinforce white people as inherently superior through society’s norms, traditions, and institutions. Whiteness grants material and psychological advantages (white privilege) that are often invisible and taken for granted by whites.

Although most Americans adhere to the mainstream definition of “Whiteness,” anti-racists reject this definition, as it makes their attempts to deconstruct “Whiteness” anti-white, which they insist is not the case. As a result, anti-racists have used Critical Race Theory (CRT) to redefine the term completely. This involves treating an abstraction — Whiteness — as if it had a material existence. However, a closer analysis reveals this new definition falls prey to the fallacy of reification. Anti-racists view Whiteness as an independent entity separate from any one individual, a “ghost in the machine” of society that perpetuates white privilege and oppression on its own, and thus can be attacked and deconstructed without accusations of discrimination against any one person or group —despite the fact the cultures, behaviors, and attitudes of those who identify as “white” are being targeted.

Educators should adhere to the mainstream definition of “Whiteness.” The zero-sum fallacy of “Whiteness” is inappropriate in American educational settings, as it does little to empower people of color, and is based in resistance and disruption, rather than cooperation and collaboration.

The Movement to Redefine Whiteness

Trying to define the term Whiteness is like trying to define a term like love; they are both abstract concepts that do not have absolute definitions. As such, these terms can be frustratingly subjective, as different people — coming from a wide range of experiences and perspectives — may offer different interpretations. The recent push by anti-racists to take a subjective term like Whiteness and not only give it a definitive definition but also fashion it into a concrete entity with substance and form is curious, as doing so falls prey to something called the fallacy of reification, otherwise known as concretism, hypostatization and fallacy of misplaced concreteness.

As writer, economist, and whiteness studies critic Jonathan Church so aptly writes:

Whiteness Studies is devoted to the study of Whiteness as a centripetal ideology (ideology and discourse function similarly here) that supports and upholds white supremacy (i.e. institutional racism). It thus treats the de-centering of Whiteness as a key objective in the critical evaluation of social norms and institutions. But this means that Whiteness Studies — and thus the theory of white fragility — asserts that whiteness is reified in society. Reification involves treating an abstraction — Whiteness—as if it had a material existence. 

Whiteness, of course, does not have a material existence. It is not a concrete thing, and does not take up space. Still, anti-racists insist Whiteness is a problematic social construct that must be remedied, which means it exists as an independent entity with identifiable characteristics that can be adequately “deconstructed.” Supposedly, these characteristics consist of power, privilege, dominance, and oppression. Some scholar-activists, such as Robin DiAngelo, even equate Whiteness with racism itself.

Unfortunately, whiteness studies have become a battle to define and control Whiteness itself, given that the discipline views Whiteness as property and a position of status. By redefining “racism” to mean inherent white privilege and oppression, all whites become guilty by default, even those whites who are caring people free from discrimination (see DiAngelo’s good/bad binary of racism). This ultimately transforms the property of Whiteness into the commodity of racism, and enables the politically oriented whiteness studies movement to usurp so-called Whiteness to use and redistribute as it sees fit.

In essence, the battle to define Whiteness is about taking power from privileged “oppressors” (those perceived as “white”) and giving it to the marginalized “oppressed” (people of color). Only whiteness scholars can’t preach this directly, because using race to control educational resources violates Federal anti-discrimination EEO laws, as was the case when New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza held a crusade against “toxic” whiteness in the district and was sued as a result (see herehere, and here). Whiteness isn’t about individuals, anti-racists insist, it’s about racist systems and institutions, about institutionally racist policy.

Still, because many American institutions are run by white people, this is ultimately a criticism of individuals. And when it turns out that many of these individuals are compassionate and caring people, whiteness scholars circumvent this reality by insisting whites unknowingly perpetuate white privilege and white supremacy, because Whiteness makes them blind to such injustices. In other words, whiteness scholars are saying the cultures, behaviors, and attitudes of whites make them unwitting racists — a situation that can only be corrected through proper White Racial Identity Development (WRID), which in essence is the political indoctrination of whites into the world of race-based identity politics and anti-racist activism; if you’re white and don’t want to be labeled a “racist,” you must fully adopt as dogma an anti-racist ideology. 

While some whites do exhibit discriminatory behaviors and attitudes, the majority of white people in 2020 America are not racist or discriminatory (Welcoming Whiteness uses a traditional good/bad definition of racism), and as studies show, do not suffer from the kinds of implicit biases whiteness scholars claim. But this doesn’t matter to whiteness scholars and social justice advocates who intend to turn the property of Whiteness into the commodity of racism. All whites must be held accountable and be on board with the deconstruction of their own cultures, behaviors, and attitudes, which will supposedly empower people of color; ultimately, however, this zero-sum approach does not empower people of color, as the control now lies with those who forward identity politics and benefit from the commodity of racism (AKA:  politiciansactivist groups, and  whiteness scholars themselves).

Nevertheless, this is at the heart of the anti-racist definition of “Whiteness,” which serves as a convenient “ghost in the machine” of society, because it can hold individual white people accountable for all manner of social ills and oppression, usurp their resources and exploit them politically, while claiming to address inequality at the “institutional” or “systemic” levels only.

Educators should adhere to the mainstream definition of “Whiteness.” The zero-sum fallacy of “Whiteness” is inappropriate in American educational settings, as it does little to empower people of color, and violates Federal anti-discrimination EEO laws.