Thursday, December 14, 2006
Conference on White Privilege
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is sponsoring "WPC 8" -- White Privilege Conference 8 -- next April. Although the claim on the conference's main page says "This conference is not about beating up on white folks," you can ante your bottom dollar that that is precisely what will manifest. Just take a gander at some of the speakers who will be attending the conference. Without even beginning our Googling to learn more about these folk, two immediately were recognizable to us -- Robert Jensen and Jim Loewen. Both are notoriously radical and anti-American professors.
Then there's the quite interesting "FAQ" section. See if you can decipher these ... "answers":
Q: What is White Privilege?
A: I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant to remain oblivious. White Privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.
Q: What does it do?
A: It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power, and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already.
Ah, so meritocracy is a "myth." Democratic choice is "lore." Silly us. We presume that, since minority groups are just that -- in the minority -- just by pure force of digits their various subsections do not have the same "choice" effect as that of the majority population. So what's new? This complaint also surmises that minority interests are not, and cannot, be the same as those of the majority. Hence, minorities' "democratic choice" is not "equal." Well, this is essentially the bane of any democratic society. We conjecture that those who are sponsoring this conference would favor a sort of "proportionate representation" that some democratic societies indeed possess for numerous political parties. But, obviously, races and ethnicities are not political parties!
Further, they'd also be in favor of new restrictions on rights we take for granted here in the US such as freedom of speech. Some speech would have to be restricted in order to enable the "minority voice" to flourish. Indeed, Critical Race Theory states that minorities cannot meet speech with more speech because their "power" is less.
We're not quite conclusive on just what the hell "freedom of confident action" is, but then again, since this whole conference is predicated on pseudo-scientific gibberish, we'll just go with the flow...
Q. Is this about proving how bad white folks are?
A. Our attempts to dismantle dominance and oppression must follow a path other than that of either vilifying or obliterating Whiteness... Whites need to acknowledge and work through the negative historical implications of 'Whiteness' and create for ourselves a transformed identity as White people committed to equality and social change. Our goal is neither to defy or denigrate Whiteness, but to difuse its destructive power.
To teach my white students and my own children that they are 'not White' is to do them a disservice. To teach them that there a different ways of being White, and that they have a choice as White people to become champions fo [sic] justice and social healing, is to provide them a positive direction for growth and to grant them the dignity of their own being.
And this is not supposed to be a racist response, believe it or not. Only whites have to "work through" the negative implications of ... being white ... because, after all, whites are inherently UNcommitted to equality and social change. Which is news to, say, the vast majority of white people not to mention the American historical record. Astonishing. Just remember: The conference's goal isn't to "denigrate Whiteness," just to "difuse its destructive power," which in layman's terms means "You're damn right we're gonna blast Whitey, 'cause it's THEY who have f***ed up everything and anything!!"
Remember, Mr. and Mrs. White Person -- "becoming champions for justice and healing" means accepting that you and your ancestors are culpable for every conceivable ill on the planet, and following a "course of action" that will bring "dignity" is to welcome the wise words and philosophy of the Gary Howards of US campuses, who authored the third Q&A above.