Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Problem of Whiteness, 2003,  2015 and 2016

University stands by 'Problem of Whiteness' course
...Wisconsin Rep. Dave Murphy, who is also the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, has asked the university to cancel the course, saying it prompts racial division.

"I am extremely concerned that UW-Madison finds it appropriate to teach a course called, 'The Problem of Whiteness,' with the premise that white people are racist," Murphy said in a statement this week. He even threatened to pull funding for the state university.

The course, taught by Professor Damon Sajnani, is part of the African Cultural Studies program at the university's College of Letters and Science.
"Have you ever wondered what it really means to be white? If you're like most people, the answer is probably 'no.' But here is your chance!," reads the course description
"In this class, we will ask what an ethical white identity entails, what it means to be #woke, and consider the journal Race Traitor's motto, 'treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.'" 
The course description says it includes readings from W.E.B. Du Bois, Ta-Nehisi Coates and the professor's own article analyzing Rachel Dolezal
Murphy said the university must discontinue the class.
 from the course description
Critical Whiteness Studies aims to understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy. Our class will break away from the standard US-centric frame, and consider how whiteness is constructed globally, with particular attention to paradigmatic cases like South Africa. Whereas disciplines such as Latino/a, African, and Asian American studies focus on race as experienced by non-whites, whiteness studies considers how race is experienced by white people. It explores how they consciously and unconsciously perpetuate institutional racism and how this not only devastates communities of color but also perpetuates the oppression of most white folks along the lines of class and gender. In this class, we will ask what an ethical white identity entails, what it means to be #woke, and consider the journal Race Traitor’s motto, “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”
"Rachel/Racial Theory: Reverse Passing in the Curious Case of Rachel Dolezal"
There is no question that Rachel has appropriated Black culture. We may agree in the end that she has done so unethically. But before reaching this conclusion we need to recognize what is different about her case. After all, not all appropriation is qualitatively equal,[v] and she most definitely is not your run-of-the-mill case. Hill stretches the credible boundaries of the term “a little while” when suggesting she was “trying on” a Black identity. We don’t condemn white appropriation of Black culture because whites are unwelcome to participate. Rather, we condemn it because the history of cultural appropriation by whites is part and parcel of racial domination in which whites exploit Black culture, reap its rewards, and take those rewards back to the socio-economic white world. But, Dolezal was not taking it back to the white world. As in the historical instances of passing where Blacks assimilated into the white world permanently, Dolezal appears to have necessarily estranged herself from her white family. She appears to have been living her life as a Black person, living and working within the Black community, and there is no reason to believe she had any intention of reverting. This cultural appropriation is qualitatively distinct from all the instances we know so well, from Minstrelsy to Presley and beyond. In other words, Dolezal is more Anatole Broyard than Elvis Presley.
The pedantry is fucked and the attacks on Presley are absurd; the academic priesthood attacking the vulgar.
repeats: Reed,  From Jenner to Dolezal 

The author links to Reed's piece in a footnote...
In a longer article I intend to address the transgender verses transracial comparison. In the interim, I refer the reader to the following two excellent essays on the topic which are both in line with my thinking: Kai M. Green’s “'Race and gender are not the same!' is not a Good Response to the 'Transracial'/Transgender Question” and Adolph Reed Jr.’s “From Jenner to Dolezal: One Trans Good, the Other Not So Much.”

I was lazy. I read the beginning of Reed's piece and assumed where he was going and I was wrong.
I've read more by him now. He's is a left wing John McWhorter.

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