Wednesday, 28 June 2006

The Wrongness of Whiteness

According to race-theorists Robin DiAngelo and David Allen, “a discourse on whiteness attempts to show not just how whiteness oppresses people of color, but how whiteness elevates white people” [1]. Happily for our academic twosome, the intellectual burden of this discourse is made easy by their assuming in the term “whiteness” that which they have yet to demonstrate. For, in defining the term, they tell us that “[w]hiteness refers to dimensions of racism that serve to elevate white people over people of color” [2]. Putting this logical indelicacy aside, one may concentrate on the foregone conclusion to which they have come: that the very presence of whiteness oppresses those not in possession of it, and thus if such persons are to find justice, those in possession of whiteness must be divested of it.
.....Quite how this divestment will be achieved is not specified, but, since our two academicians are educationalists and social-constructivists, for whom reality is but the spell of society, one may suppose they envisage at the very least some kind of universal, deconstructionist “education”, a glimpse into the nature of which you may gain by reading the research article from which I have drawn the foregoing quotes.
.....Suffice it to say, that in such an “education”, there is no escape for the individual; for, as the authors tell us, “[p]ositioning oneself as an individual is a classic signal of whiteness” [3], and thus an evil to be eradicated.
.....One could well begin to suspect that for every kind of madness or corruption or stupidity, there is an academic course of study.

[1] Robin J. DiAngelo and David Allen, “‘My Feelings Are Not About You’: Personal Experience as a Move of Whiteness”, InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, Vol.2:2, June 2006, p.4.
[2] Ibid., p.3.
[3] Ibid., p.10.


dearieme said...

That sort of stuff inclines me to join "people of choler".

John East said...

I would suggest that "blacking up" might be universally adopted, as practiced by popular minstrels in the 1930's, but I suspect that Robin DiAngelo and David Allen would have none of it.