I see a hand up in the back row. Yes, young sir. Your question, please. Surprise us with your intelligence.
“Uh, uh, Professor Blaskafield, it’s interesting that the argument you’re making against the “Problem of Whiteness” class offered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison [found here in the syllabus) is the same one made often by politically correct liberals: You don’t like the ideas presented here and you want them quashed. Courses like this fuels questions and discussion, the idea of education.”
Here is a quarter, Mr. Jake A. Call your mother and tell her she sent a dolt to the Stately Manor’s School for Liberals, etc.
Where Jake A stumbles is his hope and a wish that professor Damon Sajnani will entertain a robust discussion of ideas — including the notion that his obsession with race is just so much poppycock. Bad science. Modern-day alchemy.
It is the notion that skin color is destiny. That the amount of melanin determines success, or lack thereof. That black people think different from white or yellow. That to have dark skin is to be victim in need of the ameliorative powers of the state. That is just plain racist.
Sajnani teaches that white skin is oppressive. That not until whites repent, cast out their implicit racism, can the likes of Ben Carson truly succeed. That is a terribly destructive message. And just plain stupid.
If anything, Sajnani proves that reverse racism is alive and taught for credit at Wisconsin’s flagship campus, a stone’s throw from Camp Randall, where thousands of boys mustered for service in the war against slavery and secession and never came back.
“Critical Whiteness Studies aims to understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy.’” — The Problem of Whiteness, African Cultural Studies, College of Letters and Science.
The “Problem of Whiteness” is, of course, Marxism served hot. That the individual is determined (passive voice) — not that the individual determines (active voice). No surprise, then, that Prof. Sajnani uses an image of the communist dictator Fidel Castro as his on-line avatar.
The other problem, young master Jake, is that where does the bewildered undergraduate at UW-Madison go for conservative, original intent constitutionalism these days? In what lecture hall does the clash of ideas spark intellectual inquiry?
Such settings are as rare as a conservative sociologist. (I once asked the then UW dean of Letters and Science, a sociologist himself, to name one. He came up empty.)
No, master Jake. If young Suzie Creamcheese from Bonduel rose to say Prof. Sajnani’s entire edifice is so much race-baiting poppycock (should she even muster the courage) she can count on being mau-maued by her classmates and getting a major hit to her grade-point average. The very title of the course prescribes the answer: Whiteness is a Problem!
The problem, of course, is that the market for The Problem of Whiteness is a matter of self-selection. Those majoring in community organizing will gravitate like iron filings to a magnet. Young people who want to contribute to a better world will study something more lasting.
There is something very racist about assuming that African-Americans (for one instance) think in lockstep. But that is the very foundation of identity politics, now the lifeblood of the Democrat(ic) party. Surely there are greater differences between Al Sharpton and Herman Cain, DeeRay McKesson and Allen West, than pigmentation?
Hellz bellz! Who needs pigment? Just “identity” like Seattle NAACP president Rachel Dolezal and you can be whatever you want to be. Which kind of defeats the whole idea, doesn’t it Prof. Sajnani?
American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender, and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing. One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. — Mark Lilla in the New York Times.
Blaska’s Bottom Line
The fixation on race and gender is itself anti-intellectual. At UW-Stout, Historical paintings of French voyageurs and their Native American partners were moved to storage due to “the potentially ‘harmful effect’ on students.
On November 17, protesters took over the stage at UW-Madison’s social studies building and attempted the heckler’s veto during a presentation by conservative writer Ben Shapiro. They’re now attempting to decertify the student organization that invited him or, failing that, submit its members to “intensive” sensitivity training.
A group of Washington State University professors have decried “discourses of free speech” in an open letter to the campus community, suggesting such defenses of the First Amendment hurt “marginalized students.” according to the College Fix.
Register your opinion with the key legislators in the column at right.