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Lessons from Robin DiAngelo on What It Means to Be White, Part 2

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Robin DiAngelo

3,875 words

Part 2 of 2 (Part 1 here [2])

It’s amazing how Rightists and Leftists can read the very same data and arrive at completely different conclusions. We say crime by non-whites is their fault; bleeding-hearted liberals say it’s our fault [3]. We say that their inability to stay out of trouble and intense dislike for policing is evidence that they belong in their own territory where they can deal with their own criminal element as they see fit. Liberals say we haven’t thrown enough trillions of dollars at social programs yet.

Let’s reframe that last bullet point: “If blacks and Hispanics behaved like whites, incarceration would decline by approximately 50%. Because they won’t (or can’t) adjust to our average norms, they’re incompatible and should be repatriated [4].”

This idea that we’re responsible for everyone else’s crime rates also illustrates a key unstated assumption. These kinds of Leftists seem to think only whites have moral agency. It’s similar to their rather patronizing belief that the precious minorities are childlike innocents needing their protection. Although it’s silly to point this out [5], what does this say about their attitude toward their pitiful colored wards? It’s little different from that of certain slaveowners and colonialists — but if Leftists figured that out, their soft heads would explode.

Snowflake then cites several statistics about the lack of school funding in black-majority neighborhoods. To change that, ghetto residents could demand property tax hikes from their city governments. That’ll never happen, of course, but where’s the proof that throwing more money at bad schools [6] does wonders? To put it another way, if someone paid the tuition to send students with an IQ of 85 to Harvard, would they graduate as geniuses? More outrage porn bullet points follow, “adapted from the Anti-Defamation League’s School to Prison Pipeline: Talking Points.” That sounds like a balanced source, right?

The eighth chapter is about “‘New’ Racism.” Those who profess to be colorblind aren’t exempt from self-flagellation; the “I marched in the ’60s” excuse won’t work anymore. Following much discussion, Snowflake informs us:

Colorblind Racism: Pretending that we don’t notice race; or that race has no meaning. This pretense denies racism, and thus holds it in place.

It only gets deeper from there. The point seems to be that people are lying about being colorblind, and often don’t even know it. She cites further studies, such as one alleging that white kids are racist. (How about any other type of kids?) Then there are more outrage porn-bullet points, the last complaining rather comically about “[t]he lack of a sense of loss about the absence of people of color in most white people’s lives.” Then Snowflake complains about the film industry being too pro-white. She finds pornography problematic, too, especially the interracial stuff [7]. I concur that it’s the visual equivalent of sewage, but she shouldn’t blame us [8] for X-rated demoralization propaganda.

Oppression on the brain

Things really go screwy when she begins discussing “whiteness” theory. By now, Snowflake strikes me as resembling a medieval inquisitor ranting about demons, witchcraft, and heretics. The popular stereotype of White Nationalists is that we’re obsessed with race, but it seems that reputation is overrated. My readings of Leftist literature have demonstrated quite thoroughly that “anti-racists” have cornered the market on one-track minds. Bear in mind that I’m only hitting the highlights with this review; exhaustively summarizing and answering it all would be a labor of Hercules.

Chapter 9 begins as a personal confessional. Snowflake extensively itemizes all the advantages she has from being white, even from before her birth. When she was young, the US was 90% white and the politicians hadn’t yet turned it into a Third World colony. Naturally, whites were considered the cultural norm. She complains about growing up with a sense of belonging that is denied to minorities. The truth is that they’re very well aware of their identity — in fact, encouraged in this — while whites are being led to believe that we don’t have a culture [9]:

I belong when I pass by the magazine racks at the grocery store. I belong when I compare myself to standards of beauty in skin tone, hair texture, and body parts such as noses, hips, and lips.

Perhaps, but there are magazines specializing in ethnic culture and fashions, which in a diverse neighborhood are on those same magazine racks. (Why isn’t she bothered that there aren’t more Chinese or Mexican models in Ebony?) One major complaint is that whites are considered generic in American culture — but that works both ways. For example, we don’t have any Aryan-only fashion and beauty magazines, do we?

“In 2015, the House is 80% white, the Senate is 94% white, and the Supreme Court is 77% white,” she laments. Most of them are sellouts who don’t count. They work for the globalists, not the majority white public they should represent. They’re as white as the current Pope is Catholic.

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You can buy Greg Johnson’s The White Nationalist Manifesto here [11]

She says much more about how whites have all the power and prestige, and how tough non-whites have it, but I’ll sum up my reply thusly. For the last two decades, she’s made a living from anti-white indoctrination, is praised to the skies by the Leftist NPC talking heads, and got sweet book deals. If she became a pro-white activist, all that support would dry up overnight. She’d have to get a real job, too, but being cancelled might limit her options. Her old friends would denounce her bitterly. The MSM would smear her. The “watchdog” outfits would create dossiers on her. The Tech Tyrants probably would ban her accounts. If she tried to start an organization, it would get called a “hate group” by the usual suspects. She might even get hit on the head at a demonstration by a philosophy professor debating with a bike lock, or be punched in the face by a Social Justice Warrior who literally eats shit [12].

Meanwhile, nobody questions the right of blacks, Hispanics, and other identity groups to have organizations promoting their interests. Their spokesmen are praised, not censored. Again, one particular ascended “community organizer” was the President at the time she was writing. He even got a Nobel Peace Prize three weeks into office.

Chapter 10 is basically about how whites who profess colorblindness aren’t off the hook. This one is pretty much a big Robin DiAngelo kafkatrap, so get ready for some heavy flogger action. First up, one might not be a redneck with green teeth driving a pickup, but one still benefits from “white privilege.” I have to wonder about this strange focus on making white liberals feel even guiltier. They’re already compliant, so what’s the point of browbeating them even more? Other angles follow which rely on accepting certain Leftist talking points. Collective guilt is a big one, but only for certain perceived injustices. I’m sure my ancestors suffered tremendously during the Thirty Years’ War, so where’s my check?

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Backed by white privilege, even the boulders you’re pushing uphill have smiley faces.

The next chapter goes into intersectionality, which is about examining all one’s personal characteristics together from a cultural Marxist perspective. (This sort of thing is where the Victimization Olympics comes from: Social Justice Warriors [14] one-upping each other on who is the most disadvantaged, wearing mental illnesses like a badge of honor, pulling rank by claiming phony disabilities, etc. It’s a dick-measuring contest in which the shortest one wins.) Back into confessional mode, she discusses her impoverished childhood. It seems to have been several orders of magnitude worse than my own, though at least it didn’t involve reusing cigarette butts [15] — and at least she wasn’t colored:

Raised in poverty, I received a clear message from society that I was inferior to other white people from higher social classes. At the same time, I received another message: I was superior to people of color. . . . As I reflect back on the early messages I received about being poor and being white, I now realize that my family and I needed people of color to cleanse and re-align us with the dominant white culture from which we had been separated by our poverty.

That’s good for some self-flagellation, but was she really objectively worse off than a girl born into a stable, middle-class black family? Of course, a Chinese lesbian in a wheelchair would get more intersectionality points than either of them.

The next sermon begins by discussing white guilt. Although guilt is “a normal response and in and of itself is not problematic,” it has to be channeled the right way:

We can use our guilt to avoid further engagement (“It just makes me feel too bad so I don’t want to deal with it”) or become resentful (“You are making me feel guilty and that is not fair!”) or we can become incapacitated (“I am such a bad person — I give up”). Notice that all of these responses exempt us from any further action and thus protect our position and privilege while indirectly blaming people of color or antiracist whites who “cause us” to feel guilty. . . . Asking for absolution puts the focus back on you and demands more time and attention from the injured party, essentially demanding more energy from them than it took to give the feedback in the first place. Although not intentional, this is like a second injury or micro-aggression.

Walking on eggshells isn’t enough; levitation is required! A long litany follows of other incorrect responses.

Chapter 13’s subject is one that Snowflake spun off into a standalone book, which turned out to be her breakout ethnomasochistic tome:

White fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.

Whites have been badgered about race incessantly — quite often by white lemmings –, so of course we’re sick of it. Those who try to stand up for themselves are guilty of “white fragility,” thanks to Snowflake’s new anti-concept. White fragility is the archetypal Robin DiAngelo kafkatrap.

The following sermon is “Popular White Narratives that Deny Racism,” talking points that deconstruct common counter-arguments. Sometimes Snowflake discusses history, though with a remarkably anti-white bias as usual. For example:

In light of how fundamental slavery is to the identity and trajectory of the nation, it is important to reflect on what is accomplished by the rebuttal, “Africans engaged in slavery too. They are the ones who sold the slaves.” In other words, what point is the person declaring this trying to make? That Africans are equally complicit in the 300 years of American slavery? And so? Or perhaps the point is that slavery is a function of human nature? If so, why do we no longer practice it?

That’s because whites abolished slavery. Then, through our worldwide colonial empires, we abolished it elsewhere. And this is the thanks we get?

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Res ipse loquitur

Chapter 15 concerns the “Danger Discourse,” which is the belief that blacks and Hispanics tend to be more violent and their neighborhoods are unsafe. How could anyone get that idea? Maybe it’s really the opposite! Didn’t you know how tough white schools are for non-whites? But wait, there’s more!

Whites rarely consider how sheltered and safe their spaces may be from the perspective of people of color. For example, students of color attending primarily white schools often experience them as unsafe. Treyvon [sic] Martin was a young Black man who was walking home from the store in a gated white community when he was presumed to be a threat, shot and killed. Although that community, because it was gated, was likely viewed as “safe” from the white perspective, Treyvon’s murder within those gates turns that discourse on its head.

Whites are to blame if we conveniently ignore the fact that it happened because innocent young Trayvon tried to beat a Hispanic guy to death. The tall tale that this was a white-on-black murder of someone who dindu nuffin became one of those “Man Bites Dog” stories that cause cities to burn. This is thanks to the lying media, which backed their false narrative to the point of looking stupid. This hot-off-the-presses MSM spin made it into What Does It Mean to Be White?, but it certainly hasn’t aged well. It’s telling that the revised edition perpetuates the lie — but why didn’t they catch the misspelled name?

The next sermon is about white silence, which is the reaction she often gets when running one of her struggle sessions. If the captive audience makes any rebuttals, that’s “white fragility.” If they choose to say nothing, the “white silence” kafkatrap has that covered, too. “It’s just my personality; I rarely talk in groups” is disallowed, among several other reasons given not to say anything. Can one still invoke the Fifth Amendment?

Most of the discussion of minorities in the book is about blacks and Hispanics, but in Chapter 17 she brings up groups seldom discussed elsewhere in the book, such as Asians, American Indians, Arabs, and victims of genetic confusion. There’s more one-sided discussion of white villainy, of course, and bullet points of outrage.

The eighteenth sermon — mercifully the last — is about “Antiracist Education.” It begins with this litany:

Surprisingly, after 330 pages of oppression porn, outrage factoids, profoundly one-sided history (from pinko professor Howard Zinn [17] and other activists pretending to be historians), stereotyping whites as perpetual evildoers and non-whites as perpetual victims, telling us that minority dysfunction is all our fault, hurling gobs of shame, repeated warnings that treating people as individuals and refraining from racial antagonism just isn’t enough for salvation, and demoralization agitprop sufficient to convince naïve white liberals that evil lurks inside them, we get this:

While racism is always operating, white people are not bad people and we don’t need to feel guilty; we didn’t choose this system and guilt doesn’t help. But we do need to take responsibility for learning about and interrupting racism.

Ibram X. Kendi [18] peddles the same “anti-racism” claptrap, but at least he’s more honest about it. So at long last, what is the path to salvation?

Many of my students, after just a few weeks of studying racism, grow impatient and want me to just tell them what to do. Sadly, their impatience is an indication that the desire for understanding may not be sincere. This is a lifelong journey without a quick fix, and for those committed to it, that should be obvious.

In the cult of cultural Marxism, one never can atone enough. Abandon all hope and prepare to grovel forever.

Summary

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There are countless academic textbooks which are remarkably one-sided, particularly in any post-1960s curriculum ending in “studies,” but this one takes the cake. It compares quite unfavorably to David Duke. In Duke’s memoirs [20], he described both sides of the major controversies, carefully explaining why he had reached his particular conclusions. With Ms. Holy Holy Righteous Anti-racist Professor Robin DiAngelo, Defender of Social Justice, one hardly even gets the idea that there might be any other rational opinions. Has she even looked at any opposing views?

What Does It Mean to Be White? is partly a personal confession, but mainly an instructional document for the initiation of acolytes into the anti-racism cult. To be fully compliant, it seems that whites are expected to walk on eggshells, bend over backwards, constantly police our thoughts, and cower in utter shame for eternity. There’s nary a suggestion that the precious minorities might have to adapt their conduct to civilized norms, of course. Only whites must adjust to getting along in multi-racial America –you know, the country that our forefathers built for “ourselves and our posterity.”

[21]

You can buy Spencer Quinn’s novel White Like You here [22].

The book is jam-packed with Leftist talking points, sneaky rhetoric, unsupported assertions, cherry-picked factoids, insidious demoralization propaganda, and lurid victimization porn. To say it’s a fundamentally dishonest book is putting it mildly. In many places, it’s so obviously false that it’s hard to imagine anyone writing it with a straight face.

One underlying theme, of course, is absolute egalitarianism. Consequentially, any disparity in group outcomes is considered evidence of malice and oppression. From Chapter 10:

While scientific research has shown that there are no biologically or genetically distinct races as we have traditionally understood them, race has profound meaning as a social category. This meaning has created consistent, predictable patterns related to one’s life outcomes based on the racial group society assigns to people. On every measure: health, education, interaction with the criminal justice system, income and wealth, there is disparity between white people and people of color, with people of color consistently relegated to the bottom and white people holding the consistent advantage.

This is what happens when one obstinately refuses to consider that genetics has any importance whatsoever in group outcomes. Modern Leftist racial doctrine stands or falls on this point. If everyone is exactly the same, then oppression is the default explanation for any observed differences. Snowflake’s claim that scientific research backs race denialism is disingenuous. Although what constitutes a race [23] is more complicated than once believed, there is nowhere near a consensus [24] that race doesn’t matter on a biological level. There would be a consensus that race does matter, if not for a few Leftist activists pretending to be researchers and intense social pressure shouting down anyone who dares contradict them.

Here’s how the script works. It’s an observable fact that blacks do the best of all races in track and field sporting events. Since Leftist dogma holds it as axiomatic that race isn’t meaningful and that genetically inherent group differences don’t exist, then obviously the blacks are cheating somehow. To compensate for their African privilege, blacks will be required to run with ankle weights in the name of social justice. After fine-tuning this system to penalize the fastest runners, ideally every track meet should end in a tie. Only then will a contest be fair. If an arthritic fellow with a granny walker makes it onto the Olympic team, everyone else had better put on a ball and chain. Procrustes would be proud. [25]

It’s a sobering thought that future teachers are being trained with textbooks like this. Whites who internalize these messages will believe we’re always evildoers, that nothing will ever be enough to atone for them (but we’d better cater to every demand), that we have no legitimate interests whatsoever (even safety or survival), and that non-whites can do no wrong because anything bad they do is our fault.

I wish this were hyperbole, but it isn’t. Non-whites exposed to “whiteness studies” classes and the like will get enhanced truculence: a size XXL chip on their shoulders and a renewed sense that wypipo owe them. The more thoughtful ones probably wonder why we allow professors to indoctrinate students with this kind of agitprop.

What is the matter with these professional ethnomasochists?

Even as dreadfully wrong and pernicious as this book is, and how tortured and one-sided its sneaky arguments are, there’s the eternal question: Do they really believe their own nonsense? In Snowflake’s case, yes. She seems like an archetypal white liberal Gutmensch who has yet to be mugged by reality. As much as she complains about whites having little contact with non-whites, this may be the case for her as well, outside of her colleagues in academia. (I wonder how many of them think she’s an idiot and are annoyed by her constant harping on race. In fact, one of the points in Snowflake’s newest book is that she recognizes how irritating her constant supplication is. Indeed, sucking up impresses nobody.) Hopefully, one of these days she’ll broaden her experience by moving to somewhere like Detroit or East St. Louis.

Of course, the greatest problem is that she’s made a career out of promoting enemy propaganda. She’s one of the many Leftists who believe they are fighting a corrupt Establishment, but in doing so become tireless servants of The System. Although she might outwardly seem like a crusader against “racism,” she’s more like a drum major leading liberal lemmings off a cliff. No matter how baleful the agenda is that she’s pushing, she surely fancies herself as someone striving to do good. It’s understandable that such a belief might be reinforced by the praise she gets in academia, the shower of recognition and royalties from the literary-industrial complex, and the lucrative fees from Woke Capital for delivering lectures and leading struggle sessions.

She is hardly the first young woman whose nurturing instinct, the purpose of which is to care for small children, got hijacked by the cultural Marxism mind-virus and diverted into pathological altruism. There are those who spend years volunteering in the Third World, even at risk of victimization [26], when they could be helping their own communities. Some examples are the “refugees welcome” types [27], rolling out the red carpet for hordes of invaders. As unwise as such lost souls are, their heads have been stuffed full of demoralization propaganda which promotes telescopic philanthropy, pathological altruism, false guilt, and other self-destructive tendencies. They’re like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.

Still, the ones who push cultural Marxism for a living are in an even worse category. Being stuck in an ideological bubble is no excuse, since they’re the ones promoting the toxic agitprop. Even if they think they’re crusaders for the disadvantaged, they’re not wonderful people. Betraying their own folk is a foul deed. As for Snowflake herself, there’s little hope for redemption. She would have to face the fact that she has spent the last 20 years in service to a lie.

A thought experiment

We’re going to flip the script here, Snowflake. We’ll see how you like your own medicine. Let’s go back to your lectures where you were bothering all those DSHS workers.

Did you consider how your hurtful and insensitive words impacted them? What offensive thing did you do to make them so upset? Did you even try to feel their pain? Here you were, with your pride in your Leftist ideology, inserting yourself into their space and telling them what to think. Did you disregard their perspective and otherize them for their viewpoints? You told them they were wrong, didn’t you? Did you make them feel bad for being who they are? Did you maybe even tell them to check their privilege, without having the slightest idea of their own personal struggles? Who were you to think your opinion was superior to theirs? Everything’s all relative! [28] Such people’s views have been marginalized and silenced [29] in the hegemonic discourse, and you contributed to this deplorable intolerance of their lived experiences informing their diverse perspectives!

I can see you sniveling already, but we’re not done! You’re the kind of nitwit who believes inclusiveness means that everyone agrees with you, and that diversity is a room full of people who all look different but think the same. What’s worse is that you’re still at this after two decades. Just who do you think you are, you tone-policing worm? In the immortal words of Greta Thunberg [30]: How dare you?

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