There is no choir
The quote heading the third chapter is from the author Anika Nailah, a Person Of Capitalization who (prepare to be surprised) writes about the black experience:
Being with white progressives is like being a driving instructor and having someone who does not know how to drive but thinks that they do get in the car with you. They’re at the wheel, but because of how they see themselves, they can’t hear you, and if they do hear you, they’re not really listening. And that makes them dangerous.
By Óðinn’s gray beard! Does Her Huffiness consider how self-respecting whites might perceive her? Anyway, after the book so often puts down normie-libs, and the vaguely Libertarian “I only see people as individuals” crowd, at this point I’m beginning to wonder if these types would prefer to interact with Klansmen. Back to Snowflake:
On a weekly basis, I speak to groups of mostly white people and give a presentation on whiteness and white fragility.
Bless her heart . . .
Quite often I am told beforehand by the white organizers that I am “preaching to the choir.” In other words, trying to persuade people who already know and agree with the message I am delivering. In this case, the choir in agreement with my message would presumably be white people who understand systemic racism, see their role within it, and are actively engaging in anti-racist practice.
What she’s getting at is that she does not believe that there is an audience of whites who meet this degree of conditioning and continual self-abasement:
In fact, I do not believe that there is a white “choir,” raising their voices in anti-racist harmony. The very idea that there could be is problematic.
Basically, believing that one is among the Perfecti and possessing a proper understanding will invite the danger of backsliding. It turns out that if you’re a prog-zombie, you can’t level up to a Perfectus — because there’s no such thing! Effectively, whites are incorrigible. There is no salvation. Abandon all hope, ye who are liberal . . .
As soon as I see myself as a member of that choir, I am going to be unconcerned about my own complicity, as so many white progressives are. Members of the so-called choir can and do perpetuate racial harm and are rarely involved in ongoing self-examination or anti-racist practice.
And there you have it, right from one of America’s top diversity mystagogues. These are the expected standards of ideological conformity and perpetual groveling, maintained in perpetuity and necessary for whites to demonstrate that their minds are scoured to minimum acceptability. Not even Snowflake dares to claim this politically-correct degree of exaltation, lest it tempt her to slacken on the continual mental self-purgation.
Then, a signature DiAngelo bullet-point list follows detailing all the ways white people make the workplace a chamber of horrors for the precious BIPOX. These complaints are generally anecdotal and rather subjective, so it’s unclear how much of a problem these things actually are. Some are:
- double standards in what emotions can be expressed and by whom;
- white women weaponizing their emotions so that any feelings of racial discomfort around a colleague of color become a human resources (HR) issue for that colleague;
- over-scrutinization; and
The Feminist Gorgon Squadron should suspend Snowflake’s union card over the second item. The others can be considered Freudian projection, given the content of Nice Racism. But for these four and the rest, of course we never get to hear the other side of the story. Did Snowflake ever think about the strains that the precious minorities put on the smooth operation of companies, the difficulties presented by racial hiring quotas, the extra costs of HR diversity policing, and so forth?
After some commentary, another DiAngelo list follows, a catechism demonstrating a standard of proper compliance by whites, beginning thus:
- I demonstrate knowledge and awareness of racism.
- I continually educate myself about racism and the perspectives of BIPOC people.
- I hold awareness of my whiteness in all settings and that awareness guides how I engage.
- I am involved in anti-racist projects and programs.
- I raise issues about racism over and over, both in public and in private.
That’s only the beginning; I’ll spare you the other 16 points. You’re welcome. After that is an argument about what “racism” is and isn’t. Snowflake has learned well from the following Trotskyist riff:
In my work, I describe racism as collective racial bias backed by legal authority and institutional control. Only white people’s collective bias is backed with this level of power, so I do not use “racism” to describe the bias of BIPOC people.
She follows this at length with an explanation of why this special definition is better than certain dictionary definitions: why looking up the definition is “a big old red flag, every time”; why doing so is “white fragility,” yada yada yada. (Who’s being defensive now, Snowflake?) She doesn’t understand — or at least pretends not to understand — why people find this special definition objectionable. The Trotskyist formulation was purposefully designed to make whites uniquely guilty of “racism,” while non-whites are exempt and couldn’t possibly be “racist” no matter what they do. How convenient! Naturally, this is why a sneaky, self-serving definition is necessary, backed with slick talk to hide the double standard. That word game is obviously intentionally anti-white, and so is anyone who uses it.
After that is — you guessed it — yet another DiAngelo bullet-point list, this one about the ways that white progressives cause offense. (There’s nary a word on the ways the treasured People Of Capitalization cause offense, of course.) These are geneally unintentional, picayune slights. It’s the sort of butthurt typically called “microaggressions.” The 35 items end with “Not understanding why something on this list is problematic, and rather than seeking to educate yourself further, dismiss it as invalid.” It is heresy to question what is heresy . . .
Although that long list of cringe seems pretty persnickety at first glance, Snowflake might have a point. I generally treat everyone with basic respect unless they’ve demonstrated they’re unworthy of it. Although many items pertain to Leftist activist groups, I already understand why these won’t fly. (Since I’m hardly a social butterfly, the comparison is dreadfully unfavorable!) If the gaffes she lists really are that typical, then how is it that a White Nationalist could be that much better-suited to get along in a diverse crowd?
The way she tells it, this awkward clumsiness causes deep psychological wounding in non-whites. Although that seems a smidge overblown, she might be observing correctly that these Leftist get-togethers really are a gaffe-a-minute. Perhaps prog-zombies really are just that socially maladjusted.
Still, she need only say that she’s heard about well-intentioned activists making these awkward missteps, and to consider it a non-exhaustive list of what not to do, since such gaffes will be badly-received even if one meant no offense. But the annoyingly preachy, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou schoolmarm’s approach all but made my eyes bleed.
Finally, she explains that the faux pas conga line leads to burnout among Leftist activists. That seems more like a benefit to me.
What’s wrong with niceness?
This time, the opening quote is:
The will to be polite, to maintain civility and normalcy, is fearfully strong. I wonder sometimes how much evil is permitted to run unchecked simply because it would be rude to interrupt it.
That brought a smile to my deplorable face, since there’s a highly ironic way that it can be reformulated. “It’s not nice to notice that groups differ. It’s not nice to prefer your own kind. It’s not nice to be selfish. It’s not nice to deny the downtrodden blah blah blah whatever they want. It’s not nice et cetera.” A great nation stands poised at the brink of ruin, to a large degree because of this kind of moralistic hectoring. But all that’s another story. It was good for a breather, since I’m not even halfway through, and I’m already sick to death of the constant drumbeat of snippy self-righteousness. If that’s not enough, Nice Racism is starting to seem like a Chinese Communist struggle session in print.
This chapter is pretty much what it says on the tin: An analysis of niceness and why, of course, it doesn’t cut it. It’s the main theme of the book: addressing liberals, who typically are already too nice for their own good, and browbeating them for falling short. (Lovely, isn’t it?) This is the first major point:
First, it is difficult to get under the surface in a culture of niceness. To challenge and break through the facade requires conflict, and conflict is forbidden in a culture of niceness. How can we raise an uncomfortable and often contentious issue such as racism when niceness has been established as the procedural norm?
There’s a point in this other than what Snowflake intended. All told, the chapter had the opposite of the desired effect on me. Specifically, it reminds me of how our cultural virtues have been weaponized against us, leading to the aforementioned hectoring and lots of other weird taboos.
Honest talk about race is strongly discouraged, just as how the Victorians couldn’t mention sex without causing extravagant fainting spells. It’s been deemed “not nice” for whites to speak of race, and downright perilous if the discussion strays beyond the invisible tripwire of political correctness. Meanwhile, non-whites can say whatever they want about it. They even can profit massively from weaponized bellyaching, but obeying taboos makes us defenseless against such tactics. The results of Leftist psychological manipulation are difficult to fathom. Even fairly high-functioning conservatives get wobbly in the knees and babble dumb platitudes. We’d better get over these taboos as a society, or we’re sunk.
Second, the continual pull toward niceness makes it difficult to address the strong emotions anti-racist work often brings up, such as grief, pain, and anger.
Again, as I noted above, it cuts both ways. They’ve gone quite far by selling the Leftist agenda as niceness and declaring opposition to it as “hate.” That trick works like a charm to derail much-needed discussions about multiracialism’s drawbacks.
Other than that, Snowflake lambastes whites who behave nicely. Even smiling gets a paragraph of criticism. (Endowed with telepathic powers, blacks are aware that whites only smile disingenuously.) Then, Anika Nailah makes another appearance. Snowflake quotes this “Black [sic] and Indigenous [sic] woman who identifies as a ‘woman of the Global Majority‘” regarding white niceness, and the huffiness meter reaches a solid nine. What the hell do these people want? Better yet, why should we care?
White progressives’ moves
Chapter Five begins with a story about “a community seminar on systemic racism.” One of the participants introduced himself by saying “I am David, and I was white but I am now a person of color.” He says he became “Indigenous” after staying with a tribe for a few months and being accepted.
At various points and in a range of ways we returned to challenge David’s refusal to identify as white and his use of a group of Indigenous people — who were not present and could not speak for themselves — to legitimize his refusal. David held fast to his opening claim, which had a powerful impact on the seminar and which continued to direct our efforts and distract the group.
Snowflake doesn’t buy David the Slapaho Warrior’s story. (Me thinkum paleface squaw wantum paleface brave stay on bottom of intersectionality totem pole.) I’m not sure how it applies, but the story of this culturally confused social climber leads into a lengthy digression about discourse. Then:
The following are common white moves that perpetuate and protect daily forms of racial harm. Some do so more subtly, by being irritating and exhausting and thereby contributing to racial weathering. Others more directly support and protect the racist status quo.
There’s much talk about virtue signaling, though she refers to it using different terms. Some of it comes close to making a point, but as usual, for the wrong reasons. What’s missing is a discussion of how Leftists went from wholehearted support of freedom of speech to the present situation. Lately, they often feel they must demonstrate the proper clout to speak, most especially ideas dissenting from the hive-mind. (Even cuckservatives do that.) This is why prog-zombies often introduce themselves among their peers by reciting a credo of orthodoxy, their Leftist bona fides, or possibly an enumeration of intersectionality points often including fictitious maladies and mental problems. Either way, Snowflake is unimpressed; despite the usual pious palaver, perhaps it simply displeases Her Ladyship when whites try to get a word in edgewise.
There’s more, of course. The chapter is a long ‘un. As much as I’d like to rebut the whole thing, I’ll limit myself to a few more highlights. First, woe betide those who, during a boring “Diversity 101” lecture, say they already know that stuff. This generates much snippiness. For just one item:
I have attended countless anti-racist workshops precisely because my learning will never be finished and there are always deeper layers to uncover.
In that case, note well: No amount of indoctrination will ever be enough.
Then there’s Snowflake’s unforgettable appearance at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg to discuss “white fragility.” (There was nary a word about the ongoing crime wave of farm murders perpetrated by subhuman savages in the liberated “Rainbow Nation,” of course. Remember, kids: Only whites can be racist!) That anecdote led into another huffy Anika Nailah quote, the first of two in the chapter:
White people are really hard to manage, really hard. They’re very pushy. They’re very judgmental. They’re very self-centered . . . This is the way they’ve been conditioned to be, that’s what racism does. Nine times out of ten, there’s hardly anyone who’s done the work, yet they feel qualified to tell people who have how they’re doing it wrong.
To that Snowflake adds the snippy admonishment, “We do not have the answer to racism, and we need to stop lecturing Black [sic] people as if we do.”
Although whites shouldn’t discuss our perspectives on race in the company of non-whites, we also shouldn’t ask our betters for their perspectives. Another subsection in the chapter is titled “Expecting BIPOC people to teach us about racism,” a misdeed which “reinforces unequal power relations,” is “a form of neocolonialism” (recall Snowflake’s guilt fit from the Introduction), and is “yet another example of privilege.” You see, although white perspectives on race are self-serving and highly unwelcome, non-whites are wise authorities on race whose perspectives deserve consideration as a marketable consultancy. Yes, she’s quite serious about that:
But first we need to recognize racial equity as a field requiring a high level of skill and expertise that should be compensated, and which is not automatically and freely given just because someone is racialized.
But how much would we have to pay off these melanin-enhanced sages to shut up about it forever?
Despite the earlier injunction about not voicing our opinions, later subsections in the chapter criticize “carefulness” and “silence” by whites. What the hell does she want? Even the “I’m afraid I’ll lose my job” objection is not a legitimate reason to stay silent during one of those “discussions.” This, along with all other rationales, “should be challenged from an antiracist framework.” Precious, isn’t it? Snowflake thus overlooks the very real risk of workers losing their livelihoods from a “wrong” answer during some mandatory corporate struggle session. Right after that, she lists several legitimate reasons for BIPOX not to speak up if they choose.
By the way, the same chapter features much hand-wringing such as “[i]t entails great risk for a racialized person to give feedback to a white person on racism, especially when the white person does not acknowledge the differential in racial power.” Earth to Snowflake: Point of fact, the last black to get cancelled for speaking too freely about ethnic dynamics was Kanye West. In that case, he didn’t get the memo about America’s real sociopolitical pecking order until it was too late.
Spiritual, not religious
Chapter Six discusses white progressives who are New Agers. Basically, she declares that the Age of Aquarius is too white. But then:
Lucia contends that while participants create temporary utopias at these festivals, they also participate in religious exoticism by coopting Indigenous and Indic spiritualities, ultimately rendering them white utopias.
Granted, I’ll be the first to look down my nose at eclectic crystal-suckers who raid other ethnic religions without even scratching the surface of their own people’s rich traditions. This outcome is hardly unpredictable, given that mass culture and cultural Marxism have left many of us bereft of our roots. Still, the book presents a conundrum. Is the New Age movement too implicitly white, and therefore evil, because reasons? Or are New Agers too ecumenical?
The author correctly observes that they’re seeking respite from modernity. They’re looking for authenticity in the exotic. Then she predictably castigates them, often unfairly:
Within the US and Canada, there is an epidemic of murdered and missing Indigenous [sic] women, who are killed at ten times the rate of other women of color.
This is genuinely distressing. Obviously something horrible is afoot:
These women are most likely to be killed by non-Indigenous people, on Indigenous-owned [sic] lands.
References, please? The way it is juxtaposed in this chapter, the implication is practically a blood libel, though an idiotic one. Imagine a New Age crystal weenie infiltrating an Indian reservation, putting on a hockey mask, pulling a Jack the Ripper act, and sneaking out undetected past the menfolk. Is that how these women are dying — or is it the tragic confluence of social pathologies unfortunately pervasive in Indian Country such as domestic violence, backwardness, and severe alcoholism?
Let’s talk about shame
The opening paragraph poses the following question:
Why are we more comfortable saying, “I don’t know what to do; I feel so much shame about being white,” than we are saying, “I don’t want to feel bad about racism”?
Then there’s a discussion of the distinction between shame and guilt:
Put simply, guilt is a feeling we have about doing bad, and shame is a feeling we have about being bad. I have observed that white progressives will readily express feeling shame about racism but hesitate to express guilt.
She says it’s rare for her to experience racial shame. That might be brought on by the following scenario:
Perhaps on my way into Whole Foods I must walk past an Indigenous [sic] man who appears homeless lying on the sidewalk. I see him from down the block and in that moment I become hyper-conscious of our racial positions. My whiteness suddenly feels very “loud,” and I “know” that he knows that I am an imposter and a hypocrite, that my privilege and comfort, my access to resources, are dependent on his position in relation to mine, dependent on his oppression. I feel anxious about having to walk past him, dreading the encounter. For the duration of the approximately two minutes that it takes for me to traverse that sidewalk, I feel racial shame.
Just buy the Indian a sandwich, you self-righteous twit! After that, the self-righteous twit discusses how shame is a type of defense mechanism. Then:
There is certainly much concern within anti-racist education about white people not feeling “too” bad lest they withdraw from engagement, and much time and attention is given to keeping white people in the conversation. This concern is heightened when the shame narrative emerges; we now must tread very carefully so as not to cause the person to disengage.
Apparently too much shame runs the risk of demoralizing the worker bees beyond usefulness. It only gets better from there. For example:
I have said over and over in my writing and my talks that while guilt is a normal response for many white people, it must either be temporary or used to motivate action. Otherwise, guilt merely functions to excuse and protect complicity.
To the self-righteous twit’s remarks, I can do no better than to quote one of the Ásatrú Nine Noble Virtues: “Joy is better than guilt.”
What about my trauma?
The eighth chapter brings observations such as this:
In my experience, claims of trauma are especially predictable among social workers and social work students in classes and other forums that directly address racism. I have co-taught anti-racism courses in various schools of social work, and in these courses, white students would often protest that the class was “traumatizing” them.
I can see why. For a liberal, being accused of “racism” by one of their own is quite dreadful. Maybe it’s a tougher rap than being called a traitor, pervert, criminal, psychopath, devil-worshiper, cannibal, or chronic nose-picker. (Perhaps I shouldn’t make light of this; even those with otherwise impeccable liberal street cred have lost their livelihoods over picayune Narrative Violations.) Then, defending oneself against charges of heresy runs into the signature DiAngelo kafkatrap of “white fragility.” The only time that calling liberals “racists” has no effect whatsoever is if an opponent is pointing out their anti-white double standards, which they think is righteousness.
I consulted with therapist Resmaa Menakem, a racial trauma specialist and author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathways to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Resmaa is a Black [sic] man. His revolutionary work on how white supremacy is stored in the body has had a profound influence on me and many others. He agreed that it was common for white people, when hearing or learning about the trauma of Black and Indigenous peoples, to bring their own forms of trauma into the discussion.
Much follows discussing the illustrious racial trauma specialist’s theories. Some of the celebrated Person Of Capitalization’s findings seem rather Lysenkoist:
The intergenerational dimension refers to how the trauma of white supremacy accumulates over centuries and is passed down and stored in the bodies of Black and Indigenous peoples across generations.
Then Snowflake informs us:
As I write that white people don’t experience direct racial trauma, I can imagine someone objecting by saying that they were the only white kid in their school and were picked on daily by the Black kids. I have heard that objection more than once, and I grant that it could be traumatic. But it is also the exception.
The rest of the long paragraph minimizes lived experiences such as those into nullity. The chapter ends thus:
Facing the reality of systemic racism and our role in it is upsetting, as it should be. But let’s not lose sight of who bears the burden of racist abuse and co-opt that burden with our own pain.
Precious, isn’t it?
* * *
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