Thursday, July 02, 2015

The pernicious impact of Dr. Robin DiAngelo part 2

Dr. Robin DiAngelo
UPDATE: My latest post about Robin DiAngelo: No Jamelle Bouie, Robin DiAngelo is not helping

The pernicious impact of Dr. Robin DiAngelo part 1

"Intentions are irrelevant" according to Dr. Robin DiAngelo, who is the first Social Justice Warrior I am aware of who makes a full-time living at being a SJW. According to her web site:
"I provide workplace training and consulting on socially just practice, with a special focus on race relations and racial justice. I can provide workshops alone or bring in other consultants with whom I partner in order to provide inter-racial teams. I combine theory with activities that engage participants. A partial list of my clients includes Washington State Department of Health & Human Resources, the YMCA, Commonwealth Corporation, Seattle Public Schools, and UC Davis School of Nursing."

Now you may think you are doing "race" right. You think the concept of race is scientifically meaningless, you consciously avoid making blanket generalizations about people based on ethnicity, (among other things.) You support taking down the Civil War flag from all US government grounds. You might even be in favor of slave reparations. But it's Dr. Robin DiAngelo's full-time job to tell you, if you are a white person, you are a racist.

I argued with friends on Facebook about this. They claimed that she wasn't really saying that in her essay 11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism. I think that's probably because they didn't read it carefully and they don't want to believe that's what she's saying. But DiAngelo makes clear that your actions, as an individual human being, are meaningless:
A fundamental but very challenging part of my work is moving white people from an individual understanding of racism—i.e. only some people are racist and those people are bad—to a structural understanding. A structural understanding recognizes racism as a default system that institutionalizes an unequal distribution of resources and power between white people and people of color. This system is historic, taken for granted, deeply embedded, and it works to the benefit of whites.
The two most effective beliefs that prevent us (whites) from seeing racism as a system are:

  • that racists are bad people and
  • that racism is conscious dislike;
if we are well-intended and do not consciously dislike people of color, we cannot be racist. This is why it is so common for white people to cite their friends and family members as evidence of their lack of racism. However, when you understand racism as a system of structured relations into which we are all socialized, you understand that intentions are irrelevant.
Dr. Robin DiAngelo's livelihood depends on convincing people who run corporations that white people are racist, whether or not they have a conscious dislike for non-white people, and whether or not they intentionally do anything or say anything racist. And the only way they can be cleansed of this original sin of systematic racism is to hire Dr. Robin DiAngelo to de-racist them.

It's quite a racket she has going on.

Now there is no doubt that racism is a persistent problem in the United States, and that it is systemic. And many "white" people (and of course in our increasingly multi-racial society, these single-color terms to describe people are ever more problematic) are under the impression they could not be described as racist by any reasonable person because they've never said or done anything racist and are not conscious of disliking non-white people for not being white.

That's where the Social Justice Warrior denial of intentionality comes in. 

Intentionality is of course a critical legal issue. Intentionality is what separates a charge of involuntary manslaughter from murder. Just to review how important the concept of intentionality is in the United States:

  • First-degree murder is any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. Felony murder is typically first-degree.
  • Second-degree murder is an intentional murder with malice aforethought, but is not premeditated or planned in advance.
  • Voluntary manslaughter (also referred to as third-degree murder), sometimes called a crime of passion murder, is any intentional killing that involved no prior intent to kill, and which was committed under such circumstances that would "cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed". Both this and second-degree murder are committed on the spot, but the two differ in the magnitude of the circumstances surrounding the crime. For example, a bar fight that results in death would ordinarily constitute second-degree murder. If that same bar fight stemmed from a discovery of infidelity, however, it may be mitigated to voluntary manslaughter.
  • Involuntary manslaughter stems from a lack of intention to cause death but involving an intentional, or negligent, act leading to death. A drunk driving-related death is typically involuntary manslaughter (see also vehicular homicidecausing death by dangerous drivinggross negligence manslaughter and causing death by criminal negligence for international equivalents). Note that the "unintentional" element here refers to the lack of intent to bring about the death. All three crimes above feature an intent to kill, whereas involuntary manslaughter is "unintentional", because the killer did not intend for a death to result from their intentional actions. If there is a presence of intention it relates only to the intent to cause a violent act which brings about the death, but not an intention to bring about the death itself.[9]
It's the denial of the importance of intention that allows SJWs to make their bad faith arguments. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote the song "Woman is the Nigger of the World" they were using the word "nigger" as a metaphorical device. They were obviously in sympathy with women, based on the lyrics of the song, and so calling women "nigger of the world" is in no way meant to attack women. It's a statement that women are the most mistreated class of people, using the word "nigger" to represent the most mistreated class of people. Now whether you agree with that statement or not, it's clear in this context that it was not Lennon/Ono's intention to use "nigger" as an ethnic slur.

But because of the SJW principle that intention is irrelevant, SJWs claimed that Lennon/Ono were racists simply because they used the word "nigger." And by the SJW associative property of racism, anybody defending Lennon/Ono against the charge of racism is also racist. This is the reasoning behind Mikki KendallK. Tempest Bradford and a bunch of other SJWs with Tumblr accounts smearing me as a racist in my Google results.

DiAngelo lists "rules of engagement" that are meant to demonstrate "the pernicious impact of 'white fragility'" and which concludes with a statement that implies that if someone says your behavior is racist, you as a white person are not allowed to question it or feel misunderstood, lest you demonstrate pernicious white fragility. The person accusing you of racism is always right. To even question the accusation is to prove that you are racist. 
11. To suggest my behavior had a racist impact is to have misunderstood me. You will need to allow me to explain until you can acknowledge that it was your misunderstanding.
In other words, there is absolutely no way to win, once you have been accused of racism. This is exactly the same logic used to determine who was a witch. Once someone was identified as a witch, virtually everything they did was considered further evidence of their witchery.

Now does Robin DiAngelo intentionally want to promote a mode of human discourse in which the accused is denied any form of self-defense, and deliberate malice is always assumed? Does Robin DiAngelo really want to create a modern day witch-hunt? Does Robin DiAngelo really want to promote the notion that white people are always speaking about race in bad faith? Does Robin DiAngelo want to turn all forms of involuntary manslaughter into murder?

Well according to Robin DiAngelo, intentions are irrelevant. I think we should judge Dr. Robin DiAngelo by the same standards she uses to judge others.

See also: Countdown the Robin DiAngelo lawsuit

And because the reflex response of all Social Justice Warriors/Identitarians like Robin DiAngelo is to smear their critics as racist, here is a statement:

My Anti-Racist Bona Fides
Although I was smeared on Tumblr by infamous bully Mikki Kendall and identitarian extremist K. Tempest Bradford (and thanks to the cozy relationship between Tumblr and Google, the smears show up in my search results), in fact I have a long history of opposing racism, and the evidence for the past 10 years is on this blog. Unhinged extremists like Kendall and Bradford don't care to know anything about the strangers they randomly smear. That's why they and the people who promote them like Verso books are horrible and don't help solve the problem of racism in the United States.