Friday, July 15, 2016

No Jamelle Bouie, Robin DiAngelo is not helping

I was very disappointed to see that Jamelle Bouie cited Robin "intentions are irrelevant" DiAngelo in his latest piece about Donald Trump.

The first time I ever heard of Bouie was when he used my blog posts as a resource - because I had been documenting Razib Khan's racism for years -  to make a case against Khan when Khan was up for a steady writing gig with the NYTimes. I mention this fact in my anti-racist bona fides (bottom of this post and on the right-hand side of this blog.)

Thanks to social media, there are times when people are falsely smeared as racists - I have had that very thing happen to me. The thinking seems to be that because black people have been treated horribly on the basis of their ethnicity, it's now appropriate to turn the tables and treat white people badly on the basis of their ethnicity. You can casually smear a white person as racist, for any reason, if you feel like it because black people have suffered. And you will be considered a hero by many on the left, as Mikki Kendall was.

This is not justice. This is revenge.

It's one thing when social media zanies like Mikki Kendall promote revenge, but Robin DiAngelo has taken that revenge-based approach and codified it into a series of lectures and workshops given to established, respectable organizations. One of DiAngelo's techniques is to bow to the personal prejudices of some people in order to discriminate against others, on the basis of ethnicity. Now it certainly wasn't the intention of the woman who cried to distress a POC - she was expressing sadness for what happened to a POC - but since Robin DiAngelo's belief is that intentions are irrelevant that means that bigotry against a white person is perfectly acceptable, even if what they are doing is expressing sympathy for a POC.

This is why Robin DiAngelo is so incredibly pernicious, because she packages garden-variety bigotry as social justice.

I completely agree with Bouie's article about Donald Trump and racism. And Bouie does not lump all white people together. As he notes in his piece:
For its American Values Survey, the Public Religion Research Institute asks respondents whether “discrimination against whites is a significant problem.” In last year’s survey, 43 percent of Americans—including 60 percent of working-class whites—said discrimination against whites had become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.
But as far as an identitarian like DiAngelo is concerned, "43 percent of Americans" saying discrimination against whites had become a bigger problem is meaningless - because as far as DiAngelo is concerned, 100% of white Americans are racist. She says exactly that - that your beliefs and actions, as an individual, ethical-decision-making human being are irrelevant.
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.

So because we are all socialized in the system, we are all the same. DiAngelo does not allow for individual human beings becoming aware of, and consciously rejecting the existing race-based system of structured relations - at least without paying Robin DiAngelo to run a workshop.

All white people are equally racist to DiAngelo because all white people are equally white.

This absolutely does not help the race problem in the United States. I resent very much being lumped in with a member of the Ku Klux Klan because Robin DiAngelo has decreed that my individual beliefs and actions mean nothing - only my ethnicity matters.

Just like people of color, white people resent being lumped together with others in a negative way on the basis of some physical trait. So naturally Robin DiAngelo is only going to fuel white resentment in her wrong-headed approach to social justice.

Robin DiAnglo is not helping.

More of my thoughts on Robin DiAngelo.

My Anti-Racist Bona Fides
Because the reflex response of all Social Justice Warriors/Identitarians like Robin DiAngelo is to smear their critics as racist, here is my statement on racism:

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 Google search results on my name), 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.