Agency as Privilege: Educating for Justice

The goings on at the 15th annual White Privilege Conference held in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend have of course been making the rounds on social media. Some are supportive, others are hateful, others simply find it amusing. Put me in the latter category. While I find the proceedings to be highly comical I also find them sad and ironic. The main theme of the conference was of course the absolute social supremacy of white people along with the complete denial of the agency of non-whites. This really should not surprise people anymore.

White people attending a postmodern church service.
The most radical and remarked upon comments came from Kim Radersma, a former California public school teacher and current student of “Critical Whiteness studies.” Shocked and appalled by the fact that the lower level classes at her school were exclusively populated by NAMs (Non-Asian Minorities) and the higher level classes were populated exclusively by Whites and Asians, she set about trying to find out what could possibly explain this completely unexpected result. Unsurprisingly she discovered that of course the “institutionalized racist structure of education and her white privilege” were the culprit. Shocking!

Here are some of the more hilarious comments from this hopelessly self-obsessed SWPL:

“Teaching is a political act, and you can’t choose to be neutral. You are either a pawn used to perpetuate a system of oppression or you are fighting against it. And if you think you are neutral, you are a pawn.”

“Being a white person who does anti-racist work is like being an alcoholic. I will never be recovered by my alcoholism, to use the metaphor, I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply embedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”

“We’ve been raised to be good. ‘I’m a good white person,’ and yet to realize I carry within me these dark, horrible thoughts and perceptions is hard to admit. And yet like the alcoholic, what’s the first step? Admitting you have a problem.”

“If you don’t want to work for equity, get the fuck out of education. If you are not serious about being an agent of change that helps stifle the oppressive systems, go find another job. Because you are a political figure.”

This is of course nothing new. The left has been using education as a means to undermine Western society and imbue socialist, universalist, anti-white, anti-European and pro-gay attitudes in the children for years now. There are entire organizations dedicated to this endeavor. One of the more egregious examples of this is an attack on the very foundations of Mathematics as racist and patriarchal. The left seeks to remedy this injustice with so-called “Social Justice Math.” Social Justice math is different you see. In Social Justice Math the correct answer to the classic train problem is that it doesn’t matter when and where train A meets train B, because minority neighborhoods are underserved by public transportation.

Some left wing educators mark children out for socialist brainwashing even earlier, going so far as to ban them from playing with Legos™ if they start showing oppressive power dynamics in the course of their play. From Rethinking Schools:

“A group of about eight children conceived and launched Legotown. Other children were eager to join the project, but as the city grew — and space and raw materials became more precious — the builders began excluding other children.

Occasionally, Legotown leaders explicitly rebuffed children, telling them that they couldn’t play. Typically the exclusion was more subtle, growing from a climate in which Legotown was seen as the turf of particular kids. The other children didn’t complain much about this; when asked about Legos, they’d often comment vaguely that they just weren’t interested in playing with Legos anymore. As they closed doors to other children, the Legotown builders turned their attention to complex negotiations among themselves about what sorts of structures to build, whether these ought to be primarily privately owned or collectively used, and how “cool pieces” would be distributed and protected. These negotiations gave rise to heated conflict and to insightful conversation. Into their coffee shops and houses, the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive. As we watched the children build, we became increasingly concerned.

After nearly two months of observing the children’s Legotown construction, we decided to ban the Legos.”

Apparently “Rethinking Schools” means rethinking them as communist indoctrination camps, rather than schools. Seems legit.

This sort of crap is why every 18 year old in the country is an idiotic communist that thinks his unique anarchist views are totes radical and revolutionary when in fact they have been hammered into his brain by the government school system itself since childood. This is why every person under 30 thinks that men not being allowed to legally “marry” other men in some parts of the country is the most pressing social issue of the day.

Of course we have been over this before. All the power is with white people. White people are supreme. Non-whites have no power and no agency to change their social situation, but must instead be saved by noble and self-sacrificing whites. This is a movement of people that is so hilariously unselfconscious that they honestly considered making white students wear white wristbands in school in order to teach them about privilege without realizing the hysterical irony of this proposal. These people honestly cannot imagine any social phenomena that white people, and more specifically, white people like them, are not at the center of. So. Fucking. Brave.

Radersma’s comments above as well as her chosen field of study reveal her total narcissism and her affliction with the “white savior complex” in spades (pardon the pun). However, Radersma is perhaps at a more advanced stage of critical theory than most of her comrades. She acknowledges the point that conservatives and trolls have long been making, that the white savior complex itself is a form of white supremacy and racism.

“It’s that savior mentality, like ‘save them, because they are not like us,’ and that normalization of whiteness. Whiteness is best and those poor others aren’t as good as us. So, we need to think of them and give them our sympathy and our charity and our generosity, which is so demeaning to the people on the receiving end. It’s so demoralizing and disempowering to be receiving it.”

This is particularly hilarious because I have used this very trope to troll anti-racist leftists with in the past. It hysterically reduces them to sputtering incoherence because it effectively paralyzes their entire narrative. So what do? It’s a classic Catch-22. Insensitive to the plight of POC under white supremacy? Racist. Want to help POC suffering under white supremacy? Well, you are just reinforcing white supremacy. There is nothing to do other than repent. In this way anti-racist activism becomes purely a confessional activity. There is no practical action you can take. All you can do is confess your whiteness. Sola Fide. By faith alone you shall be saved.

This type of public celebration of white guilt has essentially become a postmodern church service for privileged white progressives, complete with original sin and public self-flagellation. These people desperately need to go the fuck back to church.

Author image
Hey bro, that's racist.