A Voyueristic Exploration of Whiteness

Recently PBS film-maker Whitney Dow strongly invoked Poe’s Law by creating “The Whiteness Project“, a series of interviews designed to encourage the sort of racial navel-gazing so beloved by members of the political left. Part Struggle Session, part voyeuristic horror, Dow’s project ostensibly proves that yes, we white folk are still awful, and yes, we can still clutch our pearls over it. If you were perhaps concerned that popular consciousness was forgetting about the White Devil and his evil ways, rest assured, Dow is dragging that demon back into the spotlight for us all to view with a mix of mortification and curiosity.

Like any good unintentional troll, reactions to this were quite diverse. Plenty of Basketball Americans were simply outraged white folks were given a venue to be racist, not understanding that for white folk, ridiculing and castigating other whites constitutes an important part of our social signaling. One clueless Vietnamese gentleman actually thought this constituted some form of PBS sponsored white nationalism.  Of course bourgeois leftists picked up on the joke and observed “The Whiteness Project will make you wince. Because white people can be rather awful.“, while also highlighting the observation the real danger is that such a project “re-centers whites”. Look Mr Thrasher, I really don’t know how the Hell we’re supposed to talk about what racist miscreants white people are without mentioning whiteness. Perhaps we should simply refer to all white folk as “The race which dare not speak its name” to avoid re-centering social studies and popular attention on whiteness, which is by some reports entirely disproportionate. Obviously it is also a bit hilarious to say “white people” can be “rather awful”, a sort of sentiment no one would ever dare to repeat about blacks, Muslims, or the Japanese.

Thrasher further goes on to repeat this Cultural Marxist talking point as if it represents scientific fact and not some hilariously contrived piece of commie rhetoric:

“Whiteness, like all racial identities, is a relatively recent historical concept, conceived during European colonialism and American slavery as a way to empower poor whites with “whiteness” and divide them politically and economically from other disenfranchised people.”

Oh say it ain’t so, racial dichotomies were invented by the capitalist overlords to keep the proletariat divided into bickering groups of people separated by trivial cosmetic differences while they exploit and plunder all of us? Cool story, bro.

Part of white privilege involves being able to ignore people like this.
Part of white privilege involves ignoring people like this.
The film-maker himself had a lot to say about his Rustlemania Project, including the mundane observation that of all the different troll-targets, it was progressive white people that were the most triggered. More interestingly, he noted that many liberal whites and even some blacks think “they’re outside the paradigm of racial debate because they’re righteous“. Morally uppity progressives think they’re above the fray and coolly repeat some trope about race being a social construct? Merciful heavens, what a startling development. This entire time I really thought those liberals represented the apex of human moral development and enlightenment.  Personally I think Whitney Dow probably fails to understand that Two Minutes Hate Sessions are a vital part of the progressive experience, and in fact, he did them a great service in documenting this everyday white evil for them to cathartically attack.

Finally, this entire post-modern spectacle concludes with the film-maker agreeing with Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “analysis”: “Progressives think race is a fault in the system that needs to be addressed through measures to right wrongs, but in fact, white supremacy is the organizing principle of the country.” Now that is one telling admission, apparently white supremacy is what organized America and made it great. Maybe if writing for the Atlantic doesn’t pan out, Coates could go to work for David Duke. Frankly, I agree whole-heartedly with this premise: Modern America was almost entirely created by white folk, and the success of this country couldn’t have possibly been produced by a population of Sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aborigines, or native Easter Islanders. No shit Sherlock, European white settlers built the United States and it’s largely based on their value set,* a value set with a proven track record of success. *So really, white people talking about whiteness should indeed be something worth celebrating, since without those white folk, you wouldn’t have a Twitter account to digitally wring your hands with and kvetch about white privilege on.

Why if whiteness didn’t exist, what on earth would we complain about?