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"The Problem Of Blackness"

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 Or,  "The Problem of Redness."  Or,  "The Problem of Gayness." 

  Imagine how society would react if a US university offers such course.  Just think of the massive protests, and demands of resignations from professors and university administration.  Facebook would've exploded with various sorts of shaming, and all these shamed individuals would've been blackballed! 

 

Yet, here is a course about the problem of whiteness, being offered in Wisconsin!  

 

 

Quote

 

University of Wisconsin to Offer ‘The Problem of Whiteness’ Course

The University of Wisconsin, Madison is offering a course in the spring semester entitled “The Problem of Whiteness,” which aims to ask “what an ethical white identity entails, what it means to be #woke, and consider the journal Race Traitor’s motto, ‘treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.'”

The syllabus for the course, which will be offered by the University of Wisconsin’s African Cultural Studies department during the upcoming spring semester, claims that students will be asked to consider “what it really means to be white.”

It's racism against white people, and this university is getting away with it.

 

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/12/22/university-of-wisconsin-to-offer-the-problem-of-whiteness-course/

 

This is bigotry against white people.  What madness! 

Edited by betsy

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1 hour ago, betsy said:

This is bigotry against white people.  What madness! 

Is it?   Certainly the title "The Problem of Whiteness" sounds bad, but it seems the legislator did not look deeper.   The course is part of the University's "Critical Whiteness Studies"; here's part of a fuller explanation:

Quote

Whiteness Studies is not an attack on people, whatever their skin color. Instead, Whiteness Studies is an attempt to think critically about how white skin preference has operated systematically, structurally, and sometimes unconsciously as a dominant force in American—and indeed in global—society and culture. Thus it includes examining how white skin preference insinuates itself into the culture of communities of color as well, where we may find everything from prejudice against darker skinned people within the community to commercial practices of white-body imitation and surgery (nose jobs, skin creams, eye-lid alteration, etc.). The transnational character of white privilege results from the legacy of European colonial imperialism, so that Whiteness Studies may be usefully articulated with theories of globalization and postcoloniality as well.

The above ties in perfectly with the White Supremacist claim that only White people have gotten anything done around the world; surely it's worthwhile to examine the effect of White culture around the world historically?

According to this course description, "The Problem of Whiteness" isn't an attack against white people, it's an examination of a system which negatively affects white people and non-white people.

Quote

The class will also cover how white people “consciously and unconsciously perpetuate institutional racism and how this not only devastates communities of color but also perpetuates the oppression of most white folks along the lines of class and gender.”

While I think the course as described has merit, I have to wonder about the professor and whether his bias will render the course as one-sided as Breitbart thinks it will be.   No doubt the title could have been a little less provocative, too; perhaps the University welcomes the controversy.

Also, I wonder if the legislator in the article would have threatened to remove funding if there was a course called "The Problem of Blackness" or "The Problem of Brownness"?

 

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1 hour ago, dialamah said:

Also, I wonder if the legislator in the article would have threatened to remove funding if there was a course called "The Problem of Blackness" or "The Problem of Brownness"?

I think, as Betsy suggested, that if the university had a course named that, there would be an angry mob threatening to tear the university down if something wasn't done about it. The course would be cancelled long before it got to the point of a legislator getting involved.

1 hour ago, dialamah said:

According to this course description, "The Problem of Whiteness" isn't an attack against white people, it's an examination of a system which negatively affects white people and non-white people.

Quote

The class will also cover how white people “consciously and unconsciously perpetuate institutional racism and how this not only devastates communities of color but also perpetuates the oppression of most white folks along the lines of class and gender.”

While I think the course as described has merit,

 

I'm sure there is academic merit in examining the ongoing effects of racism. But I think the idea of conflating class and gender equality as a a problem with whiteness is nonsensical. Class and gender inequality has been a fact in most cultures around the world, white or not. Cultures in the Middle East and Asia had institutionalized class and gender inequality when "white culture" consisted of living in caves and trying to figure out whether rocks are edible. If you want to talk class inequality, let's talk class inequality. If you want to talk gender inequality, let's talk gender inequality.  But don't try and justify the value of your course by suggesting that these near-universal human traits are actually rooted in modern European culture.

From the syllabus:

Quote

In this class, we will ask what an ethical white identity entails, what it means to be #woke, and consider the journal Race Traitor’s motto, “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”

I honestly just don't feel like it.

I don't get that I'm living a "white identity". My circumstances are different from everybody else around me regardless of skin color. Skin color is pretty much the only thing I have in common with most of the people around me, I would subscribe to that as the defining factor in my identity.  I don't care to live "an ethical white identity". I strive to live "an ethical identity" as best I can.

 -k

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The thing that you are all missing is that it's whites doing all of this reflection.  If black Americans made a course called 'the Negro problem' no one would care.

This story is hysterical reaction to people who are afraid to look at their own culture critically.

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43 minutes ago, kimmy said:

 

I think, as Betsy suggested, that if the university had a course named that, there would be an angry mob threatening to tear the university down if something wasn't done about it. The course would be cancelled long before it got to the point of a legislator getting involved.

 

I'm sure there is academic merit in examining the ongoing effects of racism. But I think the idea of conflating class and gender equality as a a problem with whiteness is nonsensical. Class and gender inequality has been a fact in most cultures around the world, white or not. Cultures in the Middle East and Asia had institutionalized class and gender inequality when "white culture" consisted of living in caves and trying to figure out whether rocks are edible. If you want to talk class inequality, let's talk class inequality. If you want to talk gender inequality, let's talk gender inequality.  But don't try and justify the value of your course by suggesting that these near-universal human traits are actually rooted in modern European culture.

From the syllabus:

I honestly just don't feel like it.

I don't get that I'm living a "white identity". My circumstances are different from everybody else around me regardless of skin color. Skin color is pretty much the only thing I have in common with most of the people around me, I would subscribe to that as the defining factor in my identity.  I don't care to live "an ethical white identity". I strive to live "an ethical identity" as best I can.

 -k

Merely by virtue of being white, you have no choice but to live a 'white identity'.   Doesn't matter if you believe you have nothing in common with all your white neighbors, your white skin, in Canada, provides you with certain privileges of which you are largely unaware.   

Perhaps you've been to a Richmond mall and experienced being the only *white* person in a sea of non-whites, of seeing signs that are not your native language, and hearing all around you a language you do not understand.   It can be disconcerting, at the least.  This is the experience for virtually every immigrant who comes to Canada, something they live with daily.   This is not something you even have to think about, because you are White and Canada is steeped in White (Canadian) culture.

You can walk down the street in any urban center and see your *kind* reflected back at you at least 50% of the time.  In many places in Canada, especially small towns, you have that sameness reflected back to you 90% of the time or more.   Your culture surrounds you daily, in ways large and small and in ways you don't even recognize.  People smile at you more - because you are White.   Sales people help (or harass, depending on your mood) more quickly - because you are white.   Your Whiteness will get you jobs more easily and will also predispose other White people to trust you more readily - this trust is no small thing when white people make up the majority of the population in Canada.  

You don't have to concern yourself with the Argus's and Taxme's of this world, who would be happy to ensure you didn't live here if you weren't White. Nobody will accost you in a parking lot or on a bus and yell at you for not being White.   Should Canada elect their own Trump, you will not be a target of White Supremacists or Neo-Nazi groups, or even fanatical right-wing nuts.  

I understand that a lot of this is normal human behavior; we prefer those who are 'like' us, whether skin color, culture or beliefs.  But that doesn't mean we can't examine what that looks like, and the ways it impacts our society and all the people who live in our society.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

The thing that you are all missing is that it's whites doing all of this reflection.  If black Americans made a course called 'the Negro problem' no one would care.

This story is hysterical reaction to people who are afraid to look at their own culture critically.

I'd say it's a reaction to a government funded institution which openly demonstrates its loathing and hatred for white people. Maybe some of the people involved have white skin, but if so you can be sure they cry every morning when they see it in the mirror and wring their hands with guilt and self-loathing. You can see some of them around this site, people who have the privilege of growing up and living in a modern, safe, protected western cultural environment and yet despise democracy, all things which originate in the West, especially its culture,its values and its governments, and all westerners (other than minorities). There are people on this site that I'd like to see grabbed by big, burly men and dragged to the airport to be flown to Afghanistan or Iraq or Egypt or Jordan and dumped out via parachute, forced to live the rest of their lives there.

I suspect it wouldn't be long before they'd start looking fondly on all those evil western cultural touchstones that are no longer part of their lives.

 

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35 minutes ago, dialamah said:

Perhaps you've been to a Richmond mall and experienced being the only *white* person in a sea of non-whites, of seeing signs that are not your native language, and hearing all around you a language you do not understand.   It can be disconcerting, at the least.  This is the experience for virtually every immigrant who comes to Canada, something they live with daily.  

No problem. Let them go home where they'll be the majority again.

35 minutes ago, dialamah said:

This is not something you even have to think about, because you are White and Canada is steeped in White (Canadian) culture.

So people are supposed to pause and reflect on the unfair advantages they have of being white in a white country? Do you think somewhere in Asia there are idiots who bemoan the fact they've got 'yellow privilege' living in societies where the great majority of the people are Asian? I doubt it. Is there, somewhere in Africa, a group of 'woke' people aspiring to overcome their black privilege and make Africa more inclusive to non-Blacks? I doubt that too. The only people who bemoan being the majority in their own country are people who have the benefit of not having been confronted with any real problems. We used to call people like this dilettantes, airheads who would make mouth noises everyone sane would laugh at. Now they call themselves progressives and have added a streak of viciousness to their brainless theories and social beliefs.

Oh, and by the way, while we're all sniveling about white privilege we might pause to consider that the only reason there ARE any substantial numbers of non-Whites in Canada - aside from the aborigines, is because of the incredible level of tolerance of White people in Canada. Because everyone knows that if you started pouring people of different races and religions into any non-White country there'd be violent revolution, the government of the day would all be executed, and all the newcomers would be killed or driven out. That's especially true in the Muslim world, which to this day is united in its loathing and violent hatred for a tiny sliver of Jew dirtying up the purity of the Ummah.

 

 

 

 

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Articles like this always make me think universities have too much money or too much spare time. Or both.

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44 minutes ago, dialamah said:

Merely by virtue of being white, you have no choice but to live a 'white identity'.   Doesn't matter if you believe you have nothing in common with all your white neighbors, your white skin, in Canada, provides you with certain privileges of which you are largely unaware.   

Perhaps you've been to a Richmond mall and experienced being the only *white* person in a sea of non-whites, of seeing signs that are not your native language, and hearing all around you a language you do not understand.   It can be disconcerting, at the least.  This is the experience for virtually every immigrant who comes to Canada, something they live with daily.   This is not something you even have to think about, because you are White and Canada is steeped in White (Canadian) culture.

You can walk down the street in any urban center and see your *kind* reflected back at you at least 50% of the time.  In many places in Canada, especially small towns, you have that sameness reflected back to you 90% of the time or more.   Your culture surrounds you daily, in ways large and small and in ways you don't even recognize.  People smile at you more - because you are White.   Sales people help (or harass, depending on your mood) more quickly - because you are white.   Your Whiteness will get you jobs more easily and will also predispose other White people to trust you more readily - this trust is no small thing when white people make up the majority of the population in Canada.  

You don't have to concern yourself with the Argus's and Taxme's of this world, who would be happy to ensure you didn't live here if you weren't White. Nobody will accost you in a parking lot or on a bus and yell at you for not being White.   Should Canada elect their own Trump, you will not be a target of White Supremacists or Neo-Nazi groups, or even fanatical right-wing nuts.  

I understand that a lot of this is normal human behavior; we prefer those who are 'like' us, whether skin color, culture or beliefs.  But that doesn't mean we can't examine what that looks like, and the ways it impacts our society and all the people who live in our society.

 

 

Good post. I am as white as you can get and I would have no hesitation the stand back and examine the things that being white I have probably taken for granted for a long time. I see Argus has already weighed in with wanting to throw white people who consider such things out of the country, but we knew that was coming.

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3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

The thing that you are all missing is that it's whites doing all of this reflection.  If black Americans made a course called 'the Negro problem' no one would care.

This story is hysterical reaction to people who are afraid to look at their own culture critically.

It's being taught a part of the "African Cultural Studies" program.  

http://african.wisc.edu/content/problem-whiteness

As an aside, I see this as a massive cultural issue in the USA, but doesn't really touch Canadian culture.  This course seems to want to knock down the "white culture" (as if that's a homogenous culture, and not just a skin tone) for some reason...  perhaps to make other cultures feel better about themselves?  I don't know...  

Edited by The_Squid

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I think it is good they examine white culture and white issues, after all, living in a majority white populated nation, how else will the students come to deal with whites around them if they don't know the problems whites have?  Understand the entire construct of whiteness is critically important given all the racial holocaust involving whites and racist laws, and racism that continue to this day.

 

I don't think there is a parallel between yellow, red or black people (at least in the west anyways) as there is to the problem of whiteness.  I don't even think in north american context that the problem is French, italians, germans, or irish culture per se.

 

Under the system of white supremacy "the problem is white people"

Professor Robert Jensen, University of Texas.

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Dwelling in perennial victimhood may be comforting and giving you a sense of togetherness with the like-minded people but ii really gets you nowhere in the end. That's why I believe it is very detrimental to develop a mind-set that the whole world is against you and whatever is going wrong in your life none of it is your own fault.

I don't know Canada as I've never been to your country but I can speak for my country Finland which is certainly one of the least racist countries you could imagine. Yet we also have at regular intervals these victim-stories which always without an exception turn out to be false.

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8 hours ago, betsy said:

 Or,  "The Problem of Redness."  Or,  "The Problem of Gayness." 

  Imagine how society would react if a US university offers such course.  Just think of the massive protests, and demands of resignations from professors and university administration.  Facebook would've exploded with various sorts of shaming, and all these shamed individuals would've been blackballed! 

 

Yet, here is a course about the problem of whiteness, being offered in Wisconsin!  

 

 

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/12/22/university-of-wisconsin-to-offer-the-problem-of-whiteness-course/

 

This is bigotry against white people.  What madness! 

As usual you are responding to Breitbart headlines instead of delving deeper. These courses have been offered at many institutions:

"In 2003, The Post’s Darryl Fears reported that at least 30 institutions, including Princeton and the University of California at Los Angeles, had courses in whiteness studies despite widespread opposition."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/12/a-course-originally-called-the-problem-of-whiteness-returns-to-asu-as-racial-tensions-boil-over-on-campuses/?utm_term=.a56eaf7b7949

When Elizabeth Hesselback disagrees with the course you know this course is totally appropriate. 

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3 hours ago, WestCoastRunner said:

As usual you are responding to Breitbart headlines instead of delving deeper. These courses have been offered at many institutions:

"In 2003, The Post’s Darryl Fears reported that at least 30 institutions, including Princeton and the University of California at Los Angeles, had courses in whiteness studies despite widespread opposition."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/12/a-course-originally-called-the-problem-of-whiteness-returns-to-asu-as-racial-tensions-boil-over-on-campuses/?utm_term=.a56eaf7b7949

When Elizabeth Hesselback disagrees with the course you know this course is totally appropriate. 

 

It's not an honest study - it's political!  It's BS!  It paints an entire white race to be discriminatory. 

It has nothing to do with colors! 

 

I'm sure people in their own countries (no matter what race), feel that they are above others either culturally or morally, if not economically.   There will always be inequality in every places.  There will always be comparisons. 

 

  There's nothing wrong about having pride, either!  Whether pride about your culture....or about your color!  Be proud of who you are. That's your own identity!   You can't stamp that off....it's human nature.

 

 They want white folks - young white people, white youth - - to feel defensive about their race - like as if there's anything wrong with being white!  

This is brainwashing!  They'll play with these kids' minds.  It's a cleverly disguised indoctrination to make gullible young white people feel like they have something to apologise for being born white!  :lol:

 

 

These kind of wide brushes that paint all white folks as "supremacists," leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth.These kind of courses and workshops only fosters resentment and divisions.  

 

Perhaps, in contrast, there should be courses to gain understanding why SOME people of color  tend to feel they're inferior when it comes to color.  

 

It's easy to point fingers at others to be the cause of one's problems.. To some people, it's always the fault of others.

How convenient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by betsy

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Go to Japan, or China or anywhere in the Middle East.  If you secretly understand their language - and hear what some of these people say about you, while they smile at you - you'll have one rude awakening, no matter what color you are!

Edited by betsy

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4 hours ago, -TSS- said:

Dwelling in perennial victimhood may be comforting and giving you a sense of togetherness with the like-minded people but ii really gets you nowhere in the end. That's why I believe it is very detrimental to develop a mind-set that the whole world is against you and whatever is going wrong in your life none of it is your own fault.

I don't know Canada as I've never been to your country but I can speak for my country Finland which is certainly one of the least racist countries you could imagine. Yet we also have at regular intervals these victim-stories which always without an exception turn out to be false.

You mean like what Trump does with everyone else, and how all the "elites", all the "media" and all the "establishment" is against him?  You mean that kind of victim mentality?

Funny how I never hear anyone saying 9/11 victims or nice attack victims should get over their "victimhood".  Never heard anyone tell them ww2 vets on veteran day get over your victimhood.

How is Finland one of the least racist countries?  Can you explain that to the forum?

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1 hour ago, betsy said:

 

It's not an honest study - it's political!  It's BS!  It paints an entire white race to be discriminatory. 

It has nothing to do with colors! 

I'm sure people in their own countries (no matter what race), feel that they are above others either culturally or morally, if not economically.   There will always be inequality in every places.  There will always be comparisons. 

  There's nothing wrong about having pride, either!  Whether pride about your culture....or about your color!  Be proud of who you are. That's your own identity!   You can't stamp that off....it's human nature.

 They want white folks - young white people, white youth - - to feel defensive about their race - like as if there's anything wrong with being white!  

This is brainwashing!  They'll play with these kids' minds.  It's a cleverly disguised indoctrination to make gullible young white people feel like they have something to apologise for being born white!  :lol:

These kind of wide brushes that paint all white folks as "supremacists," leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth.These kind of courses and workshops only fosters resentment and divisions.  

Perhaps, in contast, there should be courses to gain understanding why SOME people of color  tend to feel they're inferior when it comes to color.  

It's easy to point fingers at others to be the cause of one's problems.. To some people, it's always the fault of others.

How convenient.

The experts are telling us the vast majority of the white body behaves in a discriminatory manner.  What is wrong with studying the facts and evidence?  If facts and evidence show all whites are racist and discriminatory, then the schools have a responsibility to deconstruct that racism and discrimination with just and proper treatment.

No one wants white people to feel defensive, rather they want them to stop practicing racism and discrimination.

White people do not have to apologize for being born white, but they should apologize for oppressing other peoples, all the land theft, mass murder, nuclear bombs, disease spreading etc.

All whites are some kind of a supremacist when you look at the facts and evidence, the schools are trying to fix this.  We already have resentments and division in our society, we thought ignoring them would make it go away, but it turns out it has made it much worse.

We have books written by white people like black like me, who've walked in the skin of african americans and concluded whites are bitter foaming at the mouth racist, we know whiteness is the problem, this is what the evidence shows, its not reds, yellows, blacks or browns, as president lula da silvia said, white people with blue eyes are the cause of this crisis.

It is no one's fault but white people's so its time the academics stop acting all mealy mouthed and beating around the bush.  Racism is a white problem, whiteness is the problem, the issues we are having in society now, deal with the bad behaviour of white people.  And until they accept that and change their behaviour, things will be worse for everyone in society.

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1 hour ago, hernanday said:

The experts are telling us the vast majority of the white body behaves in a discriminatory manner.  What is wrong with studying the facts and evidence?  If facts and evidence show all whites are racist and discriminatory, then the schools have a responsibility to deconstruct that racism and discrimination with just and proper treatment.

No one wants white people to feel defensive, rather they want them to stop practicing racism and discrimination.

White people do not have to apologize for being born white, but they should apologize for oppressing other peoples, all the land theft, mass murder, nuclear bombs, disease spreading etc.

All whites are some kind of a supremacist when you look at the facts and evidence, the schools are trying to fix this.  We already have resentments and division in our society, we thought ignoring them would make it go away, but it turns out it has made it much worse.

We have books written by white people like black like me, who've walked in the skin of african americans and concluded whites are bitter foaming at the mouth racist, we know whiteness is the problem, this is what the evidence shows, its not reds, yellows, blacks or browns, as president lula da silvia said, white people with blue eyes are the cause of this crisis.

It is no one's fault but white people's so its time the academics stop acting all mealy mouthed and beating around the bush.  Racism is a white problem, whiteness is the problem, the issues we are having in society now, deal with the bad behaviour of white people.  And until they accept that and change their behaviour, things will be worse for everyone in society.

Racism is a human problem. Whites are probably the only humans who feel bad about it.

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46 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

Racism is a human problem. Whites are probably the only humans who feel bad about it.

Define how you use the term racism. 

If you mean bigotry, as in not liking someone for their race, then that is a problem.

However racism, is a much larger problem and creates bigotry.

The racism problem is a white problem, no need to get mealy mouthed about it. Doesn't mean all whites are bad, or evil, or have devil horns. 

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47 minutes ago, hernanday said:

Define how you use the term racism. 

If you mean bigotry, as in not liking someone for their race, then that is a problem.

However racism, is a much larger problem and creates bigotry.

The racism problem is a white problem, no need to get mealy mouthed about it. Doesn't mean all whites are bad, or evil, or have devil horns. 

Bigotry is concerned with ideas, and views, not race.

Racism is no more a white problem than it is a problem of any other colour.  It's a people problem.  I think attributing it to one race alone is a racist notion. 

Edit - Oops, I just remembered, I can get in trouble for that, so I deleted it. 

Edited by bcsapper

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8 hours ago, Smallc said:

Yeah, you beat me to it squid - there is no 'white' culture.  

Agree.  There's no "black" culture either.  What do black people in Zimbabwe have in common culturally with ie: African-Americans who whose family have lived there for centuries?

There's no culture based on the colour of one's skin.

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The term "whiteness" is used in academia to examine power structures where whites are/have oppressed on other races etc.  I have no problem with the study of racial power structures, and criticizing behaviours of some white people/groups, but using the term "whiteness" in a negative connotation towards whites as a race like that is absolutely racist.

Quote

Whiteness:

noun 1. the quality or state of being white.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/whiteness

"Whiteness" is a term, to me, that should mean that which encompasses the entire spectrum of experiences and cultural trends of being white.  To say that this spectrum of "being white" has a negative connotation and that being white can be summed up wholly or almost wholly as being an oppressor is racist and disgusting.  I have no problem with the racial study, just find a non-racist term for it.

 

Edited by Moonlight Graham

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