Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a 5 part series.
MADISON, Wis. – When mainstream journalists cover the White Privilege movement, many do so in a frighteningly naïve manner.
They present White Privilege activists as well intentioned citizens who simply want to remind us that racism still exists.
But there’s far more to their message and agenda than that.
These people are not like the civil rights activists of the 1950s and 60s. In those days activists criticized America because the benefits of democracy, personal liberty and free enterprise did not extend to minorities, particularly black Americans. They fought for inclusion into the great American system, so that all citizens could have a shot at the American dream.
But today’s White Privilege crowd – largely elitist college professors and K-12 teachers – reject the idea of making the American system work for everyone.
Their goal is to trash the system altogether, specifically targeting free enterprise, individualism, Christianity and free speech. Their goal is to remake America with some form of collectivist economy, and presumably some form of totalitarian government that could impose and maintain such a system.
They’re pursuing that goal by enlisting thousands of teachers from across the nation to push their ideas on naïve K-12 students.
Do you find all of this a bit over the top?
It’s frighteningly real.
Progressives Today and EAGnews recently sent an investigative reporting crew to the White Privilege Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26-29, 2014. In attendance were 2,400 teachers, administrators and students from public schools throughout the U.S.
The conference dealt mostly with racial issues, but not in any sort of constructive manner. These folks preach that American society is inherently designed to benefit a small group of wealthy white elites. It’s almost as if they’re describing the United States at the turn of the 20th century, when black Americans were truly shut out of the system.
They ignore all the progress that’s been made in recent decades, to guarantee civil rights and create more economic opportunities for minorities.
Their answer when reminded that many black people (and members of other minority groups) have done very well within America’s free enterprise system?
“So there’s certainly a lot of Jews who, not a lot but there are some Jews who have been successful and assimilated up there. And of course some African-Americans. We can think of Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, people like that.
“So it’s a Christian culture and Christian framework, and some people can make it if they live like the white Christian men who are running things.”
What about the fact that an African-American has been elected President of the United States two terms in a row?
“The master’s house has a black face, but it’s still the master’s house. (Obama) works for the master of the system of white privilege.”
We have to wonder what President Obama would make of that statement.
Is there still racism in America? Of course. Have conditions improved significantly over time for minorities? Without a doubt.
But the White Privilege folks don’t see it that way at all. Check out some of the statements made by various speakers at the White Privilege Conference:
“Racism is central to America. It’s central to how the country was developed. It is central to how it operates right now. And if you don’t understand that you can’t actually understand how the country is developing and has developed.”
“We the people, so, when you go back to the Constitution, we the people, who was that? White men. Land owning. Wealthy. Christian. They claimed to be straight at the time. Who knows?”
“ … Race is driving about everything that’s happening in this country.”
The White Privilege crowd is really the Hate America crowd
But discussion at the White Privilege Conference went far beyond racism itself. The message seems to be that it’s a waste of time for blacks and other minorities to try to make progress in America, the way it exists today.
They believe minorities, and decent white people who care about them, should support efforts to trash our national constitution, economic system and religious traditions. After all, those are all just tools that help the rich white man keep us down.
Christianity was a favorite target of speakers at the conference.
“So what do I mean by Christian hegemony?” one speaker said. “Um … very simply, I define it as the everyday, pervasive, deep seated and institutionalized dominance of Christian values, Christian institutions, leaders, and Christians as a group, primarily for the benefit of Christian ruling elites. So that’s very similar to how we might define racism or sexism or other systems of oppression.”
Perhaps our most important freedom – the First Amendment right to free speech and self-expression – was also attacked.
“The United States has the most open notion of freedom of speech in the world,” one speaker said. “Many countries in the world, mainly western countries … for instance in Germany you cannot talk about the Nazis. In the U.S. you can talk about the Nazis. Not in Germany. You can’t buy Nazi memorabilia. Not in Germany. In South Africa you can’t talk about apartheid if you want apartheid.
“So even in western, liberal democracies there will be … there are certain things we do not do and do not say because they do hurt people and can lead people, through those words, to commit crimes against other people.
“But in the U.S., because of our understanding of this terminology, we end up all using so much language that is incredibly hurtful and painful … so how will we work on that at the local, state, national and international level?”
The only alternative, of course, is for government to decide what’s okay for us to say out loud, and what we have to keep to ourselves. And that, of course, would mean that all criticism of government would be banned in short order.
So much for democracy and freedom.
Another speaker degraded the evolution of European people, and the time-honored Enlightenment concepts like individual rights, reason, logic and the scientific method.
Never mind that those concepts led to the formation of some of the greatest civilizations in the history of the world. The White Privilege crowd sees nothing but evil.
“So this radical individual perceives himself, and it largely was a him, as being isolated from each other,” one speaker said. “Isolated from nature. Hostile to nature in a scary world. Was also a white self. So the expression of the self, the modern self, is automatically racialized. That wasn’t how the Native Americans organized themselves. It wasn’t how Africans organized their sense of self. It was an expression of a European sense of self. The reason that’s important is that as we challenge the notion of whiteness, we’re actually challenging the notion of the modern self.”
The obvious implication is that the European tendency toward self-reliance and individualism is far less desirable than the collectivist tendencies of other societies.
Translation – socialism is good, capitalism is bad.
The anti-capitalist theme was most prevalent at the conference.
White privilege proponents claim wealthy white elites fear any sort of alliance between working class people of different races, because that could lead to a social uprising that might threaten their wealth and status.
So they allow working class whites to exist at a level of subsistence slightly above minorities, and keep minorities completely poor and powerless.
“White is the tool by which laborers were divided,” one speaker at the conference said. “Those that share the same living conditions, the same opportunities (as black Americans) now perceive ourselves as being more connected to Paris Hilton than with our African American neighbor even though our economic status is far more similar to that neighbor than the lives of the one percent.”
As another speaker said, “ … So in this particular study, um, it showed if you are more inclined toward free market capitalism you have a higher tendency of holding ethnocentric (racist) values.
“For me, capitalism is the all-consuming thing. Capitalism maintains white supremacy, white privilege, racism, sexism, patriarchy, um, hetero-normality. You name it, capitalism.”
Authored by Steve Gunn