The University of Cincinnati is sponsoring a workshop on “white fragility” and “white tears” this semester… “White fragility,” as defined by a paper in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, “is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”
In the spirit of reciprocity, I’ll attempt an alternative, and perhaps more realistic, definition. “White fragility” is the unremarkable fact that people by and large don’t like being slandered as racists and then assigned with some pretentious collective guilt, the supposed atonement for which requires deference to actual racists and predatory hokum merchants.
As Hippogryph notes in the comments, the official definition of “white fragility” looks an awful lot like Kafkatrapping, a dishonest and pathological manoeuvre, a form of emotional bullying, in which the denial of an unproven and insulting accusation is instantly seized upon as damning confirmation of said accusation. The object being to inculcate pretentious guilt via some notional group association, making a person feel somehow responsible for the actions of others, even strangers long dead, over whom he or she has zero influence. It’s an attempt to induce a profound unrealism, and thereby compliance.
In light of which, we could parse the official definition of “white fragility” a little further:
These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear…
Or, put another way: “How dare you be annoyed by our slandering? How dare you question our motives as anything other than benign?”
...and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.
Or, “How dare you talk back and draw attention to our question-begging? How dare you not want to remain in the presence of people who wish to do you psychological harm?”
Here’s yet another example of leftist student protest bearing a remarkable resemblance to opportunist spite:
The Whiffenpoofs, “one of the most prestigious a cappella groups in the United States,” last November chose to remain exclusively male.
I’m sure you can see where this one is headed. This male-only line-up has been both a musical aesthetic and the group’s identity for over a century. Whatever the prevailing politics on campus, male and female voices are, by and large, not entirely interchangeable, and I’d imagine that, say, close-harmony work, a signature of the group, is probably easier if the voices are in the same range. However,
As the Yale Daily News notes, this did not thwart females and “nonmales” from protesting that policy during their auditions.
Student Sydney Garick used her try-out time to criticise the group’s male-only tradition.
A gender nonbinary student… told the News that four Whiffs walked out in the middle of the audition as the student stood in silent protest rather than performing a solo.
Well, given the imposition on others’ time, and the limited number of audition slots available, stage hogging in silent protest is fairly dull to watch, to say nothing of being selfish and insulting.
Before auditioning for the Whiffs, students are required to sign a contract committing to the group’s demanding travel schedule. The student told the News they signed the contract with the pronouns “they/them/their” rather than a name.
But of course. Because pissing about with the paperwork and refusing even to give a name shows everyone just how serious you are, how genuine in your interest, and how terribly radical. For some people it’s just politics über alles. Imagine the fun on tour. Oh, and do note that the protest, the petitions, and the hectoring about inclusivity were aimed only at the university’s all-male singing group. The university’s all-female singing group, which doesn’t admit male singers, was strangely exempt from similar fuss and umbrage.
UC Berkeley’s Division of Equity and Inclusion has hung vertical banners across the main campus reminding students of the contemporary university’s paramount mission: assigning guilt and innocence within the ruthlessly competitive hierarchy of victimhood… “I will acknowledge how power and privilege intersect in our daily lives,” vows an Asian female member of the class of 2017. Just how crippling is that “intersection” of “power and privilege”? The answer comes in a banner showing a black female student in a backward baseball cap and a male Hispanic student, who together urge the Berkeley community to “Create an environment where people other than yourself can exist.” A naïve observer of the Berkeley campus would think that lots of people “other than himself” exist there, and would even think that Berkeley welcomes those “other” people with overflowing intellectual and material riches. Such a misperception, however, is precisely why Berkeley funds the Division of Equity and Inclusion with a cool $20 million annually and staffs it with 150 full-time functionaries: it takes that much money and personnel to drum into students’ heads how horribly Berkeley treats its “othered” students.
Jade Haney on blatant indoctrination and replacing facts with pretentious guilt:
Jack Flotte, a member of Regis University’s Social Justice and Spirituality Committee, opened the session by scolding his white peers and professors on their state of “white fragility,” saying, “Like it or not, we are already accomplices. The question becomes: to what end are we partners in the crime of continuing to perpetuate these systems that dehumanise and oppress people?” Flotte also advised white students and faculty to “spend less time being upset about accusations that you’re complicit and that white people are bad and spend more time being mad at the racism and suffering,” adding, “Stop changing the subject when race does come into a conversation. Not that you understand this concept of white fragility. You’re going to be made uncomfortable as white folks when the conversation of race comes up. But, just get over it and then channel that energy. Channel that guilt into activism.”
Yes, as of today, this blog is officially ten years old.
I have to say, back in February 2007, I had no idea what I was doing and no expectation that I’d still be doing it a decade later. Much as I’d like to applaud my own obstinacy, the fact that I have a slightly better idea of what to do, and am still doing it, is due in very large part to you heathens. Without readers and commenters, and feedback and inspiration, and links to news items about exploding toilets, I doubt this disreputable establishment would still be here.
So, er, group hug.
And now that we’re all feeling warm and fluffy and well-disposed, I’m going to slyly remind patrons that this rickety barge is kept afloat by the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to help it remain buoyant for a while longer, and insert a coin for the dancing monkey, there’s an orange button below with which to monetise any love. Debit and credit cards are accepted. For those wishing to express their love regularly, there’s a monthly subscription option top left. Additionally, any Amazon shopping done via this link or the search widget top right, or for Amazon US via this link, results in a small fee for your host at no extra cost to you.
For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last decade, and in over 2,000 posts and 60,000 comments, the reheated series is a pretty good place to start. If you can, do take a moment to poke through the discussion threads too. The posts are intended as starting points, not full stops, and the comments are where much of the good stuff is waiting to be found. And do please join in.
Again, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company.
A family in Bangladesh has been arrested after using a fake penis to trick villagers into believing a genie had performed a sex change on their teenage daughter. “The girl and her parents have set up a profitable business promising to heal people with a genie,” Monzur Murshed, the local police chief, said. As news spread that the girl had not only been transformed but undergone a mystical circumcision, villagers flocked to seek the genie’s intervention with their own medical woes.
Well. Here’s an interview with Kiara Robles, one of the “far right” women surrounded and assaulted, repeatedly, by the righteously left-leaning Berkeley ‘protestors’. It seems that merely wearing a hat with the words “Make Bitcoin Great Again” is enough to make you a “Nazi,” a “fascist,” and therefore a target of physical abuse. And here’s an interview with another woman – sorry, “Nazi” – who was repeatedly assaulted at UC Berkeley, along with her husband, who was severely beaten with metal bars.
These, then, are some of the people of whom Laurie Penny is, and I quote, “fucking terrified.”
Meet Yvette Felarca, a middle school teacher and one of the organisers of the Berkeley rioting. “The left has been far too timid for far too long,” says she.
Ian Miles Cheong on the mob thuggery at UC Berkeley and its ‘progressive’ cheerleaders:
Vocal members of the progressive left took to social media to voice their support for the riot, dubbing it a legitimate resistance movement against the Trump administration. Feminist film director Lexi Alexander, who has directed episodes of Arrow, Supergirl and American Gothic, encouraged rioters to set the campus on fire. Her calls to “join the resistance” were echoed by comedian and actress Sarah Silverman, whose outspoken calls for violent insurrection have only escalated with each passing day... Polygon senior editor Ben Kuchera expressed support for the violence, saying it was okay to punch anyone who mocked safe spaces. And Arthur Chu, the perpetually “woke” male feminist ally, invited his followers to cheer about the brutalisation of a young woman who was assaulted as she conducted an interview.
Somewhat related, this screeching creature – apparently a professor – was rendered outraged and hysterical when some of her leftist associates were arrested following an unprovoked assault on the writer Gavin McInnes. She seems to believe that she and her comrades should be able to assault people, as they deem fit, with impunity.
Chrissy Nelson, the programme assistant at the Centre for Gender and Sexualities Studies, claimed that she “just got off the phone with one of the directors of diversity on campus” and received a suggestion to reserve a seat as a student to “take a seat away from someone who would actually go” and then not attend the event. “This is what I will be advising students to do,” she adds. “Take a seat away from a student that would be interested in going.”
Remember, this isn’t the plotting of a moody and vindictive teenager. It’s a supposedly adult member of staff. One employed by the university’s Centre for Gender and Sexualities Studies, the stated goal of which is “the pursuit of knowledge and dialogue.” And hence the attempt to ensure that no-one gets to hear a speaker with whom Ms Nelson disagrees. Before devoting her energies to sabotaging other people’s evenings, Ms Nelson majored in “sociology and social justice,” which may explain her enacting of that great egalitarian maxim, “I don’t like, so you can’t have.”
Note the unspoken but blatant disdain for any students who might wish to hear Shapiro speak and ask him questions, or who might want to challenge him on some point - an activity he encourages with lengthy Q&A sessions. Ms Nelson is quite happy to deny all of those students that chance, by overriding their preferences in an underhand manner and imposing her own, selfish will. It’s the antithesis of what a university is supposed to be about, and yet it’s an attitude that’s increasingly come to define what that institution now is.