Sunday, August 9, 2015

Duke is Wallowing in Racial Politics

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

Poor Duke University. Going back to the infamous rape case involving lacrosse players falsely accused of gang rape, Duke has had its share of national embarrassments. Like other schools across the nation, Duke is caught up in the "white privilege" trend that divides students along color lines. It is outrageous.

There is an op-ed published in the campus paper, Duke Chronicle, in which a group of black students take aim at white students in general. They demand that they accept white guilt over our past history and admit that they live today in some sort of privilege built on the backs of past generations of blacks who suffered slavery and segregation. The College Fix has posted it, and I cross-post it from the College Fix. I have thrown in my two cents worth in the Chronicle's reader thread. (It has not yet been published.)

Somebody in a position of authority at Duke (and other schools) needs to step in here and put a stop to this racial division. This is not 1965. It is 2015 and America has moved beyond what existed in those dark years of Jim Crow. White students on campus are not the enemy, and they have nothing to apologize for. The idea that white students should be walking around in sackcloth and ashes and seeking forgiveness is absurd.

Let's stop with the racial divisions here. If administrators don't intervene, we are going to start seeing violence on campus in the future. Who wants that? Who wants to go back 50 years in time?

Enough with this white privilege crap. It is not only divisive and counter-productive; it is annoying as well.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Oh, I'll take this on.

Yet, as an individual, you are no less accountable for the history and actions of your race.

NO INDIVIDUAL is accountable for the history and actions of any "race." To treat individuals as representatives or ciphers of a "race" is the essence of racism.

It is racist when white commentators ask someone, because they are the same color as a serial carjacker "What is the black community doing about this?"

It is, equally, racist when privileged black students possessing comforts a majority of people of African descent would die for ask a student how they feel about being the same color as a mass murderer.

You cannot deny that our racialized society motivated the Charleston shooter when he presents himself with flags of institutional oppression.

As I like to say on many occasions, I deny it. There, I disproved your premise that I cannot deny it. Now, why did I deny it? Actually, our whole society, vestiges of racism and all, nearly unanimously rejected the Charleston shooter. He BELIEVED he was representative of a collective entity called "the white race." He was no such thing. He was a lone psycho who wrapped himself in the flags of bygone causes, and actually took down a notch the patina of respect some of them retained in the eyes and minds of some people.

Now if you went back to the people who placed the bomb in a Baptist church in Birmingham AL half a century ago, THEY represented, if not the whole or perhaps even the majority of "white" people in the region, certain a powerful cultural and political current that at best agreed with their goals while disparaging the means -- always a rather hollow apologia.