Whiteness History Month—-On Dr. MLK Day

This article is by Peter Fricke…..get a load of this, for the day after Dr. MLK Day:

Portland Community College has designated April “Whiteness History Month” (WHM), an “educational project” exploring how the “construct of whiteness” creates racial inequality.

“‘Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences, and Change’ is a multidisciplinary, district-wide, educational project examining race and racism through an exploration of the construction of whiteness, its origins, and heritage,” PCC states on its website. “Scheduled for the month of April 2016, the project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solutions to community issues and social problems that stem from racism.”

Whiteness “does not simply refer to skin color[,] but [to] an ideology based on beliefs, values, behaviors, habits, and attitudes, which result in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color.”   

The WHM site makes clear that the project is not a “celebratory endeavor” like heritage months, but is rather “an effort to change our campus climate” by “[challenging] the master narrative of race and racism through an exploration of the social construction of whiteness.” (“Challenging the master narrative,” PCC explains, “is a strategy within higher education that promotes multicultural education and equity.”)

The initiative was conceived by a subcommittee of PCC’s Cascade Campus Diversity Council, which noticed that “evidence from hiring data, student-­led research, surveys, focus groups, college-wide emails, and other sources have illuminated the underlying reality of whiteness embedded in the overall college climate.” In response, the subcommittee decided that “intentional action” was necessary across the district’s four campuses to honor PCC’s strategic plan, which calls on the college to “create a nationally renowned culture for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

According to a sub-page defining the term (adapted from a definition developed by the University of Calgary), whiteness “does not simply refer to skin color[,] but [to] an ideology based on beliefs, values, behaviors, habits, and attitudes, which result in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color.”

Not only does the concept of whiteness allow those who are “socially deemed white” to accrue benefits, the page asserts, but those benefits “are accrued at the expense of people of color, namely in how people of color are systemically and prejudicially denied equal access to those material benefits.”

The ideology of whiteness, it continues, dates back to “at least the seventeenth century, [when] ‘white’ appeared as a legal term and social designator determining social and political rights,” a concept that eventually grew to include “thousands” of “special privileges and protections” for white citizens.  

For those interested in learning even more about the study of whiteness, PCC provides a link to a portal on the school library’s site listing additional resources.

Planning for the event is still ongoing, with applications being accepted until February 1 from those who wish to “get engaged” by hosting a lecture, guest speaker, panel, film screening, discussion, art exhibit, or class field trip to local art or history museums.

Representatives for PCC had not responded by press time to Campus Reform‘s inquiries as to whether professors would be allowed to assign grades for participating in field trips or on-campus events.

While details about the specific programming are not yet available, PCC does outline the objectives that it seeks to accomplish through the project, as well as the concepts it would like students to explore over the course of the month.

In the “Context” category, for instance, the school challenges students to explore the meaning and history of whiteness, specifically how it “[emerged] from a legacy of imperialism, conquest, colonialism, and the American enterprise.”    (Z: Gee, White folks;  we just done nothin’ good ever, huh?)

Following from that, PCC wants students to explore the “legal, cultural, economic, social, environmental, educational, and/or intrapersonal consequences of whiteness,” especially in terms of the winners and losers that result from it.

Finally, the school asks them to consider “alternatives to a culture of white supremacy … approaches and strategies to dismantling whiteness … [and] the roles and responsibilities of white people and people of color in dismantling whiteness.”  (Z:  DISMANTLING WHITENESS??)

Through the event, PCC says it hopes to improve its campus climate and bolster student retention and success, while also helping students to graduate “with local, national, and global sensibilities regarding the learning tasks of Critical Race Theory.”  (end of article)

Z:  So, have those of us weighed down with our WHITENESS done NOTHING good in the world, ever?  What am I MISSING?   Who DID the good of helping the poor, building beautiful cities of schools, museums, homes, creating healthy societies, inventions, great music….etc etc  What AM I missing?

Thoughts?

Z

 

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30 Responses to Whiteness History Month—-On Dr. MLK Day

  1. John M. Berger says:

    So would the Black People all be better off in, America, if there were [no] White People?

    Like

  2. bocopro says:

    Wholly Credisrod! And here I am STILL waitin for my “white privilege” to kick in.

    Old white bigots,
    Dem ol’ white bigots,
    Dey all knows sumpin
    But don’ say nuttin
    Dey jes’ keeps rulin’,
    Dey keeps on rulin’ along.

    Blacks and browns,
    Dey does da jobs
    Paid by rich fat honkey snobs
    Git dem stamps, welfare cash,
    Black lives matter
    So storefronts smash.

    I gits weary
    And tired of marchin
    But skeered of workin
    And hooked on chargin
    While ol’ white bigots
    Dey jus’ keeps rulin’ along.

    Like

  3. bocopro says:

    BTW . . .

    SF — I’m gonna steal that “scab-pickers” tag for one of my rants.

    Like

  4. John M. Berger says:

    @bocopro,

    TOO FUNNY, BROVO ZULU!

    Like

  5. -FJ says:

    “…which result in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color.”

    Who knew that power and privilege were handed out (distributed)? Who do I go see to get my share? What “authority” hands it out?

    Jes curious….

    Like

  6. Mustang says:

    I don’t know that anyone has noticed this, but there is a serious blackness problem on the African continent. I think it comes from the overwhelming number of human beings with black skin. Now, I think this could be a serious problem, and one that demands some kind of action. Maybe Africans require an awareness program … or something.

    Like

  7. Silverfiddle says:

    bocopro: have at it.

    Like

  8. bocopro says:

    SF — yeah, reminds me of somethin my grandmother always said and I didn’t get the double-entendre until much later: It’ll never get well if you pick it.”

    Came in handy during the 60s.

    Like

  9. Baysider says:

    It’s just another run up the flagpole of the old ‘class struggle’ trope – and very dangerous. THEY are associating success, accomplishment, advancement with being white. And I’ll bet they left THIS one out: white slavery drove the economy of North Africa for centuries. They were forced to abandon the trade at about the same time we were. Where would you rather live? Where would THEY rather live? We see it on the daily news, don’t we?

    Like

  10. Mal says:

    This doesn’t surprise me, coming from Oregon. The brains of those people have been waterlogged for decades and has affected their reasoning. This kind of thing only serves to perpetuate the division of the races. Question………where would all American Blacks be had their forefathers not been brought here, despite it being as slaves? They’d probably be living in poverty, like most Africans are today. Instead of complaining, they should be THANKING us for bringing them here. After all, no one alive today was a slave or owned a slave. Get over it!

    Like

  11. John M. Berger says:

    @Mal,

    SPOT ON!

    Like

  12. geeez2014 says:

    what great comments…thanks, everybody.

    Mal, REID College is in Oregon; supposedly the most lib in the country.

    SF…yes scab-pickers….that’s what I call the Palestinians in their constant attacks on Israel as soon as things go calmer…constantly picking….and it sure fits here.

    MUSTANG: I couldn’t agree with you more. I thought the same thing…but you put it brilliantly!

    Baysider AND JMB; I’m starting to think Black punks in this country would rather live in Africa, right? And I’d be very happy to help them…particularly those in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago; There are SO MANY great Black American kids (i know SO many from my association with the high school) but when I think of those who hate our country and are doing damage to it and themselves…

    FJ; Exactly! Where DO we sign up?

    Bocopro: Well done!

    Obama, so conscious of his LEGACY, could have done SO MUCH GOOD for our Black kids in America, talked to them, encouraged them, but from practically DAY 1, the BEER SUMMIT situation sank us back into knee-jerk racism of the kind only he knows so well how to keep alive. damn.

    Like

  13. Kid says:

    They want crutches made of Indestructium.

    FJ, I’ll email ya the location of the special door I go to every Friday and when I tap the special knock, $100’s come flying out at me through the mail slot.

    Like

  14. Baysider says:

    Mal: Oregon has been thoroughly Californicated, in addition to starting kookie. My ancestor came here as a virtual slave. I’m grateful. Mohammed Ali said the same after he saw Africa.

    Like

  15. Sparky says:

    [very heavy drawn out sigh] Why, are they teaching this nonsense in colleges!? Please, people, stop sending your kids to the cesspools. Save your money, learn a trade, go get a real job and stop worrying about things that do not matter.

    Like

  16. Mustang says:

    Sparky … EXACTLY!

    Like

  17. bocopro says:

    When I retired from the university, the Provost asked me to share my gained teaching experience with younger people. The resulting letter was rather lengthy and not at all what he had expected.

    Here are the final two paragraphs:

    Once long ago I read that a proper university is an artesian well of knowledge where all come to drink. Well, my aquifer is contaminated, I’m afraid. Too many parts per thousand of skepticism, too heavy a concentration of political correctness, too lethal a dose of administrivia. The integrity of fundamentals has been sacrificed on the altar of plagiarism; the purity of truth has been raped by obfuscation; the honesty of simple expression has been drowned by technobabble. The concept of personal accountability is as difficult to get across to most students today as are the lessons of history to western Europeans.

    The educational process has come full circle within me, I’m afraid . . . from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty. And perhaps that’s as it is supposed to be.

    Like

  18. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, you made me burst into laughter…send ME the address, too, okay?!!

    Baysider….I have SO much more faith and love for California than you do …thank goodness!
    Yes, Ali had it right….so do many other Blacks once they go back and see it.

    Sparky, I agree SO wholeheartedly…except they’re starting on our elementary age kids, too. unreal, isn’t it.

    I have said this before but I’ll say it again; having lived abroad and traveled widely, I have to say I DO NOT THINK THERE IS ANOTHER COUNTRY ON THIS PLANET WHICH LITERALLY TEACHES NOTHING BUT THE NEGATIVES ABOUT ITSELF TO CHILDREN TOO YOUNG TO GRASP REALITY, TO UNDERSTANDS SHADES OF GRAY….NO COUNTRY TELLS KIDS ‘SIT DOWN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO STAND FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM”.
    HOW MANY OF OUR KIDS KNOW THE PLEDGE?

    boco: I’m not sure what your last paragraph means….but the provost sure has it right.

    http://www.pjtn.org/

    I was going to blog that but decided I might not, I sent it to some of you via email, but I HIGHLY recommend you all watch it, considering some of your remarks here today….the speaker appeared this morning at a symposium here in L.A., hosted by Jews and Christians and the subject is how terribly accosted Christians are getting for supporting Israel and Jews…but there is a LOT on Common Core and how our textbooks are being written, too. I hope you see it and send it to friends and family with children in school…

    Like

  19. Lisa says:

    As soon as I come across a white person of privilege, I’ll get back to you

    Like

  20. geeez2014 says:

    Lisa! No, I don’t want to never hear from you again 🙂
    (good comment…the PRIVILEGED White people I know mostly worked hard for their PRIVILEGES)

    Like

  21. Kid says:

    Lisa, Z, …. Seriously, No One Ever GAVE me a dime. Ever. I worked for every one of them. I’m very offended by these jackals that are trying to tell me I owe them something. I don’t owe anyone Jack and I will constantly work to avoid giving them something for nothing.

    I have to laugh at some of these programs like “fighting hunger 5k” What? There is 47% or more of the population on food stamps and Hey if your mommy decides to spend the money on drugs and you starve, then You should starve and learn something about how life works in a civilized society. Don’t blame me for not walking 5 kilos to provide you food that you mommy has denied you. Focus on your POS mommy. At the very least YOU should be walking the 5 kilos to get the food – not me. Unreal.

    Folks – STOP Giving !

    Like

  22. Mustang says:

    I never gave Kid a dime, but I did give him a B1B … and no, he didn’t appreciate it.

    Like

  23. Kid says:

    Well, Geeez O Pete Mustang, We don’t even know if it flies yet. IMP hasn’t signed off on it and we’re not even sure the ordinance is live. NO offense! I surely trust all is well and look forward to an after vermin nuke party but of course Monsieur. http://liveactionnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/reagan_toast_sq.jpg

    Like

  24. Baysider says:

    Z, “Californication’ is a term coined by Oregonians and Washingtonians to describe their view of what Californians (many streaming in from the Bay Area) did to their states.

    Like

  25. John M. Berger says:

    @Kid,
    “I have to laugh at some of these programs like “fighting hunger”
    HUNGER? OMG, look around, everywhere. Please tell me where that exists. Here in Colorado [we] are supposed to be the [least] over-weight/obese in the Nation. All I see, everyday, are, for example, those that are so fat they have to use their grocery carts as walkers! That’s before they waddle out to the ‘handicap’ spots where they park. Once again, please tell me where all of that “hunger” exists.

    Like

  26. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider; I know what it means! But it’s a pejorative, and that’s why I said I don’t have the dislike for California you show very often. I understand it, I just don’t feel it.

    JMB….I think there are people who are hungry, but I think there are enough places where they can get help….
    O’Reilly asked Liberal Kristen Powers months ago if she’d bring in someone who’s starving and she said there were many and would……………….so far, nothing.

    Like

  27. Kid says:

    JMB “Once again, please tell me where all of that “hunger” exists.” There used to be a gal working here (Robin) who lived amongst ‘them’ and testified how the baby makers would spend the money on drugs and partying all night and send the kids out into the neighborhood to fend for themselves. She put together church events to get people to donate food to feed them.

    Here’s another one. She got a new neighbor in her section 8 place that would just put her trash out in the hallway, so Robin called the Dept of Health who came and took the trash away. She saw this chick in the hallway a couple days later who thanked her for calling the Dept of Health because “the hallway was really starting to smell”. Robin wondered what could be done about these types of things so I told her to stop voting democrat. I’m sure she voted for obama more than twice.

    Like

  28. Mal says:

    Z, i took the meaning of Bocopro’s last paragraph to mean the older we get, the more we realize how much we DON’T know. At least, that’s what I took away from it.

    Like

  29. Kid says:

    Mal, fwiw I always say the smarter you get the more you understand about what you don’t know.

    Like

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