University of Washington Professor Robin DiAngelo was a guest lecturer at Boston University recently. DiAngelo, who claims to work in the field of “whiteness studies,” presented a lecture titled “What Does It Mean To Be White,” in which she said that those who say they were taught to treat everyone the same deny black people of their reality. She told her audience, “Your parents could lecture you to do it [but] you don’t do it, you can’t do it, there is no human objectivity.”
She announced that when she hears people talk about treating everyone the same, it just tells her that the person “doesn’t understand culture” and “is not self-aware.” DiAngelo, who is white, helpfully gave a “heads up” to “the white people in the room,” informing them that when “people of color hear us say this,” they tend to engage in “eye-rolling” and that usually “a wall is going up.” (I didn’t think “people of color” would build any nasty old walls).
She then stated: “My friend Erin Trent Johnson … she says, ‘When I hear a white person say this, what I am thinking is: ‘This is a dangerous white person. This is a white person who is going to need to deny my reality.’”
There is no “my reality,” only reality. If there was “my reality,” then Erin Trent Johnson just denied it, denied all “white people’s reality” by saying that.
When people (white or otherwise) say they treat everybody the same, they almost always mean they attempt to treat everyone decently and don’t look down on them because of their color, background, economic status, etc. The only way to properly treat everyone the same is by treating everyone as individuals. The “Golden Rule” has been kicked off of college campuses and largely banished to the ash-heap of history, but it contains wisdom, decency and common sense: treat others as you would have them treat you. Not as if they couldn’t possibly understand “your reality” and vice-versa.
Progressives who would have blacks treated as a victim group really do tend to see most “colored people” in the same light. And talk down to them… as studies have now shown. Identity politics-- seeing people only or primarily as members of a group—has been responsible for nearly all the great evils in the history of the world. Slavery, genocide, the Holocaust. Communism. Fascism. The Killing Fields. Etc., etc.
Only in places like the United States, where the rights of the individual have been paramount, have people generally been truly free to pursue… life, liberty and happiness. This has been because of the belief in immutable, inalienable, Natural Rights, granted by the Creator.
Treating people based on the color of their skin is wrong. Expecting to be treated differently based on the color of one’s skin is wrong. And mocking people for trying to treat those different than themselves without explicit regard to those differences is wrong. Labeling “white people” who wish to treat “colored people” the same (or at least equally) as “dangerous” disses the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have been disgusted and saddened at Ms. Johnson’s remark. Screw the content of one’s character, I guess.
Professor Dumb says “there is no human objectivity.” (Fairness, justice, etc.). Ms. DiAngelo, tell that to the families of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who fought and died to end slavery, defeat Hitler and his Aryan master race, and free others from brutal oppression. Would you deny “their reality?”
For the general dispersal of happiness, identity politics must die… and the melting pot must be returned to working order. If this house-- now divided-- is to continue to stand, “American” must supersede “white” or “people of color.” And every American should be treated the same, under the rule of law. In a successful society, elites are not treated differently-- meaning better-- than regular citizens, nor does one race arbitrarily get benefits that another does not.
That is not my reality. That is reality.