News & Commentary Racism

School Tells White Parents To Become ‘White Traitors’ and Advocate for ‘White Abolition’

White Abolitionist. Changing institutions, dismantling whiteness, and not allowing whiteness to reassert itself.
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A state school in New York has allegedly urged the parents of white students to become ‘white traitors’ and advocate for ‘white abolition.’

Christopher Rufo, a writer at City Journal, shared the graphics on Twitter of the images said to have been sent to white parents from the principal of East Side Community School in New York.

The images detail ‘The 8 White Identities’ and is attributed to Barnor Hesse, Professor at Northwestern Univerity in Chicago. The ‘identities’ range from ‘White Supremacist’ to ‘White Abolitionist.’

The graphic states:

“The principal of East Side Community School in New York sent white parents this ‘tool for action,’ which tells them they must become ‘white traitors’ and then advocate for full ‘white abolition.'”

“There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities. People who identify with whiteness are one of these. It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about the governing Others.

1. White Supremacist. Clearly marked white society that preserves, names, and values white superiority.

2. White Voyeurism. Wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist; desires non-whiteness because it’s interesting, pleasurable; seeks to control the consumption and appropriation of non-whiteness; fascination with culture (ex: consuming Black culture without the burden of Blackness).

3. White Privilege. May critique supremacy, but a deep investment in questions of fairness/equality under the normalization of whiteness and the white rule; sworn goal of ‘diversity.’

4. White Benefit. Sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC are in this category as well).

5. White Confessional. Some exposure of whiteness takes place, but as a way of being accountable to POC after; seek validation of POC.

6. White Critical. Take on board critiques of whiteness and invest in exposing/marking the white regime; refuses to be complicit with the regime; whiteness speaking back to whiteness.

7. White Traitor. Actively refuses complicity; names what’s going on; intention is to subvert white authority and tell the truth at whatever cost; need them to dismantle institutions.

8. White Abolitionist. Changing institutions, dismantling whiteness, and not allowing whiteness to reassert itself.

If you fail to see the issue here, simply substitute “white” with any other people group. Would anyone, in society today, get away with making a public, negative generalization about any people group other than whites?

What would happen if a public school encouraged the abolition of blackness, brownness, or Jewness? There’s no doubt that people from all segments of society would protest the dehumanization of any other group, because we’ve all seen what that inevitably leads to.

The process of dehumanizing a people group generally follows a four-step descent.

First, prejudice towards the group is cultivated and even promoted as a means of correcting some social injustice or righting a series of wrongs.

Second, the group is used as a scapegoat and held chiefly responsible for every societal problem that now inflicts the wider society.

Third, the group is actively discriminated against in law and policy, supposedly, in an effort to elevate and liberate those who have suffered due to the group’s alleged actions.

Fourth, once the group has been demoted to a status less than others in society, they are subject to all-out persecution, which is viewed in the eyes of the persecutors as a means of atonement for the group’s prior sins.

If we fear those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then the good news is, this is the information age. History is only a mouse click away. Right?

Unfortunately, the pessimist, or rather the realist in me can’t help but agree with Hegel who said, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

This is proof enough of that.


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