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Professor says colleagues should fight against ‘radical militarization of white men’

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles reporting on the American Studies Association’s annual meeting, an academic conference held Nov. 9-12 in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Professors should take seriously white, conservative male students’ concerns about being silenced in college classrooms partly because their feelings of exclusion could lead to the “radical militarization of white men,” a scholar suggested at a recent academic conference.

It’s similar feelings of persecution that have led to mass shootings, Florida Atlantic University professor RJ Boutelle said, implying the issue shouldn’t be ignored by his peers.

The English professor’s comments came amid advice that scholars should resist any impulses to disregard conservative students and their concerns. Noting that many conservatives on college campuses feel they can’t discuss their views without being shut down by a liberal majority, Boutelle, who is white, said hearing out the students’ complaints is an important task for professors.

He said “the kind of persecution white students, particularly men, feel in these moments is precisely the kind of persecution syndrome” that can direct them to online forums involving men’s rights activists and white nationalists and “can even lead to the radical militarization of white men that we’ve seen time and time again, all too recently materialize in mass shootings.”

Conceding those are “extreme possibilities,” Boutelle claimed there is a “pipeline” of those students feeling silenced on campus and right-wing media outlets affirming those concerns.

He made his remarks at the American Studies Association’s annual meeting, held recently in Chicago, during a session titled “The Problem of Whiteness.” University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Damon Sajnani, who faced criticism for teaching a course with the same name, chaired the panel discussion.

Sajnani, who is a rapper as well, said he intends to teach the course again next semester and even plans to release a song called “The Problem of Whiteness” that he performed at the panel discussion.

“But you know what your number one problem of whiteness is, you don’t even know what the fuck whiteness is,” the lyrics of the song include.

Boutelle’s presentation highlighted the challenge of teaching critical whiteness studies, especially in the current political and historical context. The topic has always posed its challenges with teaching students who are new to its concepts and making sure instructors meet the needs of students from various backgrounds, according to the professor.

Boutelle said courses on whiteness must straddle a delicate balance that lets white students “come to grips with their racist inheritance” and allows students of color to talk about “alternatives to a white supremacist society.”

That task has only become harder in today’s political climate, Boutelle said, where liberals are quick to dismiss conservatives as bigots and conservatives see liberals as social justice warriors preoccupied with political correctness.

“As a result, nuanced evidence-based reasoning and even dialogue itself feel more idealistic than practical,” he said.

Another difficulty laid out for critical whiteness professors is the criticism the topic has faced from conservative commentators, who Boutelle said have branded such courses as “a salon for liberal brainwashing.”

What comes along with that accusation is the challenge is persuading white students who see such courses as “simply liberal grandstanding.” For Boutelle, the answer to that issue is not to cast aside conservative, white students.

He said his colleagues should embark on trying to reach those students and understand where they’re coming from and what their concerns might be. He said he believes whiteness courses can let students examine their relationship to whiteness without necessarily calling out political ideology. He added critiques of whiteness can hit both sides of the political spectrum.

“By taking seriously the emotional responses of white students and conservative students while at the same time correcting microaggressive language and misconceptions based in stereotypes or political ideology, teachers of critical whiteness studies can reach a broader audience and help prepare students to incorporate anti-racist activist work in their daily lives,” the professor said.

MORE: White, male students called on last in some classrooms

MORE: Inventor of ‘white fragility’ says whites must stop becoming teachers

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About the Author
Nathan Rubbelke is a staff reporter for The College Fix with a specialty on investigative and enterprise reporting. He has also held editorial positions at The Commercial Review daily newspaper in Portland, Indiana, as well as at The Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics and St. Louis Public Radio. Rubbelke graduated from Saint Louis University, where he majored in political science and sociology.

Add to the Discussion

  • Maximus300

    Nice try. I don’t think it will work.

  • Byrd Westbrook

    If you really, really believe some nonsense or other, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or false, or just invented BS, go ahead and say it. Moronic Lefties everywhere will thank you.

  • Dr. Donny

    An English teacher lecturing on the male problem of whiteness? The last time I listened to an English teacher was in 12th grade Advanced Comp. Typical liberal arts/ humanities idiot who was too dumb to succeed in a job-providing major, such as business, econ, law, STEM, etc. He now thinks he can lecture those of us who are smart in an area where he has zero expertise. What’s new?

  • Robert Taylor

    students of color know all about alternatives to a white supremacist society,
    that is why they fled their native countries and illegally snuck into ours!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • skillett

      Dude, it is your kind of bigoted sounding post that gives credence to the people who say social conservatives are racist. Not really saying you are bigoted, but watch your rhetoric. It does seem to imply that you believe in a white supremacist society. This site is doing a lot of good exposing political correctness, and I would hate to see it lose credibility.

      • Robert Taylor

        I do believe in a white supremacist society!!!!!!!!!!
        People are not sneaking into our country because of what the native americans, blacks or mexicans built. you are a little slow on the uptake aren’t you? Diverstity is BAD!!!!!!!!! not a strength at all!!!!!!!!!!

        • skillett

          I am against imposed diversity and self-loathing PC. A USA proud of itself can integrate a reasonable amount of immigrants as long as there are not waves creating ghetto enclaves and promonting cultural marxism, guilt and post modernist “privilege’ ideology. But I am of a mixed Japanese-American marriage. My son is educated, patriotic, libertarian republican. Does pull-ups with one arm, not a snowfalke. He is a proud American, 2nd amendment enthusiast, full of samurai virtues and American values.

          But your hardcore white supremcism is wrong. It is not worse than the fascists of the left, but it is still wrong. There is a way for the USA to intelligently keep its constitutional identify of free enterprise. And if we return to our churches, we can gain back our cultural values of freedom and libertarian cultural ethics.

          At the end of the day, the crisis is spiritual, not racial. And the self-loathing virtue signalling is often channelled as an attack on the church. People of all races can be self-reliant, ethical, hardworking if they are full of the spirit of the Lord. I do not mean just church attending piety. No, I mean the strengthening of the mind, body and spirit that comes from the spiritual world.

          • Voice_of_Reason

            I’m not a white supremacist, but it is clear as a bell that many of the leftists complaining about “white supremacists” (not you) are actually anti-white. they like the fruits of western European cultural achievement – such as running water, electricity, automobiles, etc. – but want to eliminate the kind of culture that make such innovations and advances possible.

      • Robert Taylor

        I am not a social conservative either
        abortion and birth control should be free on demand no questions asked and taxes should pay for it.
        I did vote for Trump
        I hope he goes back to his earlier position on this, maybe in his second term…

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  • Joe Schmoe

    So just not believing his racist anti white rubbish validates his nonsense?

  • Joe Blow

    So just not believing his racist anti white crud validates his nonsense?

  • Tom

    Notice how the professor isn’t actually concerned about conservative students- he is using it as a cloak to imply that recent criminals were conservative white guys. The fact is that both paddock and kelley (the two individuals he is referring to) were unhinged antifa nutjobs- typical white liberals.

    • Joe Blow

      Neither of them were in ANTIFA nor espoused any liberal sentiments

  • Hughlon Thornbury

    “critical whiteness professors”?

    Really? And where are the critical yellowness professors or the critical redness professors?

  • skillett

    Very title of class implies racism. These classes create racists. One, the students who take these classes and become racist against white people. Two, the white people who were not racist but hear this crazy ideology and become angry.

    I voted Obama in 2008, but after title 9 insanity and wave of SJW drivel, I started to find it difficult to support dems even when, as a public employee, they are more likely than republicans to give me a raise.

    I do not hate anybody because of their race or gender. My wife and I are of different races and genders, but still get along. It is the ideology that has creeped into the heads of leftists in the past 10 years I can’t stand.

  • GulfPundit

    When white students “come to grips with their racist inheritance,” they too will be impervious to irony.

  • Killer Marmot

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me why being white and male makes one responsible for every crime against humanity carried out by a white male throughout history,

    Precisely how is guilt transferred from historic figures to current ones? What is the mechanism?

    • Voice_of_Reason

      I feel ZERO guilt. I never owned a slave, and as far as I know, none of my ancestors did either.

      I do feel pride, though, for being descended from people who invented democratic forms of government, the university system, indoor plumbing, sanitation, electrical systems and appliances, automobiles, airplanes, computers, internet, space travel, antibiotics, etc. etc.etc. and white people are the ONLY people in human history to fight a war against themselves to free alien slaves.

      I wonder why all of these malcontents who want to tear down western civilization also want to keep the fruits of western civilization???? If they want to destroy “whiteness” then they need to first stop wearing clothes and living in multistory buildings with running water and electricity….

      • Killer Marmot

        Identity politics contends that minorities can raise themselves up by having whites prostrate themselves.

        They are going to be disappointed with the results.

  • ItsOK2kek

    Leftists consider non-Leftist thought weaponized, militarized.
    It seems that the Left wants to obfuscate and temporarily paper-over their relentless antipathy to white students on campus until people get used to the current degree of vitreol, then ratchet up the hate some time later for optimal inclusion and tolerance.

  • DINORightMarie

    The entire premise of this topic, this class, this lecture is racialist–rooted in viewing everything based on skin color, predicated on the assumptions of leftist progressive ideology that “whiteness” is destructive or somehow inherently dangerous to society.

    Redefining the term “racism” to mean only “people of color” can be “victims” of racism by design from “those in power” makes all people who are NOT “people of color” (i.e. white people) by definition irretrievably, genetically racist, which they conclude is therefore endemic, and destructive to a “diverse” society. Controlling the language is a tactic they’ve been executing for DECADES, so this should not be news to anyone who has been paying attention. It should be an ice-cold, shocking wake-up call to ALL who want a free society to pay attention and STOP this madness, veiled in “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “tolerance.”

    Also, frankly, it is not a “conservative” viewpoint to see that this ideological, irrational premise based on race, with its entire focus on the either explicitly or implicitly implied evil of so-called “whiteness,” which is in itself the pure essence of true RACISM, as defined by anyone who doesn’t accept the re-definition of the progressive left, which is shown above.

    Finally, that this professor is trying urge other professors “take seriously” the concerns of rational thinking people of ANY race or ethnicity, so as to mitigate the effect of their indoctrination (which he claims is being called “brainwashing” – and, correctly so, if you look at what that term actually means) shows that their argument is so fragile, their premise is so weak, that you have to twist the minds of others to become haters, minimize the “feels” of those under attack, to allow their racist hate-filled ideology to become accepted by a majority.

    This is, indeed, KGB and NKVD worthy…..they’d be so proud of this “professor” and all those using this twisted, hate-filled tripe to destroy the minds of the young people, veiled in the clothes of an enlightened, rational, university education.

    Very.Scary.Times.

  • Voice_of_Reason

    whiteness is….being the only group legally allowed to be discriminated against in 21st century America.