An “explosive gathering.”
Here’s something to look forward to in (hopefully) post-coronavirus America: August will feature the National Anti-Racism Teach-In where participants will “identify, analyze, and challenge racism and white supremacy.”
Hosted by the Jesuit Boston College High School, the “explosive gathering” will highlight some of the country’s “most notable and celebrated anti-racist educators,” including Drake University’s Jennifer Harvey, Jacqueline Battalora of Saint Xavier University, and “writer, speaker, and internet yeller” Ijeoma Oluo.
For a cool (early registration) fee of $495, attendees can hear things like Oluo’s theory of the “dangerous legacy of white male America,” and Harvey’s contention that George Washington was a “bad” man because he owned slaves.
The cost is quite a bit cheaper than last year’s conference; the 2019 pow-wow (titled ‘White Responsibility”) put folks back $725. It also featured many of the same speakers.
According to the event homepage, the “anti-racism vision” and “core principles” include:
History is important. Anti-racism requires a clear understanding of historical racism and white supremacy. It is crucial to see this history not as separate, but as a foundational element of American history.
Racism is the norm. Racism and white supremacy exist today and all members of this society are active participants in it. No exceptions. Owning this truth, and recognizing the presence of racism in ways that may be easy to overlook is crucial.
Anti-racism is our responsibility. The work of anti-racism, based in the knowledge of our past and the recognition of our present, requires intentional, deliberate action. We must challenge, check, and change our equity systems and structures for equity every day, and this requires a life-long commitment. It is the work to actively engage in dismantling systems of racism and white supremacy.
Professor Harvey, author of “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America,” took to The New York Times in 2017 to complain about parents who teach their kids that everyone is “the same underneath our skin.” Moms and dads who do this, she wrote, “block white children from recognizing or taking seriously racism when they see it or hear about it.” Her courses pertain to “religion and ethics with race, gender, activism, politics, spirituality, justice, and any other aspect of social life in which religiosity decides to ‘show up.'”
At a 2018 Humboldt State University workshop on “positive white racial identity,” attendees were given an article by Ijeoma Oluo in which she chides white culture’s dominance and “ignorance,” and implores white people to “find” themselves.
Battalora, author of “Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today,” was the keynote speaker at a 2018 Coe College white privilege symposium. When asked for the definition of “white privilege,” Battalora told The Fix at the time that the U.S. Naturalization Act of 1790 “required one be white to naturalize a U.S. citizen” and was “valid law until 1952.”
IMAGE: YouTube screencap