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The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

For the past two decades, academic institutions have been incubators for birthing new theories and concepts to feed the diversity beast’s need for instances of perpetual grievance. The latest manifestation emanating from reeducation camps masquerading as institutions of higher education, is the racialist notion of “white privilege.”

White privilege, is the latest zany concept that gives succor to left-wing professor’s contention that America is an irredeemably racist country. This social theory is blessed by academic administrators and Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of Diversity and Inclusion, whose job descriptions demand finding or fomenting new instances or paradigms of oppression against minorities or groups they unilaterally deem have been “marginalized.”

This analysis of racism found expression recently in the harsh criticism of Kanye West by commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates, a perennial fixture in the pages of The Atlantic and a darling of the left. After West’s forbidden complimentary comments about president Trump, an unhinged Coates excoriated West for his audacity in, “bowing to the power of whiteness” and thereby collaborating with all the forces, both historical and current that perpetuate racism and were responsible for slavery.

This latest socio-economic theory is the culmination in a long line of post-modernist, neo-Marxist analysis of society and politics championed by tenured professors and administrators at our nation’s colleges and universities, who came of age during the Viet Nam war protests.

When the war ended, the academic left faced a crisis: what would replace the anti-war movement as a cause sufficient for mobilization and disruption? To add insult to injury, when the Belin Wall fell and communism was repudiated, there was no longer any interest from students for advanced seminars in Marxism. New dialectical social theories of strife and inherent and inevitable conflict needed to be created to replace the fallen left-wing god.

Racial theory provided fertile ground for the need of the academic left to carry on the dialectical historical struggle. New academic theories about racism, embraced by the Democratic Party, asserted that individual acts of racism were now irrelevant and moot as racism was now deemed “institutionalized.”

No concept is more fitting for the idea that racism is now manifested by entire groups or institutions, than that of white privilege. The traditional Marxist theory of the historical inevitability of the conflict between capital and labor has been supplanted. Now, “marginalized groups” or people “of color” take the place of Marx’s commiserated proletariat and those born with white privilege play the role of capitalists.

But here, the similarities with Marxism end. For Marx, ultimately the conflict ended with the withering away of the state, the end of the class struggle and the triumph of a communist utopia. For today’s racialists, there is no end game, only perpetual strife and racial antagonism. This perverse belief is what prompted a law professor at Yeshiva University recently to proclaim that whites are incorrigibly racist and as such, should always be viewed as the enemy of African-Americans.

The incoherence of such philosophizing based on the implacable and never-ending racial animosity becomes readily apparent when one views the inherent contradictions of the theory in practice.

For example, although the indelible stain of white privilege can never be removed, the new racialist theory does provide exemptions or waivers for those who approve of diversity and inclusion policies (formerly known as affirmative action). The benefit of this bargain, or temporary waiver, for white liberal politician is that they won’t be stigmatized by the never-ending cries of racism, white privilege, white nationalism and white supremacy by the academic purveyors of racialist theory — so long as they don’t deviate from proscribed progressive policies.

Additionally, since oppression, according to the menacing nature of whiteness theory is defined purely by skin pigmentation, how does one characterize former president Obama? Was he the nation’s first ‘black” and thereby oppressed president, or the country’s first half-white, and of necessity, half-white privileged president? The practitioners and proselytizers of racialist theory should explain why these questions are not germane to their theory of racial animosity.

Similarly, no racialist professor has ever been able to answer satisfactorily, the question how it was that many of the very same White Nationalists who voted for Trump, pulled the lever twice for Obama. Were they miraculously transformed from Obama supporters into White Supremacists overnight? The ultimate instance of reductio ad absurdum, would be that poor white Appalachian coal miner being told he is the beneficiary of white privilege. It is unanswered questions such as these, that render white privilege theory as nothing more than an exercise in monumental silliness.

The more the Democratic Party embraces such nonsense, the more distant it will find itself from those individuals who were once part of its coalition but switched and voted for Trump.