Smithsonian Race and Culture Workshop
= case study of identity political effects in US institutions
"Take the Smithsonian story. The museum became the latest institution to attempt to combat racism by pledging itself to “antiracism,” a quack sub-theology that in a self-clowning trick straight out of Catch-22 seeks to raise awareness about ignorant race stereotypes by reviving and amplifying them.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture created a graphic on “Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture” that declared the following white values: “the scientific method,” “rational, linear thinking,” “the nuclear family,” “children should have their own rooms,” “hard work is the key to success,” “be polite,” “written tradition,” and “self-reliance.” White food is “steak and potatoes; bland is best,” and in white justice, “intent counts.”
The astute observer will notice this graphic could equally have been written by white supremacist Richard Spencer or History of White People parodist Martin Mull. It seems impossible that no one at one of the country’s leading educational institutions noticed this messaging is ludicrously racist, not just to white people but to everyone (what is any person of color supposed to think when he or she reads that self-reliance, politeness, and “linear thinking” are white values?).
The exhibit was inspired by white corporate consultants with Education degrees like Judith Katz and White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo, who themselves echo the work of more consultants with Ed degrees like Glenn Singleton of Courageous Conversations. Per the New York Times, Courageous Conversations even teaches that “written communication over other forms” and “mechanical time” (i.e. clock time) are tools by which “whiteness undercuts Black kids.”
The notion that such bugbears as as time, data, and the written word are racist has caught fire across the United States in the last few weeks, igniting calls for an end to virtually every form of quantitative evaluation in hiring and admissions, including many that were designed specifically to combat racism. Few tears will be shed for the SAT and ACT exams, even though they were once infamous for causing Harvard to be overpopulated with high-scoring “undesirables” like Jews and Catholics, forcing the school to add letters of reference and personal essays to help restore the WASP balance." (https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-left-is-now-the-right)