Whiteness History Month: Celebrating the Root of All Racism

In addition to Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and maybe a few others, Portland Community College students have added, “Whiteness History Month.”

Rather than devote a month to celebrating the contributions of “white” culture, Whiteness History Month will be committed to the idea of deconstructing the skin color and culture that many argue is the root of all racism.

That’s right. A publicly funded educational institution will devote an entire month to shame only one people group specifically for their skin color– in the name of creating “a nationally renowned culture for diversity, equity and inclusion.”

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On the college’s Whiteness History Month website, its Cascade Campus Diversity Council states, “Whiteness History Month:

“Context, Consequences and Change is a multidisciplinary, district-wide, educational project examining race and racism through an exploration of the construction of whiteness, its origins and heritage. Scheduled for the month of April 2016, the project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solutions to community issues and social problems that stem from racism.”

The event is needed, according to the council, because:

“the construction of the white identity is a brilliant piece of social engineering. Its origins and heritage should be examined in order to add a critical layer of complexity to a national conversation sorely lacking in nuance.”

In case you missed it, the nuance is that White people cause racism, and everything about “White” culture — which supposedly means Western civilization, in general — is racist.

The site goes on to state:

“Whiteness is a socially and politically constructed behavior. It has a long history in European imperialism and epistemologies. Whiteness does not simply refer to skin color but an ideology based on beliefs, values, behaviors, habits and attitudes, which result in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color. Whiteness represents a position of power where the power holder defines social categories and reality—the master narrator. Whiteness originates racism. It is relational. “White” only exists in relation/opposition to other categories in the racial hierarchy produced by whiteness.”

If “whiteness” is an ideology, what are freckles?

Will they teach students how White liberals and Democrats created the KKK, supported the Nazis and Communists, and opposed the Civil Rights Movement?

Probably not.

Instead, a good deal of talk will focus on racist, White conservatives.

I’m hoping they might go so far as to have a booth selling traditional white foods.

Like vanilla ice cream.

Or Wonder Bread.

Or pasta.

Or milk.

The culinary possibilities are endless.

At any rate, the program’s goals are still being developed, although among the questions listed on the website for students are, “What are alternatives to a culture of white supremacy?” and, “What are approaches and strategies to dismantling whiteness?”

Let’s see. Strategies to dismantle whiteness. Hmm … tanning beds?

As for alternatives to a “culture of white supremacy,” how about … a culture in which as many as 850,000 people died in the fight over ending slavery? And where countless more fought to build a country that lived up to the words of its founding document, “that all men are created equal”?

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