St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, must think white men are terrible racists and sexists, because the college initiated a “study group” for “those who most often exhibit racist and sexist behavior—white males.”
As Campus Reform reports, a campus-wide email was sent to all students and faculty, urging whites explicitly to attend four sessions on privilege so they can “begin to be self-critical.”
The email started by accusing white men of the usual litany of evils, plus ripping the capitalist system: “We will read about and discuss the privilege of white people (especially white males) patriarchy, sexism and racism in the neoliberal capitalist empire of the United States.”
The email continued:
This is a group where those who most often exhibit racist and sexist behavior–white males–can begin to be self-critical of the very dangerous, brutal, and depraved hierarchical pathologies of superiority, supremacy, and inferiority handed down to us by white Euro-American institutions.
White men aren’t that evil, are they?
According to the email, they certainly are: ““The main topic for discussion will be an ongoing one: How do we deal with the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity? How can we get to the root of this problem?”
The email issues a warning, too: “Warning: the discussions will be graphic and contain graphic material.”
Campus Reform discovered the email was sent to the student and faculty listservs for SJC’s Santa Fe campus from the email address of one Maggie Reitz-Wells, although it is unclear who actually sent the email. Campus Reform reports that Reitz-Wells may be an employee in the Office of Student Life. Campus Reform attempted to contact her without success, but instead heard from Assistant Dean Jan Arsenault, who asked, “Who are you and how did you obtain a copy of an email sent in-house?”
After Campus Reform explained how the site obtained a copy of the email, Arsenault would only say she was “not interested” in commenting.
St. John’s is following in the footsteps of Portland State University, where in 2015 professor Rachel Sanders held a “White Privilege” course, whose course description stated, “Whiteness is the lynchpin of structures of racial meaning and racial inequality in the United States,” adding “to preserve whiteness is to preserve racial injustice.”
All of these courses seem to be based on critical race theory, which “combine[s] progressive political struggles for racial justice with critiques of the conventional legal and scholarly norms which are themselves viewed as part of the illegitimate hierarchies that need to be changed,” according to Harvard University.
“How do we deal with the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity?”
Email announcing course at St. John’s College
As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro explained years ago:
CRT was an intellectual development in the late 1970s and early 1980s in which some scholars, perturbed by what they perceived as a loss of momentum in the movement for racial equality, began to doubt that the constitutional and legal system itself had the capacity for change. This criticism mirrored a Marxist attack long voiced in academia: that the Constitution had been a capitalist document incapable of allowing for the redistributionist change necessary to create a more equal world. To create a more equal world, the Constitution and the legal system would have to be endlessly criticized – hence critical theory – and torn down from within.
The Marxist criticism of the system was called critical theory; the racial criticism of the system was therefore called Critical Race Theory. So, what does CRT believe? In their primer, Critical Race Theory, Richard Delgado (one of the movement’s founders) and Jean Stefancic set out some basic principles:
1. “Racism is ordinary, not aberrational”;
2. “Our system of white-over-color ascendancy serves important purposes, both psychic and material.”
When taken together, these principles have serious ramifications. First, they suggest that legal rules that stand for equal treatment under law – i.e. the 14th Amendment – can remedy “only the most blatant forms of discrimination.” The system is too corrupted, too bad on the notion of white supremacy, for equal protection of the laws to every be a reality. The system must be made unequal in order to compensate for the innate racial of the white majority. Second, these principles suggest that even measures taken to alleviate unequal protection under the law – for example, the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education – were actually taken for nefarious purposes, to serve white interests. This is exactly what Derrick Bell believed: he said that Brown had only been decided in order to prevent the Soviet Union from using American racial inequality as a public relations baton to wield against the white-majority United States.
There is some internal conflict within CRT, though. For example, some CRT writers seem to take the Martin Luther King, Jr. line that race is arbitrary, a social construct; the majority, however, suggest that minorities have a special status in society, and something unique to bring to the table. As Delgado and Stefancic write, “Minority status, in other words, brings with a presumed competence to speak about race and racism.”
So here’s what we’re left with, in simple terms. Racism cannot be ended within the current system; the current system is actually both a byproduct of and a continuing excuse for racism. Minority opinions on the system are more relevant than white opinions, since whites have long enjoyed control of the system, and have an interest in maintaining it.