KNOWLES: White People Can’t Be Any “Less White”

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1281E -- Pictured in this screengrab: Author Robin DiAngelo during an interview on June 17, 2020 -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Goodbye, pastel polo shirts. Au revoir, cucumber sandwiches. Penny loafers, I think I’ll miss you most of all. But corporate experts in “diversity, equity, and inclusion” such as “anti-racism” consultant Robin DiAngelo want us to “be a little less white,” as screenshots from a “diversity” training session associated with the Coca-Cola Company revealed over the weekend. Coca-Cola has since denied that the slides are “part of the company’s curriculum,” but the soda giant also admitted training employees to access the education platform that hosts the lesson.

Whether Coca-Cola intended to promote that specific slideshow or not, DiAngelo’s brand of “anti-racism” has taken over training programs on campus and in corporate offices across the country. Whiteness has never played much of a role in my sense of identity. Many other categories — e.g., Catholic, American, conservative, etc. — spring to mind before “white” enters the picture. But who am I to question one of the nation’s leading race hustlers?

Like me, DiAngelo hails from an Italian family, which makes her professional peddling of white guilt all the more strange, as Italians were long considered to occupy a “racial middle ground” between whites and blacks, at least in the Jim Crow South. The law classified Italians as white, but society often disagreed. The largest mass lynching in American history targeted and killed 11 Italian-Americans in New Orleans. Yet even we swarthiest of southern European stock must now endeavor to become “less white.”

DiAngelo’s curriculum explains how white people can try to rid ourselves of our race. “Be less oppressive,” the slides enjoin readers, “be less arrogant, be less certain, be less defensive, be less ignorant, be more humble, listen, believe, break with apathy, break with white solidarity.” How exactly one can simultaneously “be less certain” and “believe,” the instructor never manages to explain. Neither does she convey how white people might eschew “white” culture without consequently “appropriating” the culture of others. But most challenging of all, it is physically impossible for white people to be less white unless they darken their skin, which the radical race-baiters have prohibited for everyone other than leftist politicians and celebrities.

Contrary to popular propaganda, on a metaphysical level, white people are already just about the least “white” we can be. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, only 5% of white people consider race to be “extremely important” to their identity. Another 10% consider it “very important.” The majority of respondents from every other racial group deemed race central to their identity. Black respondents ranked highest in racial consciousness, with 52% declaring race “extremely” important to their identity and nearly three-quarters considering it at least “very” important.

Ironically, the political activists urging white people to “be less white” seek the very opposite. They want white people, who overwhelmingly ignore racial identity, to be more white — if only so they can feel guilty for it. Inverting an older use of “white” that connoted virtue (e.g., “that’s mighty white of you”), today’s “anti-racists” reveal a formal similarity to their “racist” foes by making “white” into a synonym for wickedness, something society ought to diminish or better yet “abolish.”

The corporate diversity training goes on to insist, “In the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white.” Audiences who sit through this racist slideshow or countless similar trainings might dispute that characterization. In reality, race hustlers and cultural revolutionaries have made a mint selling racial grievance and white guilt. Their efforts have undone decades of hard-won racial harmony. Amid calls for “whiteness” to wane, racial identity waxes — ironic, unless that was the point all along.

More from Michael Knowles: What The #MeToo Movement Can Teach Conservatives About Liberty

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Already have an account? Login
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  KNOWLES: White People Can’t Be Any “Less White”