A University of Vermont professor is under fire from students demanding he resign after uploading a video to YouTube of himself discussing growing anti-white sentiment on campus.
Aaron Kindsvatter, a professor of counseling at UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, posted a video called “Racism and the Secular Religion at the University of Vermont.” The video was nine minutes long and received 15,000 views, Vermont-based publication Seven Days reported.
In the video, Kindsvatter said he “first heard of whiteness” after a faculty colleague “offered to help [him] with it, like it was some kind of disease,” the outlet reported. Kindsvatter added that it “was a dehumanizing experience.”
“I never expected the concept of whiteness to endure, because it’s so obviously discriminatory,” Kindsvatter said in the video. “But not only has this ideology endured within the university, it has flourished.”
Kindsvatter then mentioned a July teach-in put on by UVM’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which was called “Turning the Conversation to Whiteness.” Kindsvatter said the during the teach-in, “a number of vague social ills were associated in a causal way with people of a particular race.”
Kindsvatter also expressed concern, like many across the country, that schools are teaching anti-white racism under the guise of “anti-racism,” noting that the College of Education and Social Services was considering the adoption of a policy that would teach Ibram X. Kendi’s radical definitions of what racism and anti-racism are.
“If this policy is passed, in speaking up against what many would consider to be an anti-racist teaching, but one that makes a causal connection between people of that particular race and vaguely defined societal ills, I would be considered, in a way that is consistent with program policy… a racist,” Kindsvatter warned.
Seven Days reported that student organization UVM Sisters of Color started a Change.org petition to demand Kindsvatter resign over his concerns, claiming the statements he made in the view put students of color in danger:
Having conversations around anti-racism and acknowledging the role of whiteness in systemic racism has been supported by every department on campus, as it is rooted in our campus’ common ground values. Speaking out against this work is harmful when you cannot hold yourself accountable and begin practicing good allyship. This video is particularly harmful towards the community of color through his calls to organize. When identity groups have been repeatedly targeted in dangerous manners on campus, this rhetoric is concerning to say the least.
Professor Aaron Kindsvatter’s “i-don’t-see-race” mentality has been proven to be harmful towards any kind of societal racial justice and for that reason we are demanding his immediate resignation. A UVM faculty member, especially one who teaches courses in counseling, should not hold this ideology employed by white supremesists. The freedom of free thought is not what is being restricted here, it’s the fact that Aaron Kindsvatter is using his position of power and authority as a platform for spewing these ideologies.
Kindsvatter was already targeted by liberal activists in 2016 after he criticized the school’s bias response team, claiming the school’s policies against alleged bias and harassment — defined broadly — would open “the doors for censorship of anyone of any ideological perspective who says something in class that could potentially offend somebody else.”
Kindsvatter was informed of the petition against him by Seven Days.
“I think the fact that this has happened is both interesting and useful,” he told the outlet. “In family counseling, therapists often facilitate an ‘enactment’ — that is, they watch the family interact in order to make dysfunctional ways of relating become apparent. This petition would seem to be an enactment of what is going on within society, and what is being taught within universities like UVM. I suspect that it paints a vivid picture of what happens to professors who step out of acceptable ideological bounds.”
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