The Corner


The Latest Fad on College Campuses

American college campuses are being swept up in a new academic fad — whiteness studies. Like all the other kinds of identity studies, this has no mooring in a body of knowledge, but is simply a bunch of opinions about how bad it is to have certain ancestry. Since those opinions happen to help advance the Left’s project of gaining control over the U.S., they get lots of support.

In today’s Martin Center article, Bruce Bawer, author of a book on the earlier kinds of grievance studies, The Victims’ Revolution, discusses the rise of whiteness studies. He writes, “Although I focused in my book on Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Queer Studies, and Chicano Studies, I devoted a few pages to DiAngelo’s then-fledgling field, Whiteness Studies, which, given the current preoccupation with white racism, is now poised for prominence on a level outstripping even those behemoths.”

Yes, Americans twice elected Barack Obama and that might have nipped in the bud the notion that whites are basically bad people, but, Bawer notes, Obama chose to use racial animosity to help advance his party instead of calming the waters.

Bawer continues, “Whiteness Studies has become big business. That marks a major step down from ordinary identity studies, which at least recognize factors other than sex and race as determinative of individual status. By contrast, Whiteness Studies, as a rule, sees the world in strictly black-and-white terms, even in circumstances where race is all but irrelevant.”

The grievances that stoke whiteness studies are remarkably petty, but what academic dares to say that this new emperor is wearing no clothes?

Summing up, Bawer writes, “Such destructive nonsense has no proper place in an institution of higher learning. Like other identity studies, it’s a waste of time and money, having little or nothing to do with expanding a student’s knowledge of the world; but, even more than other identity studies, it’s malicious and dangerous, designed to sow hatred and intensify racial discord.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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