You read that headline correctly.
NOT THE ONION => National White Privilege Conference: What Can Educators do to End White Supremacy in the Classroom? http://t.co/GQvUjT5nXb
— LL1885 – A.P. Dillon (@LadyLiberty1885) April 5, 2014
On March 26th through the 29th, the White Privilege Conference held their annual White Privilege meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. So what is this conference?
From their website:
What is the WPC?
What is the White Privilege Conference?
- WPC is a conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.
- It is not a conference designed to attack, degrade or beat up on white folks.
- It is not a conference designed to rally white supremacist groups.
- WPC is a conference designed to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color. WPC is open to everyone and invites diverse perspectives to provide a comprehensive look at issues of privilege including: race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. — the ways we all experience some form of privilege, and how we’re all affected by that privilege.
- WPC attracts students, professionals, activists, parents, and community leaders/members from diverse perspectives. WPC welcomes folks with varying levels of experience addressing issues of diversity, cultural competency, and multiculturalism.
- WPC is committed to a philosophy of “understanding, respecting and connecting.”
Who attends the WPC?
The conference is unique in its ability to bring together high school and college students, teachers, university faculty and higher education professionals, nonprofit staff, activists, social workers and counselors, healthcare workers, and members of the spiritual community and corporate arena. Annually, more than 1,500 attend from more than 35 states, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, and Germany.
Wait.. what??? They ‘invite diversity’ and are about ‘respecting and connecting’.. but it’s name is White Privilege Conference with a main focus on beating “White privilege” because… Racism is everywhere and in everyone –well, in everyone WHITE, or something. Paging Campus Reform…
“Teaching Is a Political Act”
The MacIver Institute has a write-up of some of this National White Privilege Conference and their headline for their article really gave me pause. The article is titled, What Can Educators do to End White Supremacy in the Classroom?
Here’s the opening paragraphs, but you NEED to read the whole thing.
[Madison, Wisc…] The city of Madison hosted the 15th annual national White Privilege Conference last week at the Monona Terrace to discuss issues of white supremacy, social justice, education and the Tea Party. The MacIver Institute attended multiple breakout sessions and will be releasing our highlights over the next couple days.
Our first account comes from the breakout session titled Stories from the front lines of education: Confessions of a white, high school English teacher.
The session was facilitated by Kim Radersma, a former high school English teacher in California and Colorado. Radersma is currently working toward her Ph. D. in critical whiteness studies at Brock University in Ontario, Canada.
Radersma argued that teachers must fight against the oppressive structure in education and society. She said anyone who is going into teaching and education must be a political figure.
“Teaching is a political act, and you can’t choose to be neutral. You are either a pawn used to perpetuate a system of oppression or you are fighting against it,” Radersma said during the session. “And if you think you are neutral, you are a pawn.”
She said educators need to challenge the system, otherwise they are giving in to white supremacy. Radersma also argued the first step is realizing that all white people are carrying the signs of oppression.
“Being a white person who does anti-racist work is like being an alcoholic. I will never be recovered by my alcoholism, to use the metaphor,” Radersma said. “I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply imbedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”
WOW. If this woman was anywhere in a 100 mile radius of my child’s school district, I’d be homeschooling on the spot.
But of course, The Tea Party
MacIver also has this report, ‘The Longer You are in the Tea Party, the More Racist You Become’. Leonard Zeskind was the speaker – I’ll get to him in a minute.
Zeskind said the goals of the session included discussing the structure and strategies of the Tea Party, how to defeat it, and the relationship of the Tea Party to racism. He drew multiple comparisons between the Tea Party and White Nationalists and highlighted a study that shows Tea Party members are racist.
“There’s been a recent academic study, and I say academic because people here are, most of you are academic something-or-the-others, and there has been a longitudinal study that finds the longer you are in the Tea Party, the more racist you become,” he told the group.
What I find kind of funny here, is “academics” talking about studies on the Tea Party. The media created and pushed the idea that the Tea Party was somehow racist, with no proof whatsoever, as a means of trying to shut them up.
About Mr. Zeskind
Mr. Zeskind has apparently made attacking the Tea Party his life’s work. Check out the section dedicated to “Tea Party Nationalism” on the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Zeskind is the President of IREHR.
Unsurprisingly, Zeskind is tight with the NAACP and wrote a report on the Tea Party for them, wherein the Tea Party is cast as racist and being a ‘White Nationalist’ movement. There is a rather strongly worded (i.e., there is some profanity) take down of this report at a blog called OccidentalDissent. My favorite bit was this section:
Leonard Zeskind is so desperate to tar the Tea Party with the “racism” brush that he citing anonymous comments on Tea party blogs and Billy Roper of White Revolution passing out at a few political fliers for his write-in campaign in Arkansas. Those who actually know the parties involved, as we do, and as Zeskind does, are not under any illusions that Roper or White Nationalists have much influence over the Tea Party movement.
When you boil away all the rhetorical flam in this report and get to the facts of matter, it “reveals” nothing more than some unremarkable parallels between the Far Right and Far Left. There have always been communist and socialist groups participating in liberal rallies and handing out their literature at mainstream events. Undoubtedly, there were communists on the ground at the “One Nation” rally sponsored by the NAACP, but you won’t see them condemning the “extremists” in their ranks.
Oh and by the way, Zeskind is a pal of our very own Reverend Barber. You just know Zeskind finds North Carolina racist, right? Especially in the realm of voting and voter ID.
Go read Abridging the Vote: True the Vote in North Carolina. It’s long, but worth it to see how their minds work in that echo chamber of theirs. Barber does the foreword, then it’s an all out assault on Voter Integrity Group and True the Vote.
Not far into Zeskind’s portion, he makes this claim:
In Wilmington, North Carolina white supremacists organized a coup d’état in 1898, overthrowing by force a recently elected multi-racial city government. A mob of 2,000 white men then set upon the relatively prosperous black community of Wilmington in a riot: robbing, burning and murdering in order to drive black people out of the city.
Missing from the paragraph, and in fact the whole section, is the word Democrat. It was Democrats who rioted in Wilmington in 1898. (Read PBS’s: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow; Wilimington Riot)
The report also mentions “The nonpartisan voter advocacy group Democracy North Carolina” in one section talking about Voter ID. I’ve proven before what “nonpartisan” means to Democracy NC and it’s leader, Bob Hall.
Your Tax Dollars At Work Fighting White Privilege
The last bit in the Tea Party article ought to generate a bit of outrage:
The conference was paid for in part with taxpayer dollars. Media Trackers broke the story that the City of Madison was paying $1,500 to sponsor the conference and had one staff member help coordinate the event. According to the Wisconsin Reporter, the conference received at least $38,000 from hotel room tax revenue, University of Wisconsin schools, and the City of Madison.
Next time they do a convention in Madison, suggest that the people meet over on Allied Dr. I lived a block from there while I was working for the State of Wisconsin. THEN let them come back and discuss their ideas in the light of their new experience. BTW, a large gang drive-by shooting took place near my house.