Anti-Racism Training and Whiteness – Equal Time

by James C. Sherlock

The movement should be allowed to speak for itself. It will do so here.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, in its online portal called “Talking About Race,” provided what may qualify as the official list of the characteristics of whiteness. 

The graphic linked below was published by the museum sometime before July 16. The part you may have trouble reading says:

“White dominant culture, or whiteness, refers to the ways white people and their traditions, attitudes, and ways of life have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States, and since white people still hold most of the institutional power in America, we have all internalized some aspects of white culture—including people of color.”  

It was accompanied by a chart to show what whiteness is.  Click on the link to see a readable version.  

characteristics of whiteness

In one of the six stages of loss that antiracism training features, participants may wish to confess their parts in the listed aggressions.

“Does not contribute to the productive discussion”

After fierce pushback when the President of Claremont Institute tweeted the chart, the museum thought better of it. Today’s version has a disclaimer:

“Since yesterday, certain content in the “Talking About Race” portal has been the subject of questions that we have taken seriously. We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended.“

Anti-racism 101 – official Virginia Department of Education Version 

If you missed it, you should watch Anti-racism 101 funded by VDOE and presented at the #EdEquity VA Virtual Summit – Courage, Equity and Antiracism in August.

You may have heard that Governor Northam spoke at that conference.

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54 responses to “Anti-Racism Training and Whiteness – Equal Time

  1. I think the first time I saw it, I couldn’t take it seriously. Now I do and can only wonder at the mindset of those who believe this. The combination of outdated stereotypes and traditional American values is somewhere between sad and laughable. If someone posted a chart labeled Non-White Culture and listed the opposite attributes, can you imagine the protests and riots?

    • Many of the trainers are Black Studies graduates. Against all odds, they are making a fortune. The websites tend to be .org, but one hilarious thing is that they are entrepreneurial capitalists.

      • I can’t speak to the true believers — unsure if they even exist outside of Berkeley flophouses or Noel Ignatiev fan meetups — but the impelling force behind cartoonish CRT training sessions is the fear of liability on the part of managers and HR coordinators. Everyone with agency has the (perhaps correct) suspicion that if they speak out, they’ll be thrown out, so they follow whatever the kids say the program ought to be. An institutional revolt against the madness might be feasible if everyone runs up the flag and announces their opposition all at once, but you have a Schelling Point problem here: how do you signal your status as a dissident to others without branding yourself as liable for an HR intervention? How do you coordinate opposition without giving the game away to compliance officers?

        It’s funny; I read enough left-of-Bernie stuff to think I have a sense of where those folks are at, and they’re positively derisive of this performative identity politics — especially of the Ibram X. Kendi and 1619 Project variety. The reason why Fortune 500 PR strategy teams or big-name institutions leap headlong into such BS isn’t that they’re staffed by radicals — it’s that they *aren’t*. They’re just neurotic suckers with big budgets.

        The Discovery Institute’s Chris Russo goes into detail with this in a recent “Right Now” podcast interview with a couple TAC editors:

  2. THAT is f#@!^%g hilarious. That chart is the very definition of stereotype, and a damn clumsy one. The Smithsonisn should be ashamed.

    • A critic cannot ridicule them more effectively than quoting them directly. If I said they believed what they wrote, no one would deem it credible, so I decided to let them speak for themselves.

      I am not done, because, as you might imagine, the anti-racism “trainers” have no credentials whatever other than business cards that they construct online and print at FEDEX stores and on their do-it-yourself websites.

      I will publish here an expose that shows how afraid and thus without standards are the government agencies and corporations that hire people who “walk in off the street” to “train” their employees so the “leaders” can say they checked the block.

      It is the biggest scam since the tulip mania in the early 1630’s.

    • “That chart is the very definition of stereotype, and a damn clumsy one.”

      Uh yep. Definitely stereotypical. Geez, it’s like a bullet point presentation of the 2012 Republican Party Platform.

  3. Listened to the program. I was posting this as your comment came in.

    “Desireblizing whiteness is normalizing whiteness in our language, leaning into whiteness as a commodity in our behaviors which upholds the status quo of white supremacy.”

    This is set up so you cannot discuss it with those who espouse antiracism. Anything you say or question will be called evidence of your racism and your white supremacy.

  4. And continued silence from Democrats and their whore, the MSM, about Minneapolis Mayor Jakie Frey. He and his wife had a baby. Justice would be the tenth plague of Egypt – Exodus 11, 12:1-30. If he would have done what he campaigned on, George Floyd would still be enjoying COVID-19 with the rest of us.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    What surprises me is how many people do take this seriously and it never occurs to question the authority behind the premise of anti racism. George Whitefield would have a thunderous sermon over this topic.

  6. Why am I not surprised that none of the usual liberal commentators of BaconsRebellion are posting? Ha ha ha! How many times have I heard some weaselly liberal lose his or her cookies over “science”? Republicans / conservatives ignore “science” is almost a catchphrase of liberalism. Hey, guess what? The scientific method is just another manifestation of white culture you dingbats. You liberal racists calling for “science” are now officially divorced from anti-racism. You need re-education. You need to check your white privilege and start using voodoo, the occult, goat entrails or … worst of all … religion … to make decisions. The scientific method is just another failed aspect of white culture. PS – don’t tell the large numbers of Asian-Americans who are getting PhD’s in the sciences and engineering. Don’t tell the 70% of Asian-American students at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology that they have been coopted by white culture. Damn white people have fooled the Asians. Thank God liberals are here to point out the racist undertones of the scientific method.

    You really can’t make this crap up.

    The whole White Culture graphic would be hilarious if it wasn’t at least partly funded by taxpayers. “Plan for future” … oh my God what a terrible idea. Stupid whitey. Much better to wander aimlessly through life with no sense of direction while depending on the Libtwit Democrats to take care of you. Don’t worry if drifting aimlessly causes you problems – just contact your local Democratic Useful Idiot for guidance. He or she will tell you where to get “free stuff” as you drift through life without a rudder.

    Liberalism really is a mental disorder.

    • What?

    • It’s easy for the right to blame radicalism-in-itself for all this, but perhaps less easy to call out the systemic incentives which allowed the madness to propagate so easily through our institutions of note.

      Almost makes you wish for some sort of employee lobby to prevent political recriminations in the workplace. We could call it “collective bargaining.”

      • I actually expect class action lawsuits over the government requirement for state and local workers to submit to anti-racism training.

        Lots of civil liberties issues including therapy in the guise of training, privacy, HIPPA protections, hostile work environments, establishment of a single philosophy (religion) as the only acceptable way of thinking and acting, anonymous complaint lines, evaluations based on student scores within a set range, due process, etc.

        The Virginia Education Association, the putative union for some teachers, is in a huge bind over this issue. That is why they have not taken a position.

  7. If hard work, self-reliance, rational thinking, quantitative emphasis, a hard-work ethic, intact family structures, future orientation, respect for authority, politeness, and attention to time are “white” cultural traits, someone forget to tell the Asians. Indeed, Asians increasingly epitomize those values more than whites do these days.

    In reality, there is nothing white, Asian or black about these traits. Members of all racial/ethnic groups possess them to some degree, and other members of all groups do not. They are traits that are required to create and build personal wealth.

    The implication of this schema is that these traits are NOT for black people. Such a notion is a sure-fire way to keep blacks in a state of poverty and immiseration. Thankfully, most blacks don’t subscribe to this insanely counterproductive way of thinking.

  8. Of course they don’t. The people selling this very profitable hoax are a combination of race hustlers and radicalized true believers. The people buying it are generally liberal white people. The buyers know there are things that need improvement, as do I, and but in a panic say:
    “We need to do something”. “This is something “. “Let’s do it.” without further inquiry.
    A lot of damage will be done to the very people they purport to want to help.

  9. Uh, cool. It’s a chart of what not to say and/or talk about at a cocktail party if you have any expectation of getting laid. Seriously.

    Example: “Your job is who you are.”
    Never talk about your job! Never ask, “So, whadd’ya do?” These are open invitations to boredom, and the old, “Oh, hate to interrupt you, but let me introduce you to Jane. I think she’s some sort of an investment banker too.”
    Obviously religion is the third rail.

    Apparently, someone condensed 5 years of “Mad Men” into a chart.

  10. Hmmm, I dunno. Pick a bullet point, any one, from the chart, and let’s see.

  11. Not sure I understand what the hub-bub is about. I read the chart and some truth and some absurdity. At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with addressing racism. Events of the past several months deem it a continuing problem. Trump doesn’t help and is a big part of the problem. Oh well. I have voted this week and will see what happens.

    • Well Peter, the problem is it addressed stupid stereotypes about one culture (there is no such thing as race in a biological sense) with stupid stereotypes about another culture, in this case European (mainly British Isles.) My Irish Catholic farmer ancestors and lumped in with snooty London elites. I won’t even bring up the Germans. Stupid.

      Nancy, my favorite is actually the “steak and potatoes – bland is best” line. Last night’s steak was teriyaki marinade, and it was a sweet potato! Not bland!

      As I was first reading this last night, NBC was finishing with a story about farmers in a far north county all pitching in to harvest the crop of a neighbor who had suffered a heart attack. They all just showed up with the combines and got it done in 7 hours, asking nothing from the farmer or his family. Not a cultural trait I would be ashamed to share. And not a cultural trait I would would assume is limited to one culture. Just good folks.

      The people behind this are stupid people. The people who buy into it for political gain (Governor) are worse. That chart needs much wider circulation.

      • I thought of my 1st ex-wife when I saw that. She had never had rare roast beef until after we were married.

        • 1st ex-wife? You made the same mistake more than once?

          • Baconator with extra cheese

            Who hasn’t?

          • Who hasn’t? Me, even one is too expensive. I guess it is due to my tragic whiteness resulting in a quantitative emphasis and heavy value on the ownership of property. Giving up half is not an option.

            I should note however that bland food is not an option, if I wanted that to be the hallmark of my “white” lifestyle I would have moved to England.

          • Nah, I’m still married to my future ex-wife.

            Don’t get married. Find a woman you can’t stand and buy her a house instead.

        • Seriously, is anybody surprised ol’ Nancy Boy is hard to live with in real life?

          • Actually, it is the one time I will admit to having something in common with Karen, err, Nancy. My wife would only eat steak that had been transformed into shoe leather before I introduced her to nirvana that is a rare filet mignon.

          • but convincing them to participate in the killing and butchering is still a hard sell?


          • Nah Larry. It’s easy. Just put a picture of your face on the cow.

            You’ll want to film it as evidence for the divorce.

          • I learned the six magic words between wives, “Yes Dear. You’re right. I’m sorry.”

          • N_N

            You should have also learned the phrase: “My name is Nancy_Naive and I am always wrong”.

    • There is absolutely nothing wrong with addressing racism. It is the way it is addressed that is key to the future of America.

      The list provided by the Smithsonian was posited as a list of problems to be solved. Clearly “solving” whiteness requires overthrow of the existing order, which is the core of critical race theory. That assessment is not up for debate among the believers themselves. The issue is getting the rest of America to understand the dogma they are dealing with.

      I wrote a long letter to the State BOE with a suggestion of how to teach African American history in the public schools while they were considering the subject.

      It offered a way forward that was both clear as to slavery and Jim Crow and optimistic for the future.

      “My recommendation is to offer such teaching in context of the lives of African Americans who overcame those adversities to succeed. Tell optimistic stories of success while ensuring that students learn the daunting, and in the case of slavery, inhumane conditions they overcame.

      This approach will impart lessons of the past, positive and negative, while leaving black children proud of their heritage and white children proud that America produced such men and women and determined to do better in their own lives.”

      The suggestion was rejected in favor of ” perhaps the most profoundly pessimistic recounting possible both of America itself and of the way to incorporate African American history into the curricula into Virginia schools” developed by a panel exclusively made up of critical race theorists.

      That panel could not tolerate optimism, which is the biggest threat to critical race theory.

  12. This sounds vaugely familiar to something Han Bader wrote about some time ago.

    It is painfully clear that some folks have gone too far and there are players involved that are not legitimate players just spitballing and yes, probably for money. I’ll not defend that because really it is misguided and wrong and yes, some folks are willing to roll over and let it happen without objection. All true.

    But I also think to not recognize the changes ongoing or to rejct them as not legitiamte is living in a myopic cacoon and just denying the reality of changes that are happening, are ongoing.

    There are significant numbers of people, corporations, institutions, and government that believe we have take another look at how or if everyone has the same or equal chance at opportunities.

    There are also, to be honest, significant numbers of people who reject it.

    We have bad actors on both sides that are willing to basically provoke and stir up trouble, some to poke fingers in the eye and others to hope to blow up an effort to change.

    The folks referenced in this blog poast are out over their skis, no question but to see this as the whole movement is a big mistake, I think.

    • How do you incentivize well-meaning people to adopt the good and leave the bad in the trashbin? Do we just hope everybody “gets the message” from Shell-sponsored 1619 Project webinars and takes the “fight institutional racism” bullet without the accompanying “also push back on ‘white culture wherever it is found'” stuff? I find that spurious.

      “There are significant numbers of people, corporations, institutions, and government that believe we have take another look at how or if everyone has the same or equal chance at opportunities.”

      There’s a reason why these initiatives typically take the form of Business Roundtable guidance or corporate strategy directives, and not the form of bottom-up revolts by radical, visionary earnings analysts or longshoremen. The goal is to keep activist shareholders off the boards’ backs, show positive media hits during PR presentations to internal shotcallers, and attract top liberal talent from top liberal schools. I mean, what sort of oversocialized Harvard CS grad wants to tell his friends he was hired by Larry Ellison over Robert Smith or Ajay Banga?

  13. Depending on one’s age and/or what one was doing back then, we did have a time where there was quite a bit of division and threats of lawsuits and other threats.

    That was the time when the courts ordered integration of the schools and the discussion was very much full of outrage, hate and threats:

    I’m NOT equating the two but the dynamics are very similar with two distinct sides threats of violence – and carried out.

  14. Stereotyping of white people aside, the creators of that chart are clearly implying that “people of color” (to use their own term) are lazy, irrational, unscientific, atheistic, disrespectful, overly emotional, impolite drags on society. That is monumentally racist.

    That poster looks like something the KKK might have come up with.

  15. I saw the chart as characterising european roots white culture – which is different from other cultures. It was not intended in a negative way but rather in an informative way, albeit from folks who lack maturity and knowledge.

    One could call it ignorant IMHO.

    Not like we’ve not seen this before with regard to other stereotyping either.

    Whether it’s done from one side or the other, it’s equally ugly.

    For decades African Americans have put up with stereotyping – and really still are, you can see it on display here in BR so for them to be guility of the same?

    We got lots of ignorance – across the board … and it spawns anti-people behaviors… no big surprise.. it happens around the world with a variety of cultures and races… we got our own brand her and it’s defenders.

    • When “whiteness” has been denigrated and declared to be bad and evil, and when an entity provides a list of things which characterize “whiteness”, it is logical to conclude that the entity providing the list is at least implying that the things on the list are bad/evil and, that the opposites of the things on the list are not bad/not evil.

      Crap. Here I am using logic again. I am SO white! 😉

    • The chart characterizes SOME European roots white culture (which just happens to be the same European roots that the plantation class here in Virginia tends to have…)

      Example: Bland food.

      Wait, what? Italians aren’t white europeans? Germans aren’t either?

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