A chart that explains “aspects and assumptions of whiteness and white culture” has mercifully been removed from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture website. In its place is not an apology but rather a rationale: “We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended,” reads the new entry atop a lecture entitled “Talking About Race.” This move came after a hue and cry ensued over the contents of the chart. Yet one wonders if deleting the controversial image is akin to taking away a rancid dessert but leaving a toxic main course in place.
Oddly, the whiteness graphic read like a primer lifted from a KKK handbook. Among the aspects of this tyrannical white culture are characteristics such as work ethic, having a nuclear family, an emphasis on rational thinking, and planning for the future. One Twitter follower opined on the Smithsonian NMAAHC site: “Thank you; now let’s address the underlying beliefs in your institution that led to creating something that implied black people aren’t hardworking, punctual, or polite. Which, call me crazy, is kind of racist.”
One loyal Liberty Nation reader put it another way: “How would most people react to a Blackness Chart, listing stereotypical descriptions? Or a Jewish Chart, or an Asian or Hispanic Chart, or a Woman Chart.” Liberty Nation’s Jeff Charles chimed in on this very point, saying:
“This is yet another example demonstrating the racism that exists on the left. Imagine how people would react if a white conservative said that black people don’t value ‘hard work’ or the ‘nuclear family.’ What if they claimed that black Americans don’t ‘engage in linear thinking?’ This is not what some would call the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations,’ this is a brazenly racist insult to the black community. Unfortunately, we all know there will be no outrage from the left on this; They have already shown that to them, racism is a political weapon, not an evil to be fought.”
And the Beat Goes On
But wait – there’s more, oh so much more to teach future generations about the tyranny of whiteness from the pages of the Smithsonian NMAAHC site under the heading “White Privilege”:
“Since white people in America hold most of the political, institutional, and economic power, they receive advantages that nonwhite groups do not. These benefits and advantages, of varying degrees, are known as white privilege. For many white people, this can be hard to hear, understand, or accept – but it is true. If you are white in America, you have benefited from the color of your skin.”
Then there’s the pull quote from Toni Morrison, which declares, “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” But where is the law that says one must hyphenate? LN’s Graham Noble tackles this head-on: “No-one says anyone must hyphenate. Some choose to describe themselves as African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American (Irish-American!). They don’t have to do that. They are free to call themselves American.”
Under the sub-heading “Confronting Whiteness,” the Smithsonian tells us, “If you identify as white, acknowledging your white racial identity and its privileges is a crucial step to help end racism. Facing your whiteness is hard and can result in feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion, defensiveness, or fear.”
Let’s everybody head to the therapist couch, tout suite.
The problem with this type of “education” is that it presents assumptions as fact and reduces people to nothing more than victims of their skin color. If you are white, you are to be pitied for your obtuse lack of self-awareness that your whiteness bestows all things bright and beautiful upon you by virtue of your color. If you are black, you are to be pitied even more for the white cage in which you live and from which you cannot escape.
All this makes one pine for the old days when people like Martin Luther King dreamed of a society based on the content of one’s character rather than the color of one’s skin.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.