Read below the essay I wrote, "Blancophobia: A Case Study," with regards Yancy. Unsurprisingly, neither he nor the student editors at Emory University deigned to respond.
Ideologues detest vigorous debate, cornerstone of a thriving democracy...
Ideologues detest vigorous debate, cornerstone of a thriving democracy...
From: George Slone
Sent: Monday, December 5, 2016 12:11 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: A rebuttal of your op-ed
To Prof. George Yancy, Philosophy Dept., Emory University:
The following rebuttal to your most recent New York Times op-ed is also, as you can see, being forwarded to the Emory University student newspaper editors, Zachary Hudak and Julia Munslow, as well as to The Stone (New York Times). Of course, I expect no response from them... or you. But miracles do happen, n'est-ce pas? Might the student editors actually publish it? Might Simon Critchley publish it? Pipe dream? You bet! After all, only the privileged in America, black or white, have voice...
Blancophobia: A Case Study
George Yancy is a black privileged Emory University philosophy professor. Unsurprisingly, his latest New York Times op-ed, “I Am a Dangerous Professor.” constitutes an exercise in blancophobia. The Times had been publishing many such anti-white op-eds. In fact, that was all its journalist Charles Blow ever seemed to write… and on a weekly basis.
The op-ed title immediately grabbed my attention because I’d never encountered a “dangerous” professor. After all, the “dangerous” ones tended to be weeded out early on, leaving the obedient and unquestioning ones to fill the well-remunerated tenure sinecures. Sure, now and then, a few professors likely succeeded in duping the tenure system. But still, I’d never encountered such exceptions. Might Professor Yancy be one of them? Instinctively, I knew that would be highly unlikely. The term “dangerous professor” was an oxymoron. Did the professor fight against the intrinsic intellectual corruption likely festering at his university? If so, how to explain his entrenchment in its philosophy department? Instead, it was likely that he followed, mirrored, and spewed the same anti-white bigotry firmly in place at so many of the nation’s universities today. Thus, at Emory Professor Yancy was probably not at all “dangerous,” but rather quite common.
Always on the lookout for satirical cartoon ideas, I thought perhaps the op-ed might prove fruitful, then reading through it I realized I’d already done one on the professor and the blancophobic New York Times op-ed he’d written a year ago, “Dear White America.” Apparently, I’d forgotten to send it to him. I’d always made it a point to inform my targets, in a usually in vain effort to incite a little much needed debate in academe. When dealing with academics, I also liked to inform the particular student newspaper editor, most of whom, however (that’s been my sad experience), would not respond and otherwise buck the system, despite hollow pronouncements of independence.
Thus, I posted last-year’s forgotten cartoon (https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=239569862679528067#editor/target=post;postID=1609290798865680431) and sent notice of it with this rebuttal to both Professor Yancy and The Emory Wheel student newspaper editors Zak Hudak and Julia Munslow.
Perhaps the idea for the right-wing Professor Watchlist that Professor Yancy decried in his latest op-ed was actually incited by the Hatewatch list kept by left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to monitor the “American radical right.” Had the professor also decried SPLC’s targeting? Likely not, for that list aided and abetted his ideological victimization narrative. In any case, a watchlist per se is certainly not unAmerican, nor is flagging someone to be “unAmerican” unAmerican, contrary to the professor’s statement. Both are clear manifestations of America’s freedom of speech.
Contrary to Professor Yancy’s assertion, the Professor Watchlist was probably not a threat to academic freedom at all. According to one of its organizers, Matt Lamb, “We aim to post professors who have records of targeting students for their viewpoints, forcing students to adopt a certain perspective, and/or abuse or harm students in any way for standing up for their beliefs.” In essence, the site might also be compared with RateMyProfessors.com.
The real deep-seated threat to academic freedom was certainly not Professor Watchlist, but rather professor cowardice, as well as self-censorship… regarding the university administration and “dangerous” anti-PC thoughts. Challenging political correctness did take courage in academe, especially in humanities departments like Professor Yancy’s. To be part of the PC-mindset took no courage at all, though the professor seemed to believe he had lots of courage because he not only decried the Watchlist… but also he pushed the black victimization narrative in his classes.
The basic question that needed to be posed was how intelligent people like Professor Yancy failed so egregiously at the gates of reason. How did such people so easily fall to the spell of indoctrination? Deep anger could perhaps block out reason. Also, deep-seated psychological need to be part of a group, to belong, could probably do that also? How to explain intelligent people who espoused double-standards, White Privilege racial stereotyping, two wrongs make a right Affirmative Action (now, what would MLK have said about judging people by their skin color?), and anything else but reason.
Oddly, if not absolutely aberrantly, the professor began his op-ed with a quote from Orwell, who of course wrote extensively against PC-speech before it even really existed: “Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” And indeed that was precisely what Professor Yancy and his academic colleagues had been successfully doing on the nation’s campuses with their safe spaces, people of color-only spaces, trigger warnings, disinvitations, microaggressions, and of course speech codes. Emory University still possesses the poor red-light rating accorded by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (https://www.thefire.org/schools/emory-university/).
Professor Yancy states that he was accused by the Professor Watchlist of advancing “leftist propaganda in the classroom.” Yet was that a false accusation? Then he transformed the Watchlist into a criticism of Trump, as if the latter had incited its creation, yet conservative campus watchdog groups (e.g., Campus Reform and The College Fix) existed long before Trump’s advent. He noted, “The Watchlist appears to be consistent with a nostalgic desire ‘to make America great again’ and to expose and oppose those voices in academia that are anti-Republican or express anti-Republican values.” But are freedom of speech and vigorous debate only Republican values? If so, what might be Democrat values? Suppression of freedom of speech and vigorous debate?
Professor Yancy argues: “For many black people, making America ‘great again’ is especially threatening, as it signals a return to a more explicit and unapologetic racial dystopia. For us, dreaming of yesterday is not a privilege, not a desire, but a nightmare.” And yet haven’t we seen under Obama, not Trump, a definite increase in that racial dystopia? The separation of whites and blacks had increased on college campuses like Emory over the past decade, where anti-white racism had been accorded the seal of academic approval with the widespread campus “White Privilege” and only Black Lives Matter PC-mantras, “designed to mark, shame and silence,” to use the professor’s words. The Double-standards mindset blocks the ability to reason with objectivity. Moreover, clearly Trump’s mantra, contrary to the professor’s clear implication, never meant let’s go back to the Antebellum South!
For Professor Yancy, spokesperson of black people, the Professor Watchlist would rather that “we run in shame after having been called out.” And yet the professor sure didn’t give a damn that he and his PC-comrades have made whites run in shame after having been called out via the White Privilege denunciation. And the professor waxed poetical, though always unreasonable, “Its devotees would rather I become numb, afraid and silent. However, it is the anger that I feel that functions as a saving grace, a place of being.”
And it was that anger that prevented him from perceiving that he was guilty of precisely what he decried, though with regards whites. In reality, his entire op-ed constituted a confusion—a mea culpa written as a j’accuse. He argued in full hyperbolic mode, “The list is not simply designed to get others to spy on us, to out us, but to install forms of psychological self-policing to eliminate thoughts, pedagogical approaches and theoretical orientations that it defines as subversive.” Yet he failed to note that was precisely what the anti-white racist “white privilege” and only Black Lives Matter movements and, more generally, campus political correctness ended up doing.
It was possible that racial harmony will never exist to the point where the only solution might be racially separate nations. The left’s intentional social engineering, racial mixage, might never succeed. Certainly, the ingrained hatred and victimization and paranoia of Professor Yancy and so many others trumpeting racism ad infinitum would seem to point to that failure. The professor summarizes it nicely: “Honestly, being a black man, I had thought that I had been marked enough — as bestial, as criminal, as inferior. I have always known of the existence of that racialized scarlet letter. It marks me as I enter stores; the white security guard never fails to see it. It follows me around at predominantly white philosophy conferences; I am marked as “different” within that space not because I am different, but because the conference space is filled with whiteness. It follows me as white police officers pull me over for no other reason than because I’m black.”
What of course the professor could not envision was his own privilege. And he could not see it because seeing it would break the victimization narrative that fed him, that gave him privilege. One would think that Yancy in his self-professed racism hopelessness and racism despair that he might consider moving to an all black nation like Liberia, where he could attend all black elitist philosophy conferences filled with blackness and all black police officers would pull him over not because he was black and all black security guards would not see the racialized scarlet n-word burned into his forehead because there he wouldn’t have one.
Professor Yancy then declared, self-congratulating as so many academics love to do, standing up on his hind legs like a hero in cap, gown, and chevrons: “Yet I reject this marking. I refuse to be philosophically and pedagogically adjusted. To be ‘philosophically adjusted’ is to belie what I see as one major aim of philosophy — to speak to the multiple ways in which we suffer, to be a voice through which suffering might speak and be heard, and to offer a gift to my students that will leave them maladjusted and profoundly unhappy with the world as it is. Bringing them to that state is what I call doing ‘high stakes philosophy.’”
And yet clearly Professor Yancy did not reject that victimization marking because it was precisely what provided him with a life of remunerated elitism. How interesting to suffer so deeply, while simultaneously living a life of Riley! His “high stakes philosophy” was nothing but another term for political correctness. Hopefully, while making his students feel profoundly unhappy, he would also warn them that they might not be fortunate to live his life of privilege because to be profoundly unhappy and truly unprivileged could be a deadly combination.
Throughout his op-ed, the professor patted himself on the back: “I refuse to entertain my students with mummified ideas and abstract forms of philosophical self-stimulation. What leaves their hands is always philosophically alive, vibrant and filled with urgency. I want them to engage in the process of freeing ideas, freeing their philosophical imaginations. I want them to lose sleep over the pain and suffering of so many lives that many of us deem disposable. I want them to become conceptually unhinged, to leave my classes discontented and maladjusted.”
And yet those “mummified ideas” were precisely what political correctness and the professor had been espousing. Political correctness incarnated double speak, as in the freeing of ideas by limiting ideas. Did Professor Yancy want his students to question the claims of Black Lives Matter and deny the rise of black privilege, including black multimillionaires, or simply swallow those claims and ignore the latter? Would his students leave his classes “discontented and maladjusted” because if they dared question the claims and the black privilege of their professor, their grades would suffer?
“So, in my classrooms,” declares the professor, “I refuse to remain silent in the face of racism, its subtle and systemic structure.” And yet did he raise his voice against the growing not-so-subtle anti-white racism spreading across the nation’s campuses? Did he teach his students that two wrongs somehow make a right? “I refuse to remain silent in the face of patriarchal and sexist hegemony and the denigration of women’s bodies, or about the ways in which women have internalized male assumptions of how they should look and what they should feel and desire,” he states. And yet did the professor raise his voice against Islam and Sharia Law and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Palestine with that regard?
“I refuse to be silent about forms of militarism in which innocent civilians are murdered in the name of “democracy,” he proclaims. And yet did he raise his voice when murder was committed in the name of Islamic theocracy? “I refuse to remain silent when it comes to acknowledging the existential and psychic dread and chaos experienced by those who are targets of xenophobia and homophobia,” notes the professor. But what about blancophobia? And what about fraudulent claims of xenophobic and homophobic hate crimes?
“I refuse to remain silent in a world where children become targets of sexual violence, and where unarmed black bodies are shot dead by the state and its proxies, where those with disabilities are mocked and still rendered ‘monstrous,’ and where the earth suffers because some of us refuse to hear its suffering, where my ideas are marked as ‘un-American,’ and apparently ‘dangerous,’” he argues. And what about Islamic child marriages and Islamic genital mutilation? And what about unarmed black bodies being shot dead right and left by black thugs in Chicago? And what about the San Bernardino and Orlando massacres? Were they committed by evil whites?
Professor Yancy concludes, “Well, if it is dangerous to teach my students to love their neighbors, to think and rethink constructively and ethically about who their neighbors are, and how they have been taught to see themselves as disconnected and neoliberal subjects, then, yes, I am dangerous, and what I teach is dangerous.” And yet how did teaching divisiveness and white privilege and black victimization help students learn to love their neighbors, including the white ones? The professor was dangerous, but not in the way he assumed. He was dangerous only if he succeeded in indoctrinating his students to stand like him at antipodes to reason and fact. Would he teach his students when lecturing on racism and slavery that the very first legal slave owner in America was a black man, Anthony Johnson; that thousands of black slaveowners existed during the Antebellum period, including over 3000 in New Orleans alone; that some of those black slaveholders used their slaves as human sacrifices in religious rituals; that Muslim (i.e., blackness, not whiteness) slaveholders “marched vast numbers of human beings from their homes where they had been captured to the places where they would be sold, hundreds of miles away, often spending months crossing the burning sands of the Sahara; that the death toll on these marches exceeded even the horrific toll on packed slave ships crossing the Atlantic” (Thomas Sowell); that blackness Muslims enslaved millions of whiteness Europeans; that the word “slave” derived not from blacks, but from Slavs, who were white Europeans, many of whom were enslaved; and that today, blackness Muslims still own slaves?