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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/12/20

Abolishing White Supremacist Thinking

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Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

White perspective is not the product of skin color but of culture and experience. We speak of the white perspective because it is the perspective most often held by whites and the institutions they construct and dominate. It is the perspective of the namers, the controllers, the holders of 'natural' privilege and invisible power, those who can take for granted the advantages of the status quo.

"Of Fish and Water," White-washing Race: The Myth of A Color-Blind Society

White supremacy is more than one man and a few militia groups.

What do Americans fear? When Americans insist on carrying firearms to polling places, what do they perceive as the threat to their lives, their way of being? Is it Isis? Are they expecting an Isis soldier to vote? To come around the corner and shoot them?

What frightens most Americans?

I know self-reflection isn't the "American way," but look at the 2020 Presidential election results. The winner is the Democrat, Joe Biden. Yet, look at how many Americans voted for the incumbent against their interests. Against common sense? Why?

One morning before November 3 rd , I was responding to an email from a friend frustrated by the attempt of campus personnel were she is contingent faculty to stifle her commitment to teach for change. Colleges and universities, quickly adapting to this pandemic year, are offering courses online and instructing faculty, full and contingent alike, to adjust: learn to teach online and make themselves available for conference time with students and supervisors.

My friend teaches at a for-profit corporate campus where time is money. In other words, the "investors" demand profits! The bottom line is making money! Their campuses, then, are designed to offer programs that turn a profit ( Center for Online Education ).That faculty, including contingent faculty, work 35 hours online isn't a concern for the managerial personnel. Salary negotiations, on the other hand, will have to wait.

Journalist Andre Spicer, writing in an article for The Guardian, recalls the history of Pacific Bell, a Southern California telephone company. In 1984, Bell feared what would come around the corner when "deregulation" and "competition" challenges its highly profitable bottom line. The managerial staff called for a series of brainstorming sessions to do what managers do. With little or no concern for the public or the employees, the managers at Bell considered the usual restructuring, downsizing, and rebranding strategies in an effort to alleviate their fears and that of their investors. Maybe it's the culture at Pacific Bell. What if Bell just "didn't have the right culture"? What if the problem resided not in the subservience of managers and greed of investors but rather in the employees who "did not understand 'the profit concept' and were not sufficiently entrepreneurial"?

How would Pacific Bell compete in the "new world?" the managers asked themselves. Pacific Bell would "needed an overhaul" of its culture! No doubt this game-changing idea made all the world of difference for those individual thinkers who solved a problem, even if the solution meant "overhauling" some 23,000 employees.

Equipped with a new way of speaking, employees would, in time, fall in lockstep to a new way of thinking, one that eliminated old habits of "empty talk." Now it's all business. No waste of time chattering among one another. No idle none-profiting activity. Thinking on the useless becomes in time exhausting.

Spin every issue toward the light! Be positive! Above all, happy as a worker, renter, patient, shopper, student! Anger is out, for good reason: it could suggest that someone, far from complying with corporate authority, is daring to think beyond their "pay grade!"

The idea of privatization is furled out across the land as the best thing that could happen to a failing economy. Soon the idea took on wings. "The Conservative mantra," notes British journalist George Monbiot, last month, "repeated for 40 years like a stuck record, is that the public sector is wasteful and inefficient while the private sector is lean and competitive."

Academia is about the business of preparing young minds for the world, but the only world in mind isn't one in which my friend or her students dare challenge systemic violence of racism, sexism, classism by exposing America's culpability and complacency. On the contrary, she's not permitted to engage students in challenging the fascist and white supremacist narrative. To do so, might result in further inquires such as, What s hould democracy look like? What should freedom look like? How is America to confront the crisis of climate change? How would a world that is justice differ from the one in which Americans live now? What are the steps to take to bring about a justice world?

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Dr. Lenore Daniels Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

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