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Monday, June 24, 2019

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 2: She broke US labor law and bragged about it

Sarah Jeong was defended by people who
cited Robin DiAngelo
Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad continued from part 1

2. Robin DiAngelo broke US labor law and bragged about it.

Now I am not a lawyer so my opinion is not backed by professional expertise, but I am fairly confident that Robin DiAngelo broke the law.

She certainly discriminated against someone on the basis of "race."

This is from the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission web site:
Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.
Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color.
Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color.
Robin DiAngelo's article for "The Good Men Project" entitled White Women’s Tears and the Men Who Love Them demonstrates what I'm talking about:
When another police shooting of an unarmed black man occurred, my workplace called for an informal lunch gathering of people who wanted to connect and find support. Just before the gathering, a woman of color pulled me aside and told me that she wanted to attend but she was “in no mood for white women’s tears today.” 
I assured her that I would handle it. As the meeting started, I told my fellow white participants that if they felt moved to tears, to please leave the room. I would go with them for support, but asked that they not cry in the mixed group. After the discussion, I spent the next hour explaining to a very outraged white woman why she was asked not to cry in the presence of the people of color. 
So just to recap:
  • An employer called for a gathering to be run by DiAngelo.
  • One bigoted individual in the workplace told DiAngelo she had a problem with a specific group of people on the basis of their gender and ethnicity.
  • DiAngelo assured that individual she would "handle it."
  • DiAngelo then informed the members of that ethnicity only that if they cried during the discussion, they had to leave the room.
  • At least one individual was very upset by being singled out by race that way.
Please note - the reason an individual would cry in this scenario is in sympathy with a mistreated black person. Diangelo is so dedicated to race essentialism that even when a white person expresses sympathy for a black person it is considered offensive.

If expressions of human sympathy are to be judged by race, what possible hope is there to make bridges across the biologically bogus, but socially real chasm of race in the United States?

Now I'm not sure how much the claim of the innate racism of white people and the related belief that non-white people can't be racist was created by DiAngelo or whether the "woke" discourse of academia influenced DiAngelo. In any case, it is a common belief among segments of progressives that it's OK to be bigoted against "white" people.

We saw this last year in the case of Sarah Jeong, when Jeong was invited to join the NYTimes and it was pointed out that she had tweeted anti-white comments, including #cancelwhitepeople.

One of Jeong's defenders went with the "that's just how we talk" argument:
This is, incidentally, why you hear a lot of people on the social left say there’s no such thing as “reverse racism.” We interpret language through social context. Because of the way racial power structures are set up, the same set of words mean very different things when you swap out “white people” for “black people,” “Asians,” “Jews,” etc. The phrase might be racist in one context, in the sense of conveying actual racial animus, but not in another. 
This meaning of the phrase “white people” is obvious to people who have been listening to these social media conversations, or even from even a cursory search of Twitter for the term.... 
Jeong’s tweets, in context, clearly fit this type of rhetoric. When she writes “dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants,” she is not, as Sullivan accuses her of doing, “equat[ing whites] with animals.” Rather, she is commenting on the ubiquity of (often uniformed) white opinion on social media — a way of pointing out how nonwhite voices often don’t appear or get drowned out in social media discourse. 
Again, this is obvious to people who are steeped in the kind of online communities Jeong spends time in. But what happened, as my colleague Aja Romano notes, is that a few alt-right websites pulled out Jeong’s tweets in a deliberate attempt to hurt her career and reputation. What’s actually happening here is a racist movement, the alt-right, trying to damage a left-wing woman of color — and mainstream conservatives are furthering their narrative. 
I don’t necessarily blame Sullivan and French for not hanging out on Social Justice Twitter, where their views would be ... unwelcome, to say the least. What I do blame them for is joining an alt-right pile-on without trying to understand where their left-wing intellectual opponents are coming from and what they’re talking about.
As usual the responsibility is not on "Social Justice Twitter" to explain themselves, but on their critics to educate themselves and accept - without question or complaint - the ways in which Social Justice Twitter has decided to redefine terminology.

Is there any greater example of privilege than assuming that if there is misunderstanding over your in-group terminology the fault lies with members of the out group?

"White fragility" was used to attack those who had issues with Jeong's hiring:
But that’s pretty much what the Times did with its explanation. It more or less validated the dangerous misconception that conservative trolls harassing a woman of color in a male-dominated field, an action that could potentially drive away even more marginalized voices, is equal to a woman of color joking about “canceling” white people, which carries no real-life weight because that doesn’t mean anything. White fragility is real, and so I’ll grant that some readers may have had their delicate skin stung by Jeong’s comments, but it’s more than likely that the very same trolls who tried to endanger Jeong’s position at the Times were acting in bad faith. The Times also ignores the fact that the current alt-right hysteria about besieged whiteness is also fuel for a violent movement that uses its power in the White House to justify inhumane and racist policies. 
Another aspect ignored by Jeong's defenders is that the force of American racism varies quite a lot depending on the ethnicity of the target. Jeong's defenders call her a "woman of color" but does anybody think the racial animosity against Asians, especially at the present time, is comparable to the African American experience?

Do you really have the right to sing the blues - and use the history of the most extreme American racial injustice to excuse your anti-white bigotry - when you are not an African American?

The New York Times, in refusing to rescind Sarah Jeong's offer, made it clear that in some cases it is perfectly fine to attack a "race" without consequences.

In contrast Razib Khan had his offer to join the NYTimes rescinded (something I played a small role in) although his anti-black beliefs had been stated much less blatantly than Jeong's anti-white beliefs.

So there is a demonstrably popular belief that there is a white exception to prohibitions of public expressions of racial bigotry.

However, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission does not make exceptions for anti-white bigotry. And that is why I believe Robin DiAngelo broke the law.

It's important to understand the reasoning behind the Social Justice belief in a white exception, which is something I call "micro-revenge." If you point out to them that this is in fact what they are doing, they will deny it.

But Robin DiAngelo revealed that ethnic revenge is a motivating factor when she justified her support for anti-white bigotry by citing the death of Emmett Till.

And that is the third reason why Robin DiAngelo is bad - she promotes ethnicity-based revenge. I will talk about that next.

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