The Q and A
The first questioner noted that at a recent student meeting Whites who advocated an all-inclusive Student Union were “shouted down as being racist. Clearly on campuses across the nation the White European-Americans have been disenfranchised and marginalized to the extent that these are now the students with poor self-esteem, because the system is not inclusive, but exclusive. Whites are denied the right to association and denied the right to be who they are! The pendulum of racism has swung this last century clear from one side to the other without ever centering! The time is now to abandon the childish, well-worn, weaponized words like ‘bigot’ and ‘racist’, and to begin building on communities that can tolerate all the people they live with, including the majority that have been responsible for the unique contributions to the Western Civilization we enjoy.” He went on, quoting from a statement she made earlier about her inclusivity clause: “You stated that there is ‘not a single identity that you wouldn’t stand and fight for’. If that’s the case, then will you help me here today with your administrative connections and expertise in the field in establishing a White student union on this campus?”
This seemed to disorient the professor, and her response seemed to shift from one explanation to another without completing her thoughts. But basically she was saying that you have to consider the structure of the system as a whole. She agreed that not every White person is privileged — “There are a lot of poor [White] folks in the Appalachians. And we should be standing… as a matter of fact if Martin Luther King had not been assassinated, he would have dealt with class issues.”
But she insisted that Whites have a whole host of privileges denied others. “Just as I have a privilege called walking I need to recognize that I have a privilege called Whiteness. I don’t get followed. My son doesn’t get stopped by the police. That doesn’t diminish who I am.”
She also claimed that for Whites to have their own identity groups would be the same as being under “the banner of the Klu Klux Klan.” And the fact is that White people still run the universities. “As you go up [to the higher echelons], look at the faculty, the demographics of most faculties are quite White, and it’s historically White male. Now I’m not going to ban Whites or males … My son is one. But if we don’t begin to understand the histories….”
She acknowledged that she is ashamed of White history: “Am I ashamed about our history? Am I ashamed of the continuing issues of racism with the police? The incidents? Yes. And I’m gonna stand against that. Right.” The role for White people therefore is to aid in creating a pluralistic society: “What I want from White people is participation in creating a pluralistic society that works. That’s it.”
She continued jumping around her tool box of explanations, very choppy indeed, without ever simply answering the guest’s question with a “yes” or a “no” to helping create a White Student Union. But I have to infer that the answer would be “no,” despite the long list of identity associations active at CSU-San Marcos — the Black Student Union, Latino Center, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), Indian Student Organization, the Muslim Student Association, and many more. However as for a White student union being listed – Nada!
Suffice all of this to say that together with the professor’s lack of a forthright answer (even though she said that there “wasn’t a single identity she wouldn’t stand and fight for”) and her myriad tangential points, the White student union will never exist in the current paradigm and European-descendants are not encouraged to embrace or develop their identity together with their peers. Dr. Smith’s logic is that the history of White behavior implies that establishing White identity groups would result in flourishing KKK branches on campuses nationwide! Indeed, throughout the evening she must have invoked the KKK threat at least a half a dozen times.
Then another audience member, pro-White activist John Friend (journalist and radio talkshow host for The Realist Report) intervened, and the conversation went like this:
John: “But that’s what we see all over the United States today, and it really only applies to White students….”
Dr. Smith: “No, no, no, no! Go into a room with Evangelical Christians and gay people and the see how well that conversation goes.”
John: “But you said there are groups out there that are willing to talk about Whiteness to deal with the problem of Whiteness. Are there any White groups that are proud of their White identity and who recognize that we are systematically being displaced from our country?”
Dr. Smith: “But you’re not being systematically displaced. Look.”
John: “But we absolutely are. We went from being a 90% majority. Our country is being systematically taken from us. Our government and education system are facilitating this.”
Dr. Smith: “Look, let’s take the demographics. Did you know that affirmative action applied to Italians in New York City and still does? Okay, Italians. And why is that? Because when that wave of immigration from Europe came. There were Jews, Irish or Italians and they were all taking over, running the place. I mean it looked exactly like this. Why? Because in that time that kind of Whiteness was a threat to other kinds of Whiteness. That’s the pattern in our history. People come in. Things change, and we feel threatened, and Europe’s going through this now. … And part of the discernment is what are the core values that we hold together as a pluralistic democracy? See, I actually believe in democracy. Our demographics have shifted. So if, for example, as a White woman, [I see] the Supreme Court is all male. This is not justice because I would be saying there are a lot of White women. Why is there not [a White woman on the Supreme Court]? In gender roles the technology and the technological institutes happen to do it. There was an article in the USA Today about how hard it was for women, mostly White women, to make a venture capital company. So they did studies.
You’ll hear a pitch by a male and they were more likely to rate it higher than a pitch given with a female voice. So is that the society you want? Is that equitable? No. So nobody is. The threat they suppose is they’re taking over. If I have ten chairs and we’re dealing with the diverse democracy that I listed. But it’s not that White people should have ten chairs anymore because the world has changed just as White men shouldn’t have ten chairs anymore if their sisters and their daughters and they’re White.”
John: “Now, that’s only changing if they’re white countries. No one is forcing diversity in China, in Africa, in Israel. Israel is a Jewish exclusive state. Let me ask you, why is diversity an imperative, as you say, but it’s only an imperative in White countries?”
Dr. Smith: “It’s not. In fact, if you look at South Africa which is majority 80% black, the issues of institutional transformation and diversity are there. China is dealing with its own diversity issues. Every country in the world. Look at it. You look at some parts of the Middle East you have to learn what’s the difference between a Sunni Muslim and a Shiite Muslim. Fighting each other. This within a Muslim country! The role of women in Muslim countries is the cause of great consternation. Every country in the world is struggling with how to make diversity work. And the form of it differs in every country in the world.”
John: “I don’t see that at all.”
Dr. Smith: “Oh, but I study it!”
John: “I mean how can you say that? Because if you look at it…”
Dr. Smith: “Well let me.”
John: “Our countries are literally being overrun by the Third World. That’s what I don’t understand is that you do not see this in any other countries except in Europe and America.”
Dr. Smith: “That’s not true!”
John: “What other countries are experiencing this?”
In fact, it was about this point that the host of the event intervened and stated, thanking everyone and reminding the audience that Dr. Smith is a recognized expert in her field.
Dr. Smith then exclaimed, “We need places to have these conversations with two faces. All we’re doing is shouting at one another.” The host quickly replied, “I don’t think we’re shouting at each other.” And for myself, I too didn’t think they had escalated to shouting. I was kind of excited that finally people with different perspectives of the diversity and multi-cultural issue were engaging in discourse…something I have never properly witnessed on mainstream television, and something I actually hoped would develop here in this institution for higher learning. Here was the seed of that “difficult dialogue” that the host and presenter had referred to several times, but it was now being cut short because we “don’t want to be here all night, if you know what I mean.” I thought maybe it is just too difficult a dialogue when the opposing arguments were brought to the table!
Well, I can understand that there were reasonable expectations about how long the Q & A session should extend. But let’s take this to a realistic viewpoint in today’s politically correct environment: This type of discussion where White people get to verbally oppose the double-standards and perceived injustices of a forced diverse society are extremely rare! Here was the chance to have this discourse and involve young minority college students as well (with over thirty in attendance) — people that also have a stake in the argument. But as it turned out, none of those students had any input into this conversation and the host pressed on to calling it a night.