A guest speaker at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will ask students to reflect on their internal “whiteness” during an event scheduled for Tuesday evening.
According to a report by the College Fix, a guest scheduled to speak at the UMass Amherst, on Tuesday evening has some radical views on race.
The speaker, Dr. Em Rabelais, is scheduled to speak on the phrase “whiteness-in-us,” which purportedly refers to the notion that white Americans have an unflinching internal capacity for entitlement and bigotry.
The university’s description of the event explores Rabelais’ thoughts on racial issues. Rabelais contends that “whiteness,” by its nature, will always be a destructive force.
We in these institutional spaces have been told for centuries—by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well by the disabled, queer and trans* folx, and others—that health and healthcare is a contested political state, centered within the oppressions of whiteness and, more accurately, white supremacy. Is our refusal to listen finally entertaining a crack in the wall? Whiteness, by its defining existence, always centers itself; there is no way for whiteness to exist without holding on to and commanding in/from the center.
Rabelais also contends that all American policies are built on “whiteness.” For this reason, she encourages everyone to “disrupt” their internal “whiteness.”
Whiteness has always been political because every policy is built from/within whiteness, which dictates what is (ab)normal and (un)acceptable about bodies, encompassing what bodies look like and how bodies are used. Health professions and research educators attained their position(alities) only through complying with whiteness; as such, how can they/we confront the concept I call whiteness-in-us that promotes a specific transmission and prioritization of knowledge and knowledge’s sources? Grounded in listening to, reflecting upon, and believing Black feminist and intersectional discourse, I call for us to engage and disrupt the whiteness-in-us.
Breitbart News reported in October 2018 that Evergreen State College hosted a workshop called “Unlearning Whiteness.”
“The program offers tools and practices to investigate white cultural conditioning, to uncover the ways it shapes our experience of ourselves and people of color, and to support change in ourselves and in the world,” the event’s description read.
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