6-18-21 9:20  •  Juneteenth


BN: Hey, they just made Juneteenth a national holiday! I'm ready to celebrate! But, I heard someone say that Juneteenth is not for white people.

The ending of U.S. slavery is something every human can celebrate.


PT: I think the whole "holiday" is unnecessary and will only continue to breed these racist comments and divide our country further. Don't you know that there were plenty of white slaves too? What about the Irish?

Initially Irish immigrants were treated terribly. They were considered expendable, sent in to do dirty work too dangerous even for slaves. But they had a different trajectory. They were not generationally relegated to a permanent underclass by identifiable physical characteristics. The Irish could pass, and vote. They used the franchise to greatly improve their social situation. Within a few generations immigrant Irish rose among the ranks of power.

There used to be a drinking song with the lyric, "Now, the Chief of police is a Kelly, the Fire Chief is a Kelly, and the Mayor's a Kelly too!"

That change is how you know the Irish were never in an under caste.





6-14-21 9:19  •  Critical Theories


Stet: Governors are cracking down on teaching critical race theory to K-12.

Em: That's dumb, it's not part of any ciriculum below the college level.

Stet: So what is it they actually teach?

This is a perfect example -

Adam Ruins Everything - the Disturbing History of the Suburbs.


Stet: So, I do see how that has had effects, but I wonder how many white families are truly benefitting from it now that the poverty levels of all America have risen so high.

That might be why there is backlash... because while it is extremely true in areas like New York and Los Angeles, the rest of "fly over country" that is a majority white are struggling to put food on the table and they're getting exhausted being told how much easier they have it because they're white while their kids are crying because the food pantry closed early and they have no running water available at home.


None of that makes critical race theory the problem though.

ETA: That would be addressed by critical class theory.



Stet: It makes it problematic to suggest white people as an entirety have more inherited wealth, it is only true for a certain percentage of them.

This didn't say anything about "white people as an entirety," it specifically addressed suburbs as an institution. As I added above, what is necessary for the examination of white (and all) poverty is critical class theory.


Stet:What would be different about why white people are in poverty?

Only the specifics, never the generalities.


Stet: Specifics like…?

You mentioned flyover country. Like, the specific causes of rural poverty can be different from urban poverty. The specific causes of impoverishment for one family can be different from that of another.

The generalities are the same. Poverty everywhere exists because of exploitation.



Stet: Ok, so does critical race theory only apply to urban areas of the country?

It applies everywhere race is a factor, just as critical gender theory applies wherever gender is a factor, critical crip theory applies where ableism is a factor, etc. In the case of the suburbs, critical race theory seeks to explain why they are still overwhelmingly white 70 years after desegregation. Whereas, critical crip theory might strive to explain why the suburbs were built with hard curbs instead of ramps, making traversal more difficult for some people than for others.

That is what critical theory is - noticing that these factors shape society and studying where and why.



Stet: So with these lessons, are kids growing up in America going to be taught that White males without any handicaps are the most capable of success, and because of all of these reasons the playing field must be shaped differently to accommodate everyone more equally?



Do you really just prefer hard curbs?




Stet: As someone who has had to be in a wheelchair before after surgeries, yes.

There are inclines to go up every driveway and almost always at the ends of the curb, but if the whole thing was sloped like those entrance ways it would be extremely difficult to keep the wheelchair going forward since you too would now be at a constant unevenness.

But that’s not really the essence of my question.



Oh, it is. The inclines at street crossings are relatively new. They would not be there at all if people had not make a big deal about it and passed legislation. Should we go back to hard curbs at intersections instead? Why?


Stet: While I do think it’s great that sidewalks have ramps to get up, there’s no personal aspect to this particular situation, is there?

There’s no aspect of a curb ramp that places human beings themselves into levels and defines those levels on ease of life.

The conversation was about the effect that these lessons would have on the lives of all Americans, and what these lessons would teach about different demographics of Americans.



What part of the Adam Ruins Everything video is having a negative effect on the lives of all Americans? What does this video teach about different demographics of Americans that you are having a problem with?


Stet: That is the impression I got from the video , is it a correct assessment or incorrect?



Can you please tell me what they said in the video that makes you think that kids are going to be taught that white males without any handicaps are the most capable of success?


Stet: Well, in America all of these critical theory classes break down to biases that exist in society and ease of life when coupled with the social realities of those aspects, right?

So if we break down who has benefitted from racism, white people. Who has benefitted from sexism, men. Who has benefitted from ableism, ones without handicaps.

So would students be taught that physically strong White Men are able to be the most successful until things change?



Why don't you look at what they are actually saying? This is about redlining. In fact, since it depicts a handicapped person - complete with wheelchair - as the President of the United States of America, I would say they are showing the opposite.

I think you are describing what you are afraid critical race theory is. I don't see any evidence that it actually is this.




Keller: The backlash is nothing but white guilt.


Stet: Let's say that's true, that you can take an entire race of people and boil down their questions and reasons for inquiry into a singular reason of paranoia and insecurity.

What might their motive be for willfully misunderstanding through fear?

It is only racist motives and white fragility that would lead them to ask these questions? Or could there be another reason they too feel disenfranchised in America and throughout their history in America?



Next-to-last is almost as bad. Almost.





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