Empower Wisconsin | Sept 3, 2020
By Maureen Mullarkey, The Federalist
Is scientific racism making a comeback, this time through social science and in the name of anti-racism? “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America” makes sane-sounding headway into the same lunatic territory.
The author, Jennifer Harvey, is a credentialed apostle of racial awakening, a doyenne of the “problem of whiteness.” Before opening her manual on race-conscious parenting, it is useful to recap the context that brought it to our libraries.
Back in 1967, Stokely Carmichael and political scientist Charles V. Hamilton changed the character of the civil rights movement with the publication of “Black Power.” The racism of today’s anti-racists is built on the fictions of that founding text: “No matter how ‘liberal’ a white person might be, he cannot ultimately escape the overpowering influence — on himself and on black people — of his whiteness in a racist society.”
Now, it appears the American Library Association has embraced the endgame initiated by Carmichael and Hamilton. Led by ALA directives, public libraries promote the same ideological challenge to existing institutions and ethical norms that dominate academia. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech now draws criticism for ceding too much to bourgeois culture. Among today’s anti-racists, skin color trumps the content of character as a determinant of achievement.
In 1998, ALA leadership committed itself to five Key Action Areas on which to concentrate resources. The first key area was “diversity.” Engaged librarians promise to “decenter power and privilege” by employing “a social justice framework to ensure the inclusion of diverse perspectives.”
The ALA ensures those perspectives it deems ideologically sound. Among these are terms set by critical race theory, the tangled reasoning that informs Black Lives Matter: racism is the fons et origo of America; only whites are guilty of it.
Itself a racist assumption, the indictment has been on simmer since Carmichael and Hamilton set the condemnatory tone: “The goal of black people must not be to assimilate into middle-class America, for that class — as a whole — is without a viable conscience as regards humanity.” In the grip of moral fervor under the protection of the ALA, librarians are poised to bring the toxic brew to a boil.
Read more at The Federalist.