Many argue that whiteness is a major problem in America. On the internet one can find scores of articles depicting the perceived racism of white Americans as the genesis of all ailments.
Those who are steeped in history, however, are aware that Western society is distinctly individualistic and open to new ideas. For example, today one is far more likely to find white people studying African history, than Africans writing about Europe.
White Americans are usually quick to blame themselves for the state of race relations, and despite their high propensity for tolerance, they are unjustly characterized as racists. Across the country school districts are lowering standards to appease minority activists, yet it appears that whites can do nothing to placate their anger. What is also quite ironic is that whenever black professors proclaim racist sentiments, they are often enabled by their white colleagues, citing free speech. Anti-white racism is acceptable to the point of being virtuous, while whites are never allowed to defend themselves from racism charges.
To some, the nebbish behavior of whites needs explaining. But we ought not to be surprised at the pathological altruism of whites. Conservatives like to brag that Western culture holds freedom and individual expression in high esteem. If white people as a whole have greater respect for individual agency and are less ethnocentric than other groups, then they will generally be more inclined to tolerate dissenting opinions, even to the detriment of their own interests.
For example, the Kingdom of Aksum was a black civilization and hence it is not objectionable for black people to take pride in their history. Furthermore, black nationalists never hesitate to remind us that Mali, Songhai, and Ghana were powerful black empires. Yet pundits respond with venom whenever a white person notes that America is a product of Western civilization and the West is predominantly white. Leftists do not expect us to divorce black civilizations from their blackness, but whites must be shunned and silenced for daring to recognize that the West is mainly the product of white thinkers.
As such, white intellectuals have become partners in the quest to destroy the cultural heritage of the West. Blinded by pathological altruism, they are unable to acknowledge that a civilization without a culture must collapse. Therefore, as a gesture to non-whites, in 2020 Yale scrapped a survey course in art history on account of the course focusing too much on white artists. White American academics are flexible people who have no problem teaching non-Western art.
But the real issue is that radical non-whites and their liberal peers want to annihilate the Western canon. Contrary to the naïve perceptions of most white people, movements to decolonize curriculum are not efforts to create an intellectually diverse environment. Rather, they reflect contempt for Western civilization.
Activists are uninterested in reading Immanuel Kant along with Mencius; they want to get rid of Kant entirely. Radical leftists are far more interested in critiquing Western culture than in studying the non-Western world. Learning is irrelevant, their sole goal is to subvert the Western intellectual tradition.
For instance, several leading universities have devoted departments to the politically inspired discipline of African studies. Due to the name, most would assume these departments teach students about African states like Benin and Oyo, and their own histories of imperialism and slavery. Instead, they fixate on Europe’s relationship with Africa and glorify African primitivism.
The main objective of such courses is a politically motived push to engender hatred for Western civilization. Although evil is not peculiar to white people, the political agenda of left-leaning professors must ensure that students graduate believing that only white people have ever had an interest in conquest.
Hence to correct the apparent Eurocentrism of academia, students are taught that Mali was a great empire. However, their instruction downplays the history of slavery in Mali, and they must never be told that Mali had its own King Leopold II in the form of King Khalifa, who terrorized his subjects for entertainment.
Moreover, the politicization of education continues unabated since white people care more about the feelings of misguided grievance mongers than the survival of their culture. Only white people are silly enough to think that Caucasian philosophers should be removed from the curriculum of a majority white society.
Universities in China would not tolerate white Americans telling them to make their courses less Asian. Yet strangely some think that it is acceptable to demand that American universities dump the Western canon.
Unlike non-whites, apparently most white people have no sense of pride in their culture. According to Pew, black adults are most likely to say that race is central to their identity, whereas whites are the least likely to be invested in their racial identity. Whites are not sufficiently ethnocentric to create an influential white agenda. Based on the mantra of diversity plaguing corporate America, it is obvious that white people are committed to the success of blacks and other races. In addition, the wealth gap between blacks and whites is explainable by a litany of factors apart from racism.
The reality is that we all reap the benefits brought about by the rise of Western civilization. As such, the destruction of Western culture will not redound to the advantage of non-whites who abhor the West, nor to that of anyone else. Non-whites who fail to affirm this salient point are simply foolish.
Lipton Matthews is a researcher, business analyst, and contributor to mises.org, The Federalist, The Imaginative Conservative, Merion West, and American Thinker.