Weird Whiteness Explained?
July 16, 2020: A strange story we are still trying to figure out:
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC received a wave of backlash from some quarters on Twitter Wednesday after publishing a graphic linking things like the nuclear family and self-reliance to whiteness.
The graphic, which is part of a “talking about race” article on the taxpayer-funded museum’s website, discusses how white dominant culture, or whiteness, have instilled a long list of values in the U.S. “Since white people still hold most of the institutional power in America, we have all internalized some aspects of white culture — including people of color,” it reads.
The museum’s graphic breaks the “aspects and assumptions of whiteness” into categories such as “rugged individualism” and “history.”
For example, under “future orientation,” the graphic lists “delayed gratification” and planning for the future as ideas spread by white culture. Others aspects of whiteness include: “Objective, rational linear thinking”; “cause and effect relationships”; hard work being the key to “success”; respect for authority; “decision-making”; a “steak and potatoes” aesthetic; children having their own rooms in a household; and the idea that “intent counts” in justice.
The next day the museum removed the chart.
Here it is:
Why is it racist? Because it associates common human choices and human character attributes with a particular race, and implies other races are lacking in those attributes.
This seems to be an attack on the western “autonomy ethic” that is at the heart of western freedom loving societies. In other words, ‘WEIRD cultures” as defined by Jonathon Haidt’s research. Regardless with what one thinks about the autonomy ethic, associated the ethic with just one race seems racist.
- Is WEIRD only WHITE? Really?
- Why is WEIRD bad?
- If you are not WEIRD are you COMMUNIST?
- What is the alternative?