Abolishing Whiteness

Stanford University will soon include a new class in its course catalog called “White Identity Politics”. Stanford professor Tomás Jiménez says, “Students will consider the perils and possibilities of different political practices, including abolishing whiteness or coming to terms with white identity. What is the future of whiteness?”

The catalog course description promises that students will learn that “one of the primary studies in the course will be the concept of abolishing whiteness.”

Some solutions to big problems are so simple that even smart people just overlook the obvious for years and years, decades even. Make that eons. Now we learn that the simple way to eliminate racism and its attendant evils (see Charlottesville) is abolishing whiteness. Violà!

Abolish Whiteness should make a great, and popular, bumper sticker.

Underneath the greasepaint and polka dot jumper, the Clown is white. So white, in fact, that some of him is actually sorta blue. In the very distant past, the Clown did expose much of his skin to the sun for extended periods, a practice that is now requiring semi-annual visits to the dermatologist for sundry freezings, burnings, excising and laser light humiliations. Back in the day, however, the Clown could have competed with George Hamilton in the bronzing department. Even then, however, no one would have mistaken him for a “person of color” because there were (and are) things about the Clown that simply scream WHITE!

Now, however, the Clown can enroll in a college class that will guide him in abolishing these telltale whiteness markers.

First, the Clown has never been able to jump very high. Even at the height of his athletic prowess, youth and vigor, the Clown couldn’t dunk a basketball. In fact, he couldn’t touch the rim. He had to take up pole vaulting just to get some respectable altitude. The Clown will be happy to be rid of this mark of whiteness. Maybe the Clown, once shed of whiteness, will just randomly leap off the ground when anyone looks his way. They will say, “Wow, look at that guy jump. He can’t be white.”

Abolishing his whiteness also means that the Clown will become inscrutable, like Charlie Chan. It has bothered the Clown for many years that others saw him as entirely scrutable, tipping his hand at the poker table and in all negotiations involving money or romance. After the Stanford course, the Clown’s demeanor will be a mysterious and imponderable puzzle. The current wife will think, “I wonder what he’s thinking? He’s so inscrutable.” Then, as usual, she will decide it doesn’t matter.

A particularly thrilling prospect of non-whiteness is that of finally becoming a great dancer while shedding the stigma of the infamous white-man-dancing spectacle. No more fist-pumping faux-boxing moves, wild hip lurches left and right with no discernible rhythm, leg thrusts and head bobs that look remarkably like a chicken with a bad leg being chased by a guy with a hatchet. No-siree, not for the newly re-designed Clown. If only American Bandstand were still on the air and it catered to aging clowns.

In abolishing his whiteness, the Clown can also look forward to higher levels of spiritual enlightenment (think Confucius), increased skill at walking silently in moccasins and tracking wild game (think Tonto), feeling comfortable with abject poverty and roughly woven garments (think Gandhi) and to the knowledge that his new non-whiteness will allow him to join a Latino crew and shingle a roof in a single day.

First, however, the Clown must be accepted at Stanford University where, ironically, being white is still an advantage. Maybe the Clown should send them pictures of his blue parts.

 

Observoid of the Day: What we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.

 

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