The Pervasive Racism of Modern White Progressives

By Andrew DeFazio on December 14, 2012

Increasingly, prominent white “progressives” be it political commentators, celebrities, university professors, etc. claim to be exempt from racism. They see themselves as martyrs for electing America’s first black president, while characterizing any Obama detractors as bigots.

Case in point, in an interview from Jan. 2012 hosted by Tavis Smiley of PBS, radical leftist film director Michael Moore suggested that “The only white age group that President Obama won [in 2008] was 18 to 29 year olds…Those of you my age, our kids, they’re not bigots, they’re not homophobes. They don’t look at it the way that the grandparents and the great-grandparents did. This is going to get better with the next generations, I believe it.” [1]

However, the assumption that all white critics of Obama are prejudiced is itself racist. There are black critics of Obama. Moore’s statement is an attack on white critics because they are white.

The modern American professoriate is saturated with progressives who inculcate students with this same racist assumption. For over 30 years, UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies instructor Bettina Aptheker has used her platform as a professor to demonize “white people,” especially white men, as racists who seek to oppress men and women of color.

In an introductory to feminism lecture, Aptheker stated that, “Racism in the United States was invented by white people…not by people of color. That’s how it starts. And it has to be re-inscribed with every generation of white people. We learn it. We learn it as part of this culture. And then we re-inscribe it unless we have a consciousness to be able to overcome it.” [2]

There is no factual basis for these statements. If the white founders of this country were racists, how come they declared that “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence? How come the white majority fought a Civil War that freed the slaves, and then passed the 14th Amendment which declared every American regardless of race equal protection under the law? To say that every generation of white people in this country is racist is a racist slander.

In the same introductory to feminism lecture, Aptheker argued, “So then we have the terrible tragedy of September 11th…terrorist act, yes? Innocent people killed and so forth…and what do we do? We round up every Arab-American we can find…and every brown-skinned person.”

This is a demonstrably false statement and an expression of Aptheker’s racist attitudes towards her country and her countrymen and women. She continued, “You know if you name the mass murderers in the United States…have you seen Columbine, the movie? Name the mass murderers in the United States…they’re all white men. You can’t hardly find a person of color that’s ever been a mass murderer. We round up white men? …Do you see the point? That’s the racism every day…So that’s the ‘White Privilege.’” [2]

This is another racist falsehood. For example, Wayne Williams, currently serving two consecutive life sentences for being implicated in the Atlanta Child Murders of over two dozen African-American children and young men, is in fact, black. [3]

Aptheker has every right under the First Amendment to display her ignorance and espouse racist prejudices. However as a professor, she has responsibilities which include being scholarly and accurate, receptive and open-minded.

It’s a shame that the University of California permits its professors to engage in such inappropriate conduct, a violation of the UC Regents’ own stated principles. It’s an outrage that in a state that prides itself on its inclusiveness and tolerance, someone as racist as Aptheker should be a tenured professor with a salary of over $100,000 a year courtesy of California taxpayers. [4]

1. “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity,” Tavis Smiley, 2012.

2. “Unlearning Racism: On the Meaning of White Superiority,” Bettina Aptheker, 2008.

3. DNA test strengthens Atlanta child killings case,” Jim Polk, 2010.

4. “State Worker Salary Search,” The Sacramento Bee, 2011.


By Andrew DeFazio

Uloop Writer

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