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Boise State to faculty and staff: Come learn how white people are racists

Boise State to faculty and staff: Come learn how white people are racists

Wayne Hoffman
September 6, 2019

Boise State University is now inviting its faculty and staff to attend a series of trainings on “white privilege” from an author who believes all white people are latent racists. The program consists of seven sessions, for which attendees earn credit as part of the school’s “diversity” program. 

The program's curriculum is based on Robin DiAngelo's book, “What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy.”

“The primary audience of this book people [sic] who are interested in unpacking white identity and how white folks distance themselves from conversations about race, as well as learning how to engage white folks in recognizing their privilege. We will dig deep into ourselves to explore the ways in which we all, as individuals, sometimes unknowingly, support racism and white supremacy,” says the website for Boise State’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which is co-hosting the training with BSU’s Gender Equity Center.  

DiAngelo is an academic who claims all white people, including herself, are inherently racist. Claiming you’re not racist makes you a racist, or so she contends. And white people suffer from what she terms “white fragility”—an unwillingness to admit and talk about their own intolerance.

The common definition of what it means to be a racist “makes it virtually impossible to talk to the average white person about the inevitable absorption of a racist world view that we get from being socialized in a racist culture in which white supremacy is the bedrock,” says DiAngelo. 

Such a campus training validates my belief that Boise State University’s retired president, Bob Kustra, had a larger-than-previously-stated role in making BSU a campus that embraces victimhood, identity politics, and old-fashioned stereotypes in all aspects of campus life and academics. Kustra, who still hosts a radio show on taxpayer-funded Boise State Public Radio, recently interviewed Jonathan Metzl, author of the book “Dying of Whiteness,” in which Metzel hypothesizes that white people vote against their own self interests by electing politicians who defend the Second Amendment and oppose government-run healthcare. 

Metzl claims white males who support gun rights more than occasionally will use their guns to commit suicide, thus the book title. He also argues that white people oppose Obamacare because they’d rather not be on the same program as blacks and Mexicans, and then those same white people don’t receive the medical care they need to prolong their lives, thus, again, the book title. 

Kustra applauded the book saying its conclusions are unassailable. “I can’t imagine how anybody could respond to this other than to say, ‘you got me’” Kustra told Metzl. What Kustra is promoting—and it appears he has managed to inculcate at BSU—is part of the same destructive identity politics that has rooted itself on college campuses across the country. 

During the next legislative session, Boise State University will ask lawmakers to increase its general fund support by about 9.6 percent. That’s a lot of money, some of which will invariably make its way into the college’s so-called diversity training programs. And that’s a good reason for us to question the school’s entire diversity agenda: from special graduation events based on race and sexual orientation to hiring decisions and graduate student slots based on minority status.

And now, add to that, whether diversity is served by teaching university faculty and staff to view all white Idahoans as racists simply because of their skin color.

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