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Monday, 28 May 2018

Only Whites Can Teach Western Civilization

by Prof. Ricardo Duchesne 
(Traduit en français)

Super Educated and Bookish Students Interrupting Hum 110 for being "too White"

Among the many incidents I have read in the last years about students complaining that the Western curriculum still remains "too white, too male and too Eurocentric," the most revealing one is the recent decision by Reed College (on April 2018) to make their Humanities 110, which all first year students are required to take, more inclusive in response to months-long sit-ins and forced cancellations of Hum 110 lectures by a group called "Reedies Against Racism".

Staring the next calendar year, the "white supremacist" Hum 110, which focused on the humanistic traditions of the "ancient Mediterranean and Athens," will be replaced by a new Hum course that will dedicate the second term solely to history and texts related to Mexico City in the 15th through 20th centuries, and Harlem from 1919 to 1952.

In other words, in a nation that is still majority White, the only remaining foundational course will consist of four components, Mediterranean, Athens, Mexico, and Harlem, of which three, 75 percent of the course's content, will be about non-Whites. Believe me, by "Mediterranean" in ancient times, they mean Mesopotamia, Egypt, and present day Turkey. 

Reed College, like almost every other higher education establishment in the West, is already super-leftist. All the departments have been thoroughly diversified in faculty members and in course subjects. The nation with the most courses in the History department is China. These courses speak with admiration about China's "dazzling" achievements, "how diverse people experienced and enacted revolutionary change," whereas the courses on Western nations focus on "militarism," "colonial subjects" and "multiculturalism".

The most outlandish thing about this entire Hum 110 affair is that the contents students were protesting against were already thoroughly diversified. The course was taught by radical leftists dedicated to racial mixing and transsexual marriage. As Martínez Valdivia, one of the professors whose lectures were disrupted by student liberators, said: she’s “female, mixed race, American and Peruvian, gay, atheist and relatively young...Introduction to Humanities: Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean...much of it is drawn from geographic areas not traditionally considered Western areas,” such as Iraq, Iran and Egypt.

She does not teach Plato, she adds, to educate students in philosophical reflection and dialogical pursuit of truth; no, that is not the point. The reason why Plato should be taught is to instruct students how white male reasoning has been uniquely misogynist since Plato:
Don’t write Plato off as a misogynist. Instead, try considering how it is that misogyny is a logical result, for him, of his reasoning.
In an earlier article recounting the sit-ins back in September 2017, other professors chimed in making similar points, trying to figure out why would students protest courses as "too white" when even courses about European history are no longer about Europeans per se, but, as Jonathan Hsy says, about how Africans were central participants in the making of medieval Europe; or, as Sally MacEwen says, about  how we can “Use Diversity to Teach Classics;" or, as Mark Humphries writes, about how Greece must be taught from a "world-historical perspective".

Don't current progressive students know that the purpose of teaching Europe's Middle Ages is no longer to instruct students that medieval Europe was the first civilization to “institutionalize reason” within self-governing universities which offered a curriculum “overwhelmingly oriented toward analytical subjects: logic, science, mathematics, and natural philosophy”?

Can't they understand that our current academics are super edgy diverse characters who no longer want to draw student's attention to the “epochal shift from qualitative to quantitative perception” that European initiated in the 1200s, which led to a new conception of time as a succession of quanta, and a new polyphonic music where sounds could be seen as a phenomena moving through time, written on a paper using a codified and standardized system of notation for all sounds and rests?

Being a "Conservative" is not Enough to Teach the West


African Conservatives trying to get into Europe to study Western Civilization

Martínez Valdivia was at a loss trying to make sense how students would fail to understand that she is a culturally enriched professor who uses a few Western text to promote progressive politics. Conservatives came to her assistance, offering her a platform to express her "pro-Western" desire to protect Hum 110.

Conservatives are now protectors of the radicals from 10-15 years ago.

This Hum course, with its focus on the "Mediterranean," is actually a product of student protests in the 1990s against required courses at the time on Western Civilization and the "Western Canon". We are far from these days. As was reported by the National Association of Scholars in 2010:
In 1964, the Western Civilization survey course in various guises, along with related courses such as Great Books surveys, were to be found at all the colleges and universities we surveyed. By 2010, the course had disappeared entirely as a requirement at these institutions and was available in some less emphasized form at less than a third of them.  
"Less emphasized form" = a Mediterranean Humanities or a World History course. But this is not good enough anymore. These courses still have a "Eurocentric" content. They do because some professors still have a vague sense that Western thinkers are indispensable in offering students the conceptual and literary backbone one needs to engage in progressive politics in the first place, since non-Western texts are products of backward, closed-minded cultures. There are no Aztec philosophers, no Bantu dialectics, no Mesopotamian logic, to give at least some semblance of an education. 

What these progressive academics don't realize is that no matter how much diversity is inserted into Europe, how much students are deceptively taught about "the positive impact of migration in the past", one can only be said to be offering a truly multicultural education when European culture is taught as just one among 100+ other cultures and civilizations.

If non-Europeans were central to the making of the West, how come the achievers are still White? If Africans and Moslems migrated into Europe and intermixed with the population for thousands of years, why don't Europeans look like Obama? If we really think that Heraclitus, Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle are a few among hundreds of other equally great thinkers from the Americas, Africa and Asia, why are we still dedicating a higher proportion of the content to these thinkers? Should they not be only 5% or so?

The Conservative illusion that they would manage to persuade cultural Marxists and endless throngs of new migrants to value Western civilization once they included these two groups into the story of this civilization is just that, wishful thinking. For cultural Marxists the progress must go on, and this means elimination of all vestiges of white supremacy. For non-Whites the West will always look White since the images of the "great thinkers" look White.

The notion that Mestizos will embrace the history of Europe once Europeans are seen as the progenitors of "values for humanity," "inclusiveness," "end to racism" merely incites them to affirm their own racial identity while reducing white students to characterless clones no one can possibly respect as having ancestors with "values for humanity". 

Whites must simply reclaim the West as uniquely theirs, as a civilization that produced more great thinkers than all the other cultures combined, and as the civilization that must remain heavily White in demographics if it is too survive.   

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