University of Notre Dame Holds Event on “Violent Whiteness”


Friday, February 8, 2019

While several public and private universities in Indiana, such as Ball State and Notre Dame, have held diversity weeks in the 2018-19 academic year, the University of Notre Dame chose to finish off their week of diversity celebration with a panel on “whiteness,” hosted by the Mediation Program of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, reported by Ellie Gardey. The panel was divided up between several professors, students, and diversity and inclusion officers to inclusively discuss the impact of white people on minority communities with the public. The content of the panel however, was far from inclusive.

David Anderson Hooker, a professor of the Practice of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, claimed that “[whiteness] is a description of both political condition and a mechanism for the distribution of power,” not a race. Furthermore, he claimed that whiteness was a manifestation of violence, citing a group made up of “Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannoppolous, Ann Coulter, Steve King, Charlottesville, and the Covington Catholic School [students].”

The lumping together of groups of both innocent people and open racists in recent media coverage as universally vicious racists, despite evidence, illustrates the professors ignorance. Comparing the now-cleared Covington Catholic students with open white-supremacists such as Richard Spencer is ridiculous and reduces the impact of someone being a true racist. While further evidence caused reporting news organizations like CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times to exonerate the boys, the panel still persisted.

The Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the City of South Bend, Indiana, Christiana Brooks, “condemned whiteness as a system of power that is invisible to those who are white.” Statistical evidence does not support this claim. While the majority of the population in the United States is white, they do not hold the dominant place described by Brooks. Asian Americans hold the both top economic class percentile, as well as the lowest unemployment rate of 3.3% as of 2018. Additionally, minority representation in local and national governments is at an all-time high in both political parties.

The second part of the panel discussion was supposed to include questions from attendees, and eight people were given the opportunity to speak before a man visiting the United States stepped up to ask a question and was immediately shouted down from Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science, Dianne Pinderhughes, screaming, “White privilege!”

The audience broke into wild cheers and applause until the microphone was taken from the visitor and given to Professor Pinderhughes. She claimed that she had had her hand in the air for a few minutes and no one had acknowledged her, giving her the right to scream down the man.

Get this: In response to a white student being given a microphone, a professor screamed and demeaned the student to the applause and approval of many in the room until the microphone was taken away from the student. In what world of civil discourse and professional behavior is that acknowledged as appropriate?

Imagine the horror if a non-white student were to be shouted down by white professors for asking questions in a panel discussion about race? Does someone’s skin color determine their place in society at the mercy of the mob? Do we really want people to think and feel that way?

The abhorrent display of racism by those claiming to be both inclusive and progressive is a despicable stain on society and attempts to remove the great strides in unity made by Martin Luther King Jr., who stated, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

If the professors in this panel truly view white people in this way, how are white students treated by them when no one is around?

The panel didn’t stop with vilifying white people, but any minority that supported a white person in any respect. Ph.D. Student of Sociology Emmanuel Cannady said, “We know this is systemic, because it isn’t just white people that uphold these systems. People of color also uphold systems of oppression.” Cannady then said, “It’s not just white officers that are shooting unarmed Black men. It is Black police officers that are doing the same thing.”  

Ellie Gardey finished her report of the event stating that the panel “drew enthusiastic audience engagement” resulting in demands by the student body president ballot to hold these Two-Minutes-Hate-like meetings once a semester. The University of Notre Dame’s support of these outspokenly racist meetings directly opposes part of its own mission statement: “…to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.”

The current road of demonizing a group of people based on their skin color ensures that Notre Dame will be anything but a place to create solidarity and concern for the common good.



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Anthony Kinnett is a curriculum developer in Indiana with a B.S. in Science Education and a M.A. in Curriculum Development and Education Technology. He is a former education policy and legislation advisor to Governor Walker of Wisconsin and has articles in Red Alert and the Foundation for Economic Education.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Anthony Kinnett

Maranatha Baptist University (B.S.); Ball State University (M.A. Ed.)

Anthony Kinnett is a curriculum developer in Indiana with a B.S. in Science Education and a M.A. in Curriculum Development and Education Technology. He is a former education policy and legislation advisor to Governor Walker of Wisconsin and has articles in Red Alert and the Foundation for Economic Education.

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