Society & Culture

Professor challenges UVM discrimination against ‘whiteness’

by Guy Page

A University of Vermont professor is speaking out publicly against what he calls “a new kind of discrimination on campus”: whiteness.

In a March 8 video entitled “Racism and the Secular Religion at the University of Vermont”, Prof. Aaron Kindsvatter, Associate Professor in the College of Education and Social Services, worries that “a chain of logic in which other persons will be defined by their racial categories….will divide us further in a time when we need to unite as one people.”

A student group called the Sisters of Color has called for Kindsvatter’s resignation. “Not a chance,” Kindsvatter said in a subsequent video. Leadership in the University and the College of Education and Social Services (CESS) say Kindsvatter’s views do not represent UVM or CESS, according to the Vermont Cynic.

“There’s a new kind of discrimination…” 1minute, nine seconds

“There’s a new kind of discrimination on campus that’s going on that I really feel that we need to talk about, and I think that everybody is afraid to talk about it, and this discrimination is against whiteness.”

– Prof. Aaron Kindsvatter

For Vermonters (like this author) not ‘up’ on Critical Race Theory terms like ‘whiteness,’ the following definition by CRT proponent Dr. Monnica T. Williams is republished from the June 13, 2020 Psychology Today:

“What is Whiteness? An unfairly privileged exclusionary category, based on physical features, most notably a lack of melanin.
While one can be proud of one’s German heritage, French Canadian culture, American nationality, or African American ethnicity, one should not be proud of one’s Whiteness. Whiteness is a forced group membership that originated by oppressing people of color. And, it causes psychological and spiritual damage to White people just as it damages non-Whites. White Americans are imbued with Whiteness from infancy, they do not choose it for themselves.”

Kindsvatter worries that discrimination against ‘whiteness’ will actually stimulate hate.

Discrimination against whiteness will lead to discrimination against other groups tomorrow, Prof. Aaron Kindsvatter says. 1 minute, 58 seconds.

It speaks so eloquently to our tribal impulses that the same logic that informs what’s currently being called whiteness right now can easily find its way to desperate persons who need a group to hate…

Would you please stop reducing my personhood to a racial category in your teach-ins. It does not feel good. Also it initiates a chain of logic in which other persons will be defined by their racial categories. It will divide us further in a time when we need to unite as one people.”

Sisters of Color has started a petition calling for Kindsvatter’s resignation. A petition supporting Kindsvatter now has 2722 signatures.

Kindsvatter’s video provoked many expressions of support on his You Tube page, including this comment:

“You can not “cure” racism with a structured legalized new racism. It’s ludicrous. You also can’t assume any person wants racism esp not due to the color of their skin, that’s ludicrous. The way to help inequality is to mindfully open doors to all people, to any path deemed desirable. Vilifying an entire race of people for crimes there is no way to prove or defend against is —- Third Reich stuff.”

Williams insists that whiteness is ultimately not pigmentation but is a closed state of mind that is up to the white person to open. “Continuing to accept unjust benefits that ultimately come at the expense of others is antisocial and unethical,” she said in Psychology Today. It causes the beneficiaries (e.g., White Americans) to have a stake in not acknowledging, seeing, or changing the problematic status quo. Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Categories: Society & Culture

11 replies »

  1. Prof. Kindsvatter, So I guess that you might say that two wrongs don’t make a right ? How thought provoking, at least to those that did not already view this issue (attacking racism with more racism) from that perspective.

  2. UVM has had a “lack of diversity” issue for years. I worked there ages ago, and despite the rigorous staff/ educator diversity trainings, they still couldn’t retain BIPOC students. They must be in hog heaven now that 4 Black students are making a public spectacle of “whiteness”.

  3. For those “melanin-challenged” individuals who have been indoctrinated into the rigid orthodoxy of Critical Race Theory, take comfort that so many things that we previously thought to be immutable characteristics or outdated social constructs such as gender are now a matter of choice and free expression. If the social pressures put on your whiteness have finally stimulated an intolerable level of guilt in you, there is always the option of being “trans-race” by evolving your “race-expression”. If white guilt has me in a tizzy today, I simply express as a Person of BIPOC and go about my day, guilt-free. Modern “science” regards gender to be a matter of personal expression and worldview, so why not race? Heck, what do chromosomes have to do with it, anyhow?

  4. We need more people with Professor Kindsvatter’s brand of courage to come forward.

    We should also understand that we may have to put ourselves out and unite in large numbers to defend him as he is now the red meat in the piranha tank.

    We can be sure the hate-filled racist leftists he exposed will unite in protests to verbally attack and attempt to intimidate him.

    The question now is: Can we come together en masse to support him, make it known that we’re fed up with hateful, angry racists?

    I have a feeling we may now have a prime opportunity to find out.

    • Follow the link to change.org. Then click the RED area that says “sign this petition”. If you’ve never used change.org you need to provide some basic info to establish an account. The link was provided in a previous comments. Hope that helps.

    • I have written to the college president to support Kindsvatter. I email the professor supporting him, which he said he really needed. and I gave hell to the professors who said they would assist any student who wanted to transfer out of his class.

  5. When I hear all these people who are embarrassed and remorseful to be whatever the Lord decided they should be, or about things that they were not even around to be a party to, it brings back memories of the old National Lampoon skit about the Woodchuck Festival of Peace, Love, and Death. As I remember the “Festival” was organized by, and for all those that were disheartened about the plight of society at the time. They all assembled at farmer Yessir farm and partied played music, did drugs, whatever made them feel better, finally culminating in a rain dance, at which time there was a loud clap of thunder. The emcee then stated “oh we have thunder! look we have lightning! quick, everybody roll your selves up in tin foil !” I think I need to buy stock in Reynolds Aluminum.

  6. I am 77 years young and have lived through a lot of diversity. I commend the professor for standing up to the exclusionary thought process he is fighting. Kudos to those who support him and his courageous stance.

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