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Anti-Racism I

Coursera · University of Colorado Boulder · 4 HN points · 0 HN comments

HN Academy has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention Coursera's "Anti-Racism I" from University of Colorado Boulder.
Course Description

Anti-Racism I is an introduction to the topic of race and racism in the United States. The primary audience for this course is anyone who is interested in learning about race/racism in the US who has never taken a course in critical race or ethnic studies or affiliated fields (indeed, who may not know what the fields of critical race studies or ethnic studies are), who has never read a book about race/racism, or attended any race equity or diversity trainings on the topic of race/racism.

In this course you will learn how to:

- Use and comprehend contemporary intersectional terminology through a provided glossary

- Critically discuss “whiteness”

- Recognize the concept of White privilege that all White people have whether they want that privilege or not and to differentiate between White supremacy as a systemic concept vs. White supremacists (who are professional racists like the KKK).

- Distinguish between being not racist and being anti-racist

- Define systemic and institutional racism

- Accept the unequal history of race and racism in the United States that has created racial hierarchies that has disenfranchised Black Americans

- Share with others the true foundations of United States’s histories beginning with the acknowledgement of settler colonialism and the rewards that White people have received due to White supremacy and Black oppression.

- Talk about race and racism

- Explain why phrases like “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” are racist

- Recognize that anyone can be anti-racist--it only takes the dedication and decision to be anti-racist, to educate yourself about the history of racism in the US and then to talk in an anti-racist way and to act as an anti-racist

HN Academy Rankings
  • Ranked #6 this month (sep/oct) · view
Provider Info
This course is offered by University of Colorado Boulder on the Coursera platform.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

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Sep 29, 2020 · 4 points, 13 comments · submitted by kevbin
> While race and racism have, in popular discourse, been understood to refer to non-white people, we start with whiteness since whiteness has been the primary ideology that dominated the formation of the United States, its laws, power structure, society, and culture.

Why does anyone take this assertion seriously? "Whiteness" is not an ideology. Liberalism is barely an ideology. Multiple, competing ideologies have lived and died in American history; whiteness was not and is not one of them. Deconstructing white people into a strawman in order to attack it is offensive.

Whiteness is not white people. There are absolutely people in this world with ideologies about the superiority of white people. There is a field of academia which studies these ideas, and it is called Whiteness Studies.

I would gently point out that conflating criticism of whiteness with criticism of all white people because of etymological similarity is literally a strawman. Perhaps this course has something to offer you.

> There are absolutely people in this world with ideologies about the superiority of white people.

And there are people with ideologies that paint White people as all being fundamentally evil, with some kind of tainted inheritance. This is what Whiteness Studies is actually doing; far different than any African-American Studies course would do. Interesting that it has to be so drastically different, so critical, so deconstructive when White people are involved.

> I would gently point out that conflating criticism of whiteness with criticism of all white people because of etymological similarity is literally a strawman.

I see through your motte-and-bailey game. All White people are automatically guilty of Whiteness; that's the whole point of these courses, to take apart the accomplishments of historical White figures, to demonize White people for being the beneficiaries of the hard work and sacrifice of their collective ancestors, and ultimately to deny White people to opportunity to take part in a collective identity at all. You then back out and pretend to only criticize abstract Whiteness; but of course, this doesn't matter, because no criticism of any other group is going to be allowed to use the same methodologies.

This is propaganda; and there is now some momentum towards calling it out for what it is and rejecting it, including recent executive orders that restrict federal agencies from compelling employees to take this kind of training. My hope is that it can be purged entirely so we can eventually get back on track towards a society where people can get along instead of being artificially divided by an elite that seeks to employ divide-and-conquer strategies to prevent the working class from ever being able to make any progress.

I am not playing games with you. I'm merely inviting you to feel for the blindfold you've fastened to yourself.

Good luck to you.

Rude. Don't tell me that the identity I was born with and cannot change is a 'blindfold'. I cannot take off my skin.
> etymological similarity is literally a strawman

That is plain horse shit. It clearly intends to nurture defensiveness by blurring commonly understood terms about racism. That is intentional miscommunication.

You change the definition and think it transformative if you can just shed that defensiveness. The backlash is justified and understandable. You own that and you have to clean that up, be challenged on that for a change. Otherwise it is just for you to secure your job, that is why you have difficulties to articulate concrete demands.

Social sciences can and should do better.

You seem to be suggesting that because these ideas are contrary to the "common" understanding - and I'd encourage you to examine _who's_ understanding this really is - that they are deceptive and worthless. This is a criticism of the way these views are presented. This is not a criticism of their content.

I find it increasingly strange that three commenters have spoken very loudly in this thread about how they feel this is a divisive attack, yet not one of them has engaged in good faith with a single idea of that field or otherwise demonstrated an understanding of it.

Maybe it is a criticism of the presentation indeed. But also of the consequences of policies grounded in conclusions in those views, because these are used to justify discrimination by skin color, the "common" understanding of racism I am referring to. Two wrongs don't make a right is a pretty straight forward type of criticism in my opinion.

If you propose discrimination by skin color and that is obviously the goal here that even made its way into policy, I don't need to engage in good faith with you. It is intellectually dishonest and a plump divide and conquer spiel. There is no scientific background that warrants criticism, it is pure politics and racism. That would be my primary criticism of the content.

I don’t follow. Can you explain more please?
I don't entirely understand what you'd like me to elaborate on, and I don't feel that I am the proper person or that this is the proper venue to do so.
I've left this unresponded to in the hope that someone better qualified than me will answer it. Frankly I'm not at all an expert on this subject, I just know enough to call a spade a spade.
I was asking for you to expand the meaning of your own words. One would presume that no one is more qualified than you to explain what you wrote.
>There is a field of academia which studies these ideas, and it is called Whiteness Studies.

Does this "Whiteness Studies" come to the same quality of conclusion of oh.... Say phrenology did with individuals of African descent? Or at distinguishing criminality from facial features?

Just saying a field in academia purportedly exists that studies something confers neither credibility nor protection against calling out of the fundamental precepts of said field as intentionally divisive, absurd, and the realm of quackery.

I never suggested academia was immune from criticism. I pointed out that 'core-questions was responding to something _other_ than the topic at hand.

I find the way you've responded to this, suggesting the field may not actually exist, and posing leading questions about hypothetical conclusions, quite strange. You need not take my word for it that this is a field of study. People think about it. Then they write about it. And then they critique each other. You can easily find their work for yourself. What else is required for something to be a field?

Don't you think it would be more productive to respond to actual precepts of the field and actual conclusions people have come to? What claims are quackery? What precepts are absurd?

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