A post over at Psychology Today makes the claim that “Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America.” Citing the horrific mass murder in Charleston by the overtly racist Dylann Roof, the essay goes on to state that, “Many will correctly blame Roof’s actions on America’s culture of racism and gun violence, but it’s time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation’s culture of ignorance.”
Now, among the more singularly despicable statements made by conservative politicians, pundits, and supposed “news” outlets, have been the cowardly red herring evasions of the obvious and irrefutable fact of Roof’s overtly and explicitly stated racist motivations in the mass murder at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The disgusting refusal on the parts of so many to frankly acknowledge and deplore the blatant racism behind Roof’s act of terrorism is beyond inexcusable. The people engaged in such denial and misdirection are themselves complicit in Roof’s crimes as enablers and legitimizers.
But even though anti-intellectualism and racism may likely be frequent, even inevitable, co-travelers, can we justifiably assert that anti-intellectualism is the root, and racism is the branch, as the author in the above Psychology Today post does? I do not think so.
For one thing, there has never been a particular lack of racism in the Academy. While this is obviously the case in many historical figures, it is also very much a fetid presence in contemporary higher ed, both explicitly in the form of more than a few well established and, in some instances, explicitly declared, racists and white supremacists, but also in the even more numerous caviling apologists who would justify such racism or even deny that it exists. It is more than a bit of a stretch to suppose that these people’s racism is driven by anti-intellectualism. Let me reiterate: such behavior is very much a stinking and oppressive reality in the contemporary academy.
Having mentioned historical figures in the academy, we should also note that the American Founding Fathers, who are commonly praised for their intellectual standing, were also quite frequently slave-holders in massive numbers. There are those who would apologize for these individuals, and attempt to justify the many framers of the Constitution and their egregious participation in the institution of chattel slavery. However, such people are themselves being racists. Spew all the fatuous twaddle you want about “history” and “the times back then,” it will never change the indefensible fact of slavery in the Americas, the incomprehensible brutality of the institution, or its uncompromisingly racist orientation, foundation, and purpose.
One need not reach so high as the preceding to observe the disconnect between racism and anti-intellectualism. A great many bright people who lack the standing of University professors, or Founders of the United States, nevertheless embrace all manner of excuse-making in order to justify their roles as enablers of racism, and even outright racists. Examples of this do not require anything as monstrous as the Charleston murders to show themselves. (Indeed, it is in the less monstrous, and more “everyday” acts of racism that the institutionalized character of racism reveals itself and its deeply embedded place within American society.) Thus, for example, many people aggressively defend the police response to the teenagers at the McKinney, TX pool party that garnered so much internet attention. The people who defend the police response to this incident generally do so by never asking even a single meaningful question. Examples of such questions include: “Would the police ever have acted so aggressively had the teenagers been white?” And, perhaps even more tellingly, “Would the police even have been called had the teenagers been white?”
But rather than dealing honestly with the obvious racial components in the police responses, the “thoughtful” racist enablers insist that the police were well within their rights because the children in bikinis failed to comply with lawful orders. And, of course, it goes without saying that had Roof been a black man who murdered nine white people at a prayer meeting, the police would have been every bit as delicate, deferential, and professional in securing his capture. I mean, it is not as though Roof was some dangerous psycho selling “loosies” on a street corner who needed to be choked to death. (Such is the “logic” of “post-racial” America.)
It is “logically possible,” in as gratuitously dessicated and abstract a sense of “possible” as you could ever wish to choke on, that had those teenagers been white, the police would still have been called and their response would still have been the same. It is equally possible, in as equally and childishly a caricature of possibility, that had Roof been black and his victims white, that the police would have dealt with him in the same careful, polite, and circumspect manner as they did with the white terrorist Roof.
But it is nigh on to incomprehensible how anyone could be so willfully and disgustingly flat out butt-st00pid as to imagine such ridiculously abstract possibilities were even marginally reasonable, much less inevitable. It is not as though there was any lack of evidence to the contrary:
So the driving force behind racism is not – and, indeed, cannot possibly be – anti-intellectualism. Far too many smart, well-read, intelligent people are repeatedly, rampantly, viciously, proudly racist, without apology or even a first, much less a second thought, for the anti-intellectual tag to stick. So wherein does the explanation lie?
The only response that makes any sense to me is one that takes us back to Robert Altemeyer and The Authoritarians. One of the primary signs of authoritarian thinking is, admittedly, a tendency toward anti-intellectualism. But of far greater reach, I would argue, is the devastating capacity for compartmentalization. People with University earned Ph.D.’s, at something like the top of their profession, are more than capable of not only being racists, but overt white supremacists. I have personally met such people, as well as their University earned Ph.D. apologists, defenders, and enablers. These people are not anti-intellectual in any but the most ridiculously twisted sense of the concept. But they are racists. They are racists because they have compartmentalized what they claim to believe from what they actually do. (Except for the overt white supremacists, who don’t bother with compartmentalization, but know the game well enough not to brag about who they really are. There are more than a few sociopaths with Ph.D.’s, just by the bye.)
The psychological act of compartmentalization has nothing to do with one’s approach to, or standing within, intellectualism. It is an emotional/ideological performance that defines itself as outside the possibility of rational inquiry or critique. It has nothing to do with intelligence, and even less to do with education.
Well, maybe the word “education” is wrong here. Let us say, instead, “schooling,” since there are far too many idiots with Ph.D.’s who have passed through school without ever becoming educated. Many of them work in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, in one form or another, certainly earning more money than any honest scholar like myself might ever hope to see
What is killing America is not anti-intellectualism, since this is nothing more than a symptom. What is killing America is the Authoritarian mindset. And until we address ourselves to the root cause, flailing at the various symptoms will only serve to make things worse.
Pelvo White, Jr. said:
Why the Confederate Flag Must Come Down
The very fact that a Confederate Flag exists as symbolic reasoning is testimony to the genius of the ancestry ( i.e. African Egyptians ) of contemporary African Americans. For centuries, leaders of the Western World have sent their military men, and their scientist who search around the partial ruins of ancient Egypt, the founders of symbolic linguistics. These are ruins which exhibits a still to be fully understood ancient African concepts personafied in symbols imparting a kind of linguistic psychophysiological inflection that superceeds all known languages looking for clues to African Egyptian concepts of thought. The confederate flag was a proud symbol of a slave holding people who saw themselves intellectually, and militarily fit enough to do battle with other peoples of the world who did not embrace chattel slavery as an acceptable means of obtaining personal capital. White supremacy is the order of the day both in the south and the north. The symbol of chattel slavery (i.e. confederate flag), and chattel slavery itself (i.e. capital from the trafficking and exploitation of human flesh) had to go because its practice ran counter to the western world idea of a decent pluralistic democracy with a capitalist economic base. A nation essentially born out of the efforts of undesirables (i.e. the United States of America) many who were sent out of Europe because of dis-loyalty to a state sponsored religious structure. Globally, the abolition of chattel slavery in America was part of white supremacy colonialism correcting itself making it more representative of eclectic global knowledge( i.e. Western World epistemology in total ) to date. Many of the physical trappings of chattel slavery have disappeared from sight but a careful scrutiny of the employer employee relationships in America (i.e. labor laws) reveal a hostile economic relationship between the upper, middle, and the lower classes as a result of the upper, and middle class efforts to extract a maximum profit from a combined exploitation of the poor capitalistically. The confederate flag is an ugly scar on the face of global white supremacy which can never symbolize harmonization with the rest of the non-white world.
The time has come for people to really explore and examine the ideas behind the symbolism contemporarily referred to as the Confederate Battle Flag. This flag symbolizes all of the morals and dogma embraced by the southern racist in America. The author of the thoughts behind these racist behaviors intended or unintended was Albert Pike. Pike was an American attorney, Confederate officer, writer, and Freemason. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Pike is also the only Confederate military officer or figure to be honored with an outdoor statue in Washington, D.C. Pike was also acclaimed as “America’s Plato.” “The Homer of America “, and the Zoroaster of Asia.” Albert Pike wrote the book titled “Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Charleston, S.C. 1871. In my estimation, Pike was indeed an intellectual genius of his time. I accuse him of being a genius because of his metaphysical thoughts which led to the foundation of southern white supremacy racism in America. Pike’s metaphysics embraced his understanding of the interplay of polar opposites upon this plane of existence. There is hard, and there is soft. There is good, and there is bad. There is light, and there is darkness. There is black and there is white. Pike’s genius also was reflected in his ability to dovetail his writings with observable events in nature. Day light reigns for a time, and then there is night. Night reigns for a time, and then there is day light. Everything in Pike’s world symbolized something. The confederate battle flag symbolizes a way to act. The flag reminds every southern, white racist of his duty to obey his morals, and view the descendants of black slaves as subordinate to them. The flag also reminds the white southern racist of the rites and rituals (i.e. dogma) that they must practice (i.e. racial discrimination) to make sure that white dominates black. It is time to put Pike’s thoughts to rest with an understanding that a nation built upon Pike’s metaphysics is as wrong as Plato’s thoughts when he conceptualized a “Republic “ which, when put into practice, became communism.
We must get clear on the religious significance of the practice of black slave human sacrifice ( i.e. the killing of black people ) and later day black human sacrifice which I believe took place often in the deep south of the United States of America both individually, and collectively. To some white Americans. Sacrificing African American souls to ancient gods came to America with the very old belief systems of some Western World immigrants whose polytheistic perceptions of reality involved receiving blessings from their gods primarily through sacrificing the lives of those life forms whom they perceived as lesser beings, black slaves and freed slaves, and blacks in general contemporarily, native Americans, cows, hogs, ducks, chickens, etc. These believers in ancient polytheistic religions are those whom the disciples of Jesus Christ sought to convert to Christianity after the death of Jesus Christ. It is entirely ridiculous to think that Christianity, a belief in a black skinned savior (i.e. Jesus Christ) is the savior of a significant number of self-proclaimed non-blacks in the world. Polytheistic religious practices continues to this very day, and was cleverly eclectically articulated in America by the religious scholar Albert Pike. Pike systematically dovetailed selective religions, and created a hierarchical religion that ate up the ground of all other known religions. Pike’s transcendent religion structure, which utilizes the practice of sacrificing of human beings is designed to invoke non-Christian gods to bless the white race with dominance over all other races of man in the perceivable world. Pike’s polytheistic religion imparts the metaphysical, and physical foundations of contemporary white supremacy animated, and expressed through all American institutions.
Pelvo White, Jr. said:
African American Intellectualism, A Martin Luther King, Jr Gift To All Of America
America must continue to remake itself in regards to it’s racial relationships. In its present state America suffers from the eclectic collecting of faulty cultural habits and beliefs which have tended to cause the continual demonizing of some of its citizens. We gleaned certain political and legal ideas from the ancient western world that weren’t necessarily helpful to the racial cohesion of a pluralistic multiracial democratic republic with a capitalist economic base. For all intents and purposes America is nothing more than a deviated model of Europe. It is a well-constructed model that is designed for the continued missionary conquest of the known world. Most Americans exist within the cultural sum total of European norms, folkways and mores that have been codified into law complete with dominant language (English), but one must realize that nations rise and fall over the centuries. In a” melting pot ” It is only natural for some American citizens to think that they are losing their cultural identities and to feel at times very alienated especially if they cannot interpret western world signs and symbolisms which allude to a foreign culture.
The American brand of racial discrimination has its origin deep within the culture of the white race. An example of this is the play Othello by Shakespeare. This play is often taught in high schools, colleges and universities as a classic tragedy. There are those who would argue that the noun “Othello “was a complete invention by Shakespeare. It was a complete invention, but a clever racial one. The word “Othello “is a noun comprised of two Latin words which in Shakespeare’s time automatically identified who he was talking about because that person looked so differently from his white skinned society. Othello was portrayed as a black Muslim. The Latin rooted English noun ” Othello ” translate out to mean “of the it ” “Oth ” means ” of the “, and ” ello ” is a pronoun which means ” it .” The continued dehumanization of the black male passes on to the white skinned wife of Othello. Her name is “Desdemona.” The Latin word “Des” means descendant of, and the Latin word Demona “which means female demon. So the condemnation of the interracial couple within its own culture is complete with an ending caveat which is to stay away from such a love affair that can only have a tragic end.
We can also see and understand the ancient strains of racial discrimination against the black male in the Greek writings of Homer. The Iliad and the Odyssey identifies the king Odysseus, who through bad relations with the gods, sailed a confused route home to Ithaca. Much of Odysseus’ route was along and near the northern coast of Africa where he encountered dope addicts (lotus eaters), and witches, and monsters. The white skin race’s habit of demonizing the black skinned race is very old and has passed on from ancient times up to the present through stories like these. Even Aristotle was ran out of his home, and Socrates was executed for trying to introduce ideas which had their origins in the black race. We cannot continue to believe that the black male is noxious to America. These fears were born in the culture of the ancient white race that had a world conquest mission and have no relevance in today’s America. Our teachers and scholars must continue to study, interpret and reinterpret our own racial discrimination and bigotries embedded in our treasured ancient stories.
Pelvo White, Jr.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pelvo White, Jr. said:
Rich men like Donald Trump shake their fist at God and ask ” why don’t you speak clearly to mankind ” ? To a confused world Trump presents himself as the model of an a-moral man.
Let’s get clear on the psychology of the rich, and famous. Trump lavishly dines upon the riches of the earth. He has his heaven on earth, and from this comfortable pillow he launches his rebellion against God by expressing anti-Christian messages using roman metaphors. We should consider the supposed origins of that ancient Rome which Trump hopes to resurrect. Rome was the most decadent government known to mankind in this that their armies, and their society were both homosexual, and bisexual, their dining rooms had adjacent vomitoriums where they regurgitated what they had just eaten to make room to eat more, and they ate their meals lying down. The classical Latin language itself is a command language lacking in words like” please” and” thank you.” They devalued their women not thinking them worthy of separate, individual names thereby naming numerous women in the same family names like Cynthia I, Cynthia II, and Cynthia III. Rome was founded by two young men who were supposedly raised by a wolf. Again, if we pay particular attention to the human ethics inferred by alluding to the ethics of a pagan nation founded by wolf-raised feral children (i.e. Romulus and Remus), we gain insights into the desired ethical foundation of a man like Donald Trump. Trump wants to maculate the American white male this time devoid of Christian ethics so that they may purify America. Trump howls for America to return to ethics that determine non-whites as less deserving of their care, and consideration. He wants us to take off our regalia of puny Christian ethics codified in the U.S. Constitution ( i.e. the bill of rights ) so that we may be more untamed. Both Trump’s and Putin’s Virtu’ or” behavior showing high moral standards allude to the virtues or moral standards of an ancient roman citizen, not an American citizen, the virtues or high moral standards of a wolf, not a contemporary human being. Trump wants to put afoot a white male high tech a-moral savage which is Trump’s version of Adolph Hitler’s “Das Uberman ( i.e. The Superman ).
Pelvo White, Jr. said:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
A few days ago I journeyed to Washington D.C. to tour our National Museum of African American History and Culture. This Smithsonian museum’s beautiful building is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., and was booming with visitors from seemingly all nations and all walks of life. There are security services and tour guides stationed throughout the building that are more than willing to assist visitors as they move through the ramped, multi-leveled, spacious, circular, wheelchair accessible edifice, and souvenirs can be purchased from a delightful museum store to help mark this historic visit. This very interesting tour of the museum begins when you enter and walk into the Concourse room which features ” Sweet Home Cafe “, and a Theater. Proceed on to the entrance to the ” Contemplative Court ” and ” History Galleries ” (C1-C3). C3 is titled “Slavery and Freedom 1400-1877 “. This gallery features statues, written comments, and information on how African slaves were dispersed throughout Europe and the world, actual artifacts,to include slave handcuffs and shackles and audio/visual displays dating from chattel slavery’s beginning through the Civil War. History Gallery C2 is titled ” Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876 – 1968. This exhibit features numerous sights and discussions of the ” Jim Crow Era ” to include an actual railroad car, and a portion of a Florida prison tower that was in use during segregation, an interactive Lunch Counter which shows excerpts of Civil Rights clashes with police and American citizens, the Emmett Till Memorial, a Tuskegee Airplane, and other audio/visual displays relative to this time period. C1 is titled ” A changing America: 1968 And Beyond “and features exhibitions relative to the events of 1968 to include Audio/visual displays of some of the marches of the Civil Rights Movement. Level one ( i.e. L1 ) is titled ” Heritage Hall “, and features an information counter and a museum store. L2 features classrooms,a library, an interactive gallery, center for African American Media Arts and an Explore Your Family History Center. L3 is titled ” Community Galleries ” and features audio/visuals on sports, Making a Way out of No Way “, and ” The African American Military Experience. ” L4 features audio/visuals on ” Visual Arts and the American Experience “, ” Musical Crossroads “, ” Cultural Expressions “, and ” Taking the Stage .” With all displays considered the National Museum of African American History and Culture provides a day’s outing that is both informative and entertaining so teachers, civic organizations, tour guides, and others interested in American history and are seeking a truly memorable tour, put on some comfortable attire and make your way to our nation’s capital to experience the thought provoking, and eye opening National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Pelvo White, Jr.