The Washington Post is drawing criticism after posting a video calling on white people to form “accountability groups” and encouraging white shame in what some are calling a “pseudoreligious” movement.
A recent episode of “The New Normal” video series with host Nicole Ellis explored the idea of white accountability groups in which white people gather together to challenge each other on their “whiteness.”
“In this episode,” Ellis said, “we’re tackling white racial identity and why understanding your whiteness is integral to becoming self-aware as a white person.”
Resmaa Menakem, an author and trauma specialist, appeared on the video and said, “[A]n antiracist culture does not exist among white people. White people need to start getting together specifically around race.”
Menakem argued that racism is not “episodic” but “structural.” He said, “Remember that there were thousands of George Floyd’s before the one that you saw. Your bodily response to this horror, right, is not the same thing as you dealing with the structural aspects of it.”
Professor and psychologist Rebecca Toporek said, “White people get aroused, get upset, and say, ‘This is unjust. This isn’t right. This shouldn’t happen.’ There’s like an awakening that happens. And so part of their racial identity development is seeing that awakening. What they do with it is really the next piece of it.”
“Part of the structure of racism in the way that it’s maintained is to keep us from recognizing that racism is a part of our daily lives. And so it’s a longer-term process of looking at your understanding of yourself in the world, both historically but also contextually. The family you live in, the community you live in, and what role whiteness plays in that.”
Trauma therapist Ilyse Kennedy said, “We’re unpacking wrong things that we have been taught in history class. I realized that I needed to go back and unpack and reorganize everything I had learned because it was completely through a white lens.”
She explained, “Most of us, in doing this work, have experienced this, where there’s a period of deep shame for being white and for acknowledging the harm that our ancestors have caused. And that’s a very legitimate piece of this work.”
Toporek said that white people cannot learn about racism simply from being around other white people so they must have friendships with minority groups.
“But is it fair or healthy to be seeking out relationships with people just to have a diverse network? Cause I feel like for people of color, you’re kind of constantly trying to gauge whether or not it’s worth it or not to be vulnerable or share how someone hurt you when your white colleagues or co-workers or friends mess up,” Ellis asked.
Toporek responded, “There’s a different cost for my friends of color to be in relationship with me,” before advocating ongoing friendships with people of different skin colors.
Critics like Jesse Singal rebuked the video. He tweeted, “This is a very strange pseudoreligious movement that is likely to do more harm than good.”
Another user noted, “It’s like a bizarre new religion. They have their own language, their idea of original sins (whiteness), and seeking redemption through ‘doing the work’ to understand race issues. It’s a disconnect from the reality 99% of Americans live in.’”
Investigative journalist Christopher F. Rufo, a strong critic of Critical Race Theory (CRT), referenced the Post’s error-laden piece on his work, which has since been debunked, by saying, “It all makes sense now: the Washington Post published a 3,000-word fake hitpiece against me because they really want to defend race essentialism and ‘White racial identity.’”
He added, “The game is that they want to create an essentialized racial category (‘whiteness’), load it with negative connotations, then impose it on individuals through guilt, shame, and school indoctrination. This approach is reductive, manipulative, and malicious. Don’t fall for it.”
Rufo is spot on with his criticism of this type of ideology. Across multiple facets of society, the left’s “antiracism” initiative is engineered to bring about a Marxist cultural revolution pitting whites against everyone else and tear down anything associated with “whiteness.” Even the terminology they use is intended to villainize and even dehumanize whites.
Take, for example, the term “people of color.” Virtually every ethnicity is now included in people of color except white people. The term “colored” has long been deemed offensive when applied to black people, but people of color has been determined to be the appropriate term, why? The answer is because it gives the connotation that there is something deficient in white people that separates them from all other ethnicities.
In the left’s world of intersectionality and CRT, color is seen as a moral attribute. Whites are labeled oppressors while other ethnicities are labeled as oppressed and granted moral superiority. Never mind the fact that the term is offensive and inaccurate, but it paints all white people as merely a group of translucent beings of bland sameness (all bad, mind you) rather than fellow humans with slightly less melanin and distinctive perspectives, characteristics, and experiences.
This video should be deeply disturbing to Americans who think that all people are created equal and that each person is an individual, not a member of a “collective” based on some immutable physical trait. Many white Americans are falling for the lie that they should feel guilt and shame over their skin color all in the name of “doing the work of antiracism.” White people should not feel accountable for the sins of past white people, nor are whites the only group of people to have ever oppressed others. This is a Marxist narrative meant to portray whites as holding power over others and others as powerless victims.
Replace the word “white” or “whiteness” with “black,” “Jew,” or the name of any other ethnic group and all would immediately recognize this call for segregated “group” accountability sessions for the vile scapegoating and racist tactic that it is.