by UnHerd
Wednesday, 31
March 2021
Video
15:37

Vermont Professor: I stand by my anti-whiteness video

Freddie Sayers spoke to Aaron Kindsvatter, professor of counselling at the University of Vermont
by UnHerd


Over the past year, the culture wars have been raging and one of the places where they have been fought most fiercely is on American college campuses. Efforts to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ and censor professors and students found to be deviating from progressive orthodoxy on identity issues have intensified, particularly on liberal college campuses.

Last week, another target was found, this time at the University of Vermont. Claiming to see an ideology of ‘anti-whiteness’ spreading around the School of Education, Professor Aaron Kindsvatter published a video denouncing the anti-racist agenda for discriminating against people on account of their skin colour. As a professor of counselling, Kindsvatter was especially concerned about the implementation of policy based on the work of Ibram X. Kendi, the author of ‘How to be an Antiracist’, into the counselling programme. Given that these students were training to be psycho-therapists, Kindsvatter notes, this “rigid” ideology would inform the basis of their work:

I’m really afraid that the next generations of students, who will be mental health practitioners, are going to be taught that [Ibram X.] Kendi’s version of anti-racism is something that they should take into their psychotherapy sessions with them. Then they will take this teaching into the school as school counsellors to teach the children and that is what is particularly frightening.

Because the habits of mind that inform works like Kendi’s and the D’Angelo’s are based on a rigidity and a set of distortions that are likely to lead to a great deal of unhappiness, both in interpersonal relationships and on happiness with one’s sense of self worth.

- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

Shortly after the publication of the video, a familiar pattern emerged: a petition demanding the resignation of Kindsvatter started and a mealy-mouthed apology from the university to the students followed. Kindsvatter is still at the university, but for how long is anyone’s guess. Though he is tenured, he still feels insecure about his position at the school:

I don’t think one can ever feel too secure in an environment where people are monitoring one so carefully… When the administration is sort of giving the okay to students and faculty to start a change.org petition to get me fired? That does not leave me feeling particularly secure.
- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd
 

On the parallels between anti-racism and an abusive relationship:

One thing that happens in abusive relationships is one person will try to control another by suggesting that there’s something deeply wrong with the first, but will never be specific about what that is. So I might say to you, ‘I really feel like I could love you if you would just try to change some things about yourself, and I accept you and I appreciate you and yet I feel like you’ve got some work to do’. But you’re never told  precisely what that work is. And then I’ll say something like ‘the work is is never done and don’t expect concrete results’.

Because the work is never done, it places this person in a state of uncertainty and anxiety, where they are now encouraged to give their moral compass to somebody else and to check in on somebody else as to whether they are doing the right thing or not. They’re doing what the other person wants them to do. And that’s that is what happens almost word for word in abusive relationships

- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

On anti-racism:

This is kind of a secular religion, what I would call fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is a thought system that does not allow examination of or reflection on the suppositions that inform it. It’s just good in the eyes of the fundamentalist thinkers. And there is fundamentalism, that has broken out in the College of Education, and in the graduate counselling programme, and these ideas are taken to be almost sacred. And their suppositions cannot be critiqued. Because that is almost considered to be a moral violation to critique those suppositions.
- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

On anti-whiteness:

The whiteness dialogue more generally has morphed into an idea where all of society’s social ills are based on the dominance of a particular race of people. White people. Which is an incredibly scary way of thinking… When you start attributing either good or bad traits to a person’s race, you have now started an incredibly contagious dialogue that is deeply racist.
- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

On dissenting students:

If you don’t buy into this ideology, you tend to be on the outgroup. So those forces are sort of working against the wellness of students who are not buying into this.
- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

On those fighting the anti-racist agenda:

They feel dehumanised because they, because they’re not, if they don’t go along with the, with the proper narrative, that they’re told that they’re the wrong and evil. And by the way, you don’t have to be white to feel this.
- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

On being the ‘racist professor’:

As other people become the racist professor in the College of Education, people will slowly begin to see that the College of Education is going out of its way to hire people who share this [anti-racist] ideology. But what’s happening is they’re becoming increasingly ideologically isolated. So they have no diversity of thought, and there’s no one in the room to stand up and say maybe a teaching… about negative attributes to persons of a particular race is not a good idea.
- Prof Aaron Kindsvatter, UnHerd

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Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago

I’ve found rather than framing this as ‘identity politics’ or ‘anti-whiteness’, the best way to refer to what’s happening is ‘common enemy politics’. By labelling is as such, it immediately associates this ideology with the common enemy rhetoric that took place in 1930s Germany, for in all truth there is very little difference between what went on then and what’s happening now.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Well said. So-called anti-racism is nothing but the systematic demonization of whites and borrows several tropes from anti-Semitism: inherited guilt, collective guilt, sole responsibility for the ills of the world, and so on. That its agenda is vague and open ended should ring the loudest alarm bells, as should the systematic intimidation and violence meted out to critics such as Ngo. It is time to call a halt to this poisonous movement. Let’s hope the government report on race relations in the UK is just the start.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

But they are only “anti-termite” so they get a pass.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

… exactly : in the current, deliberately envenomed climate the, often faux, so-called anti-racism is in fact Racialism writ large … the present racial/industrial complex is chugging along nicely as it drives wedges successfully and prepares the way for a fiery summer on the streets, While the Ship of Fools itself has no captain.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

See:Carl Schmitt

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Also known as scapegoating. Hence the constant insinuation that those groups that are doing well – the Jews in 1930s Germany, whites in today’s U.K., and Asians most recently in the US – are succeeding by dint of undue “privilege”, in other words at someone else’s expense. It is an utterly evil ideology.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

… I find the term “”racial/industrial complex” increasingly useful …

Pedro Mendez
Pedro Mendez
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

I do wish people on the Right and the Left would refrain from making facile comparisons with the Nazis.

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler becomes more likely. That is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which usually dampens discussion.”

-Godwin’s Law

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

The Professor is plainly a good man who speaks the truth. As such, I don’t hold out much hope for him.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
1 year ago

Anti-racism is the new racism, and white people are the new Jews.

Last edited 1 year ago by Drahcir Nevarc
Michael James
Michael James
1 year ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

With the difference that white people are persecuted by other white people.

vince porter
vince porter
1 year ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Someday soon, it will be acceptable to ‘kristallnacht’ white people. I fear for the future of my grandchildren.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago

The authoritarian left have successfully programmed a Maoist style Red Guard in western universities, fighting to implement their own cultural revolution…

Gary Baxter
Gary Baxter
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

I personally lived through Mao’ the Great Proletarian Culture Revolution and the Red Guards, which inflicted huge human sufferings and cultural damages on the country. I’ve never expected to witness a similar disaster coming to America. Leftist authoritarianism and dictatorship MUST resisted before it’s too late.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

The Professor is plainly a good man who speaks the truth. As such, he will be destroyed.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Both of the above comments were tagged as ‘Waiting for to be approved’ or whatever that bizarre construction is. The second was an attempt to find out which word might have offended the algorithms.

Chris Scott
Chris Scott
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s hard to tell these days. Any innocuous remark could be censored.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago

Calling out whiteness? Call out any other color to stand in for evil. I double dare you. This is not going to raise healthy children, with intact self-esteem.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Delszsen

Technically neither Black or White are a colour, as neither are in the Spectrum.
However, let’s face it, historically Black always been associated with evil.
Tough, but true.

QED.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

Professor Aaron Kindsvatter published a video denouncing the anti-racist agenda for discriminating against people on account of their skin colour.
if someone told you a few years ago that something like this would be even remotely controversial, you’d think that person was crazy. Today, that person is outside the academic mainstream.

Jimbob Jaimeson
Jimbob Jaimeson
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I’d make a guess that many academic professors think the same as Aaron but are too afraid to say so, they could lose their livelihoods. It’s just like non muslims in fundamentalist muslim countries being given the choice of death, tax or conversion. Many outwardly “convert” because they other options aren’t so good. So the real enemy end up appearing bigger than they really are

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago

There is actually a professor with a functioning brain at a university? That is amazing. Shocking.

Ernest DuBrul
Ernest DuBrul
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Mr. Boylon–
There are actually very many. But they are as scarce as hen’s teeth in colleges of education and most social sciences.

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
1 year ago

Hey, diversity inclusion and equity = DIE!!!!

Ralph Withers
Ralph Withers
1 year ago

Or IED: Improvised Explosive Device

Ernest DuBrul
Ernest DuBrul
1 year ago

This is not new.

[Habits] of mind that … are based on a rigidity and a set of distortions have been mandatory parts of the curriculum in U.S. colleges of education for decades or more as required courses in educational and social theory, educational history, and educational psychology .

A large part of the required course work has always been based on a fundamentalist thought system that does not allow examination of or reflection on the suppositions that inform it. It’s just good in the eyes of the fundamentalist thinkers.

If you don’t buy into this ideology, you tend to be on the outgroup. As a result, students have no diversity of thought in much of their curriculum. The better students recognize this shortcoming and opt for another career. The U.S. is left with unqualified students being indoctrinated to become poor teachers.

The defects in the public schools in the U.S. should rightly be laid at the feet of our colleges of education.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ernest DuBrul
john dann
john dann
1 year ago

Good Luck Professor Kindswatter! Your voice and calm stability is very much needed. The university atmosphere is toxic, but so is that in the world where everyone is under surveillance, everyone is a policeman and everyone is a criminal. The new Covid Controls and loss of liberty are a good example.
Racism is the gift that keeps giving to grifters, huxters and self-aggrandizing demagogues. People like Al Sharpton, Benjamin Crump who make millions stirring the pot of racism, separation and victimhood, as do people like Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk, not to mention those who propagandize pop culture to get their message out.
Racism is easily defined as the idea that there is more than one human race and this idea is at the heart of identity politics. We are all in the same pot with a common history of some 2 to 300,00 years as we emerged from Africa.
Racism and sex identity are used to divide and conquer, to control minds, to gain power, they diminish our common humanity and deprive people of their intrinsic dignity and isolate them by an over refinement and parsing down of self.
I hope Professor that your voice will be heard increasingly. You have a following now. Keep speaking!!

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
1 year ago

God bless you professor!! Keep speaking out. We need more people brave enough to take this stand.