What do campus progressives really want? A graduate student at Portland State University recently came to the realization that they are not seeking harmony, racial or otherwise. Rather, they want to perpetuate old divisions and create new ones.
That student, Andy Ngo, has written an illuminating essay on Quillette entitled “When Racism is Disguised as Anti-Racism.” Ngo is an older student who remembers his undergraduate days when liberalism meant opposing racial bigotry and policies that denied people equal rights. Returning to school years later, he decided to take part in an event billed as “Students of Color Speak Out.” He writes, “As a student of color and the gay son of refugee immigrants, the event’s premise interested me.”
What Ngo found, however, was a climate of animosity directed at white Americans. He was uncomfortable with the “tone of suspicion” that went through the student talks and the fact that the guidelines admonished white students to remain silent. “Even though the event was billed as a day of anti-racism,” Ngo writes, “what I witnessed was, quite frankly, racism. Until that day, I’d never seen people overtly dehumanized and treated as racialized objects – amplified through the use of words like ‘bodies’ to refer to people of color.”
In short, the academic left wants to foster, Ngo says, “a culture of racial division and mistrust.”
We see lots of evidence of that throughout the country these days. Ngo refers to an opinion piece written by a student at Texas State University, where the student declared that white people are an abomination. Anger raging within him, the student went on to declare, “Ontologically speaking, white death will mean liberation for all. Accept death as the first step toward defining yourself as something other than an oppressor…. I hate you because you shouldn’t exist.”
You can read more about this story here.
The student, a senior majoring in philosophy, has absorbed a great amount of vitriol from his mentors. But that is the desired outcome of leftist education.
Dividing people into hostile camps has been the big project of the academic left ever since the collapse of communism. So argues journalist Matthew Continetti in this recent Imprimis article published by Hillsdale College.
With the allure of socialism in tatters, progressives needed a new cause to rally people to its banner. Continetti explains, “Marx’s class struggle was reformulated into an ethno-racial struggle—a ceaseless competition between colonizer and colonized, victimizer and victim, oppressor and oppressed. Instead of presenting collectivism and central planning as the gateway to the realization of genuine freedom, the new multiculturalist Left turned to unmasking the supposed power relations that subordinated minorities and exploited third world nations.”
He is exactly right. The old claim that progessives should have power to run society so that the worker would no longer be exploited has been replaced with the new claim that they should have power because the white/male power structure is implacably hostile to women and all people of color. This helps to justify all the “studies” programs and all the “diversity and inclusion” offices that provide good paychecks for leftists, even as they set about sowing division and breeding hatred.
Harmony is the last thing they want. The more animosity among groups, the more these programs and offices seem needed. That also explains why we have so many fake hate crime reports on our campuses.
I’m glad that Mr. Ngo has seen the light. Progressivism is not about healing; it’s about creating and exploiting division.