An Interview with a Conservative

A complete transcript of my responses, provided via email, are below. The full article can be read here.

On October 25, 2017, Nathan Rubbelke of The College Fix notified me of their intent published a piece for which he asked for comment.

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for your email. Please see my responses to your questions below:

  1. How do you respond to the characterization of your twitter account is "anti-white racial hate and glamorizes the murder of police”?

    Such a characterization of my account or politics as either anti-white or as a call for unprovoked violence against law enforcement officers is a perfect and intentional misrepresentation, which is devoid of social, political, and historical context. To be clear, I am decidedly against whiteness as a social and political ideology, which systematically marginalize and disenfranchise people of color from opportunities for societal advancement. In addition, I am against the institution of policing, which has historically and continuously enacted racial terror, sexual violence, and economic exploitation against racial minorities, women and LGBTQ communities, and economically disadvantaged working-class people. The particular photo in question is an intentional political statement to invert the established relationship of power between policing and Black communities generally, and police and Black women and girls in particular. In light of the persistent and public cases of police misconduct, brutality, and sexual violence against Black women, for which there has been virtually no accountability, I believe images depicting a different relationship in which police are no longer allowed to enact racial and sexual terror without resistance or consequence are necessary. Therefore, I am intentional in supporting such artistic expressions and their message.
  2. Do you stand behind tweets of yours that state "Fuck you, @realdonaldtrump" and that "white supremacist heterosexist patriarchy needs to get the violence it imparts"?

    Yes, I stand behind my statements against white supremacy, heterosexism and homophobia, and patriarchy as systems of oppression, all of which are both embodied and advanced by the violent and dehumanizing rhetoric and policy decisions of the current President of the United States.
  3. Do you worry at all that your tweets may rub some students the wrong way and have some students think you are biased? 

    I do not worry about prospective students experiencing discomfort as a result of my tweets any more than the readings I assign or lectures I give on the topics of race and racism. Undeniably, creating discomfort is an intentional pedagogical tool used to stimulate learning and productive development of students’ identities. The specific racial discomfort to which you are alluding, particularly for white students, is  a symptom of white fragility. White fragility, as Robin D’Angelo brilliantly writes (see attached article), refers to the inability of those identifying as white to manage and resolve discomfort emanating from no longer existing in a social (and academic) environment that protects and insulates them from the experiencing racial stress, which often emerges from critical self-reflection and external accountability for their prejudicial racial politics.
  4. A few of your tweets refer to destroying whiteness. What do you define as whiteness and why must it be destroyed? 

    Whiteness refers to the socially constructed ideology of racial superiority and dominant social status afforded to, primarily, those believing themselves to be white. By ideology I am referring to specific racially-prejudicial beliefs, behaviors, and practices, which are considered as the normative basis by which all others are evaluated. It is whiteness that normalizes white ways of knowing and doing, which result in a monopolization of power and privilege among those invested in and/or identifying with the ideology and villainizes and criminalizes those who do not fit or conform. While whiteness is neither synonymous with nor exclusive to white people, whiteness is a construct from which all white people benefit as an ascribed status, one that affords greater access to opportunities and successful outcomes in education, health, income, legal justice, etc. than their non-white peers. Such an ideology must be destroyed because its existence, historically and contemporarily, allows for both passive and active forms of violence to be enacted upon people of color, many of which result material and potentially fatal consequences.
  5. I saw some of your recent tweets with the hate mail you've received and the calls for you to be fired. I assume that has stemmed from your article in Inside Higher Ed. Do you have the support of your superiors in the wake of these emails and calls for your firing?

    The University of Southern California and the Rossier School of Education have issued responses to the specific emails, all about which you may inquire elsewhere to determine their official position.