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Admin frets for ‘humanity’ of children raised by white parents

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Campus Reform
December 5, 2017

A University of Colorado, Denver administrator worries that white children may “forfeit their humanity” if they aren’t raised by sufficiently progressive parents.

In an academic article, Naomi Nishi, who facilitates educational programs for professors and periodically teaches classes, argues that parents should employ “critical race parenting” to prevent white children from committing “racial microaggressions” against their peers.

Nishi goes on to suggest that white people are “constantly wielding racial microaggressions,” and that over time these microaggressions can cause “racial battle fatigue,” noting that children of color are especially susceptible to the “self-hatred” this causes.

White children, on the other hand, are especially prone to committing racial microaggressions because they “learn a complicated dance of whiteness” that teaches them not only to “maintain and defend whiteness,” but to do so while claiming to be “colorblind.”

Although her article focuses mainly on her own experiences as a parent, Nishi’s essay is preoccupied with whiteness among children, eventually asserting that “whites, to pay for their embracing of whiteness, forfeit their own humanity.”

“Thus whites enter into this Faustian exchange even as children and begin the ‘sadomasochistic’ relationship where in their work to love whiteness, their souls waste away as they are quietly tearing themselves from humanity and real love,” she writes.

Nishi then questions whether it is possible for parents to prevent children from developing a “white identity,” suggesting that parents ought to teach their kids “to reject whiteness and white identity.”

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“[C]an we instead begin at the core with our white children and work to ward off white identity and whiteness before children succumb and forfeit their humanity in order to join the oppressor?” she asks.

Her article was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, alongside a half-dozen other articles on the importance of the emerging field of critical race parenting.

In the same issue, Christin DePouw, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, published an article skeptical of “white parents…who may be tempted to adopt a colorblind perspective” in the home.

Roberto Montoya, who teaches at the University of Colorado, contributed an essay on how “how parenting in the era of Trump is Sisyphean.”

Campus Reform reached out to DePouw, Montoya, and Nishi for comment, but did not receive a response from any in time for publication.

This article was posted: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:12 am

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