Proponents of Critical Race Theory (CRT) see the entire world through a lens of race, claiming that no law or institution can be accurately evaluated without understanding that America is a nation built on White Supremacy and the oppression of racial minorities by Whites. Political Science Professor Hakeem Jefferson of Stanford University has taken this edict to heart, promoting his view in a series of social media posts that “Whiteness” is largely responsible for opposition to school mask mandates.
“Make no mistake,” Jefferson wrote, “this crazy opposition to mask wearing that is leading folks (read white ppl) to act violently at school board meetings & council meetings & everywhere else—yeah, you can’t disconnect it from whiteness. And discussions that don’t acknowledge this are incomplete.”
According to Jefferson’s bizarre theory, which is clearly derived from Critical Race Theory, “whiteness” confers on white individuals a sense of total entitlement that vindicates their belief that they can resist government edicts allegedly aimed at the common good.
“Ain’t like masks are comfortable for non-white people,” the professor explained. “But you don’t see a bunch of Black folks storming meetings. And it’s not just cause these white folks are GOP. It’s cause they’re white, & believe whiteness confers upon them a kind of power that places them above gov action.”
In case that universal stereotyping of an entire race of people was insufficient, Jefferson went on to claim that the “whiteness” also drove the January 6 protests at the U.S. Capitol. “It’s like my reaction to jan6.,” he tweeted. “You don’t have to be an expert in identity to know that whiteness is driving the behavior. The crowds are overwhelming white. You think this just randomly happened? Nah, whiteness be working overtime. Like we say in the south, the devil is busy!”
Jefferson also retweeted a response to his posts which unironically claimed, “Whiteness is the most pressing threat to the nation that isn’t climate change.”
When a student at Stanford objected to the Jefferson’s claims that “whiteness” was a root cause of the January 6th demonstrations “given there were Vietnamese flags and other ‘non-white’ groups represented,” the professor did not let the facts influence his opinion, instead defining whiteness as not merely a skin color but an “ideology” that can be embodied even by racial minorities.
“This is, I would argue, the power of whiteness,” Jefferson declared. “Whiteness as a construct is not merely about skin color, although those who think of themselves as white are the most susceptible to its attractions. When I invoke the language of whiteness, I am interested in whiteness as an ideological force (connected to skin color for sure!), but an ideology that is powerful, in part, because of buy-in from those on the peripheries of whiteness.” He went on to describe whiteness as a “helluva drug” that is so “f’ing powerful” that “it is attractive to those it so often oppresses.”
In Professor Jefferson’s illogical view, “whiteness” is a selfish, entitled, bratty attitude, which can mostly, but not entirely, be equated with the actual Caucasian race. Imagine the uproar if a faculty member attributed similar negative characteristics to “blackness.” Jefferson’s absurd use of damaging racial stereotypes to stigmatize all white people deserves to be recognized as one of the most egregious uses of Critical Race Theory in our universities.