Let’s Teach Students About Whites’ Genetic Inferiority

Jun 28, 2020 by

In a satirical essay, Spencer Piston proposes that we expose college students to an argument far outside the mainstream.

Spencer Piston –

After white police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, many of my students contacted me to ask questions — many of which were difficult for me to respond to. Here’s one: “Why do white people keep oppressing black people?” Here’s another: “Why are so many white people so racist?” Here’s a third: “Why do white people keep killing black people?”

It’s difficult to provide a one-size-fits-all response to such broad inquiries as these. So my approach is to ask students first to share with me how they would answer their own question, and then, to broaden their perspective, I share with them possibilities they have not considered.

When it comes to this question about white oppression, I have noticed a peculiar pattern. Although many students have thoughtful answers, not one student I have ever taught has brought up the possibility that white people are genetically inferior, and that white violence against black people is a function of this subnormal genetic inheritance.

My students’ blind spot is troubling. It’s also made me more sympathetic to recent criticisms about a lack of “viewpoint diversity” in institutions of higher education. These critics have argued that colleges only expose students to a narrow range of ideological perspectives, inhibiting their growth and development and also stifling the free exchange of ideas. In order to address this issue, I propose that we expose students to an argument far outside the mainstream: that white people are genetically deficient.

Here’s an example of what this argument might look like. Many professors report that their white students tend to struggle to understand the concept of structural racism, while their students of color tend to “get it” more easily. Might genetics help explain this white achievement gap?

Perhaps genetic limitations could also help us understand why many whites in rural areas such as Appalachia are poor, or why so many whites are addicted to opioids, or why whites disproportionately suffer from such diseases as autism and breast cancer. There are so many areas of white disadvantage to investigate!

Some people might say college professors shouldn’t teach such an argument to students, basing this argument on the fact that race is a social and political construction rather than a biological reality. To this I reply: I certainly do not endorse the claim that white people are genetically inferior. I’m just saying that white students should be exposed to this claim, in service of the noble goal of ideological diversity on campus.

Source: A satirical look at the question of genetic inferiority (opinion)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.