Bob Unruh, WND, September 30, 2014
A Democratic state lawmaker from North Carolina is raising eyebrows with comments indicating he’s ashamed of his own “whiteness.”
“Just when you thought Chapel Hill couldn’t get any kookier along comes THIS GUY,” wrote Brant Clifton of the Daily Haymaker blog in a column about lawmaker Graig Meyer.
Meyer, described on the blog as “um, ‘interesting,’” was quoted discussing “Whiteness, White Guilt, and um, ‘White Supremacy’” in “Courageous Conversations About Race” by Glenn E. Singleton.
Subtitled “A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools,” it includes Meyer’s comments.
“The truly difficult work is looking deep within myself to recognize where my own reservoirs of whiteness reside and what value or burdens they present to me,” the excerpt states. “Every time I review Peggy McIntosh’s inventory of white privilege I learn something more about myself, and–through attentiveness to my own experience–I think I could add a few more forms of racial privilege to her list.”
He continued: “Frequently, I find myself examining my blind spots when a colleague of color expresses very different feelings about some experience we shared. This is fairly painless when it simply requires hearing about how they read between the lines of a presentation or caught a racist remark that sailed over my head. When the dissonance in our experience was in some way the result of my whiteness, it’s a little more painful but also more revealing.
“My white guilt tends to creep up most when I’m forced to reflect on the power I wield. For instance, I will spend weeks mentally reviewing an incident when one of my staff members bears the brunt of my ignorance or proclivity for dominance. I want them to trust me, I want them to like me, and I anger myself when I learn that I may have done something that makes it more difficult for them to do either. Perhaps even more important to our work are times when my power allows me to make decisions that negatively impact students of color.”
Radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday referred to Meyer as a “loony tune” and said he would address the issue when he had more time on Tuesday’s program.
“It’s the strangest thing. It’s weird,” Limbaugh said. “I mean I don’t even know if I can do this and still stay sane. But I’m gonna give it a shot.”
The Haymaker noted Meyer was appointed to his state legislative seat following a stint as a coordinator for the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program and is now seeking re-election.
The excerpt from Meyer continued: “Although I often try to seek counsel of colleagues of color, it is inevitable that times arise where it’s only after the fact that one of them points out some flaw in my reasoning. The flaws are often the result of my ingrained whiteness and my own blindness to its perpetual presence. I suppose it’s cliché to say that the work is never done or that none of us ever fully ‘get it.’ But I can’t help feeling a strong desire to master this work, to learn all there is to know, and to do enough to become the ‘good white guy.’ Ultimately, it’s probably the deepest vestige of my own white supremacy that feeds this need to know it all, to be right, and to be in charge. Paradoxically, the deeper I delve into this process, the more I feel called to lead other colleagues through the journey. My own capacity for leadership perpetuates the whiteness within me, beckoning a return trip to look in the mirror. Perhaps I can’t fully suppress all the whiteness within me, and maybe that’s for the better. The process is the task, the journey has no end, and I will always be white.”