Education

Vanderbilt Prof Blames Baltimore Riots On ‘White Privilege,’ Calls For Massive Surveillance Of White People

A black sociology professor at Vanderbilt University is arguing that “white privilege” is to blame for last week’s riots and looting in Baltimore, Md.

The professor, Tony N. Brown, took to the op-ed pages of The Tennessean late last week to make the claim.

White people act “routinely to harm, demean, and damage black and brown people,” Brown wrote in Nashville’s main newspaper. These actions “explain the lofty levels of frustration and despair among black and brown youth.”

The professor, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, cites other unrelated incidents as evidence of the riots after the April 19 death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. He recalls the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma who sang a shockingly racist song. He also alludes to the white South Carolina police officer charged with murder for shooting at a fleeing black man eight times.

Brown then blames the white parents of the fraternity members “and others like them” for the racism of their white children.

Using a host of names blatantly implying maximum whiteness — including “Sarah,” “Liam,” “Chase” and “Katey” — Brown offers a blanket condemnation of white parents for sending children to “racially homogenous” schools and churches, living in predominantly white neighborhoods and failing to read children’s books featuring minority characters.

Brown blames white parents for telling “racially insensitive” jokes in front of children and allowing grandparents to use racial slurs “at Thanksgiving.”

Also, white parents inform their children “that all poor people are black and it’s their own fault,” Brown suggests.

“The bottom line is that it’s everyday whites making everyday choices that lock in and protect white privilege,” the Vanderbilt professor admonishes.

Brown’s solution to the problem of white people using “white privilege” to “routinely to harm, demean, and damage black and brown people” is for “people of color” to create a massive, grassroots surveillance network to capture video evidence of racism.

Use cell phones and GoPro camcorders to “record the discourteous way co-workers or service industry workers or police officers treat you,” Brown writes in The Tennessean.

“Record your friends talking about the indignities and micro-aggressions you as a person of color, for example, face in all- or mostly-white spaces,” the professor instructs. “If you happen to identify as white, then record Uncle Roy talking at a private family gathering about the good old days when blacks knew their place. Record how pleasant your interactions are with police officers doing routine traffic stops.”

“Then let’s all post our videos,” Brown declares concerning the vague last step in his racism surveillance scheme.

The price for one year of undergraduate tuition, room and board and mandatory fees at Vanderbilt is about $54,600 (not including a $704 “first year experience fee”). (RELATED: Fancypants $54,600-A-Year Vanderbilt Professor Will Teach Cop-Hating Course)

The concept of white privilege was popularized in academic circles by a 1987 essay entitled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” The author was Peggy McIntosh, an inconsequential white feminist. (RELATED: Tea Party Is ‘Bald-Faced Racists,’ White Privilege Conference Speaker Tells Sea Of White People)

Follow Eric on TwitterLike Eric on Facebook. Send education-related story tips to [email protected].