'Maybe' conservatism is a 'euphemism for white supremacy,’ Syracuse prof states during 'White Rage' panel

Louisiana State University hosted an event discussing the “Religion of White Rage."

One professor said during the event that "maybe conservatism" is a "euphemism for white supremacy."

During a Louisiana State University event discussing the Religion of White Rage,” one professor stated that “conservatism” is a ”euphemism for white supremacy.” One state lawmaker previously expressed concern over the event.

According to a statement from Louisiana State University, “Race, Religion and the Moment We’re In: The Religion of White Rage” was supposed to “shed light on the phenomenon of white rage and map out the uneasy relationship between white anxiety, religious fervor, American identity and perceived Black racial progress.”

“Religion is a source of connection and community for many Americans; however, it is also the primary motivating factor for the rise of white rage and white supremacist sentiment in the United States. The Capitol insurrection is the latest example of this,” said panelist and Louisiana State professor Stephen Finley in the statement. “In this episode, we will hone in on this relationship between White apprehension, race and religion, and their subsequent effects on communities of color and the struggle for equality.”

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Biko Gray, a religion professor at Syracuse University, and Lori Martin, a sociology professor at Louisiana State, joined Finley on the panel.

During the live seminar, Gray stated that “maybe conservatism away from being a financial and economic and political policy is just a euphemism for white supremacy and its affective variant; white rage.”

The event was inspired by a book entitled The Religion of White Rage: Religious Fervor, White Workers and the Myth of Black Racial Progress, which the three academics co-edited. The work argues that “white religious fervor correlates to notions of perceived white loss and perceived black progress.” Likewise, the book posits that “it is not economics but religion and race that stand as the primary motivating factors for the rise of white rage and white supremacist sentiment in the United States.”

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He went on to discuss Martin’s chapter, which he describes as a “brilliant analysis of how anger functions and fluctuates figuratively in and through the bodies of White women.” 

The professor also discussed his own chapter which he claims is about “what we now call ‘Karens,’ White women who called the cops on Black men in an attempt to pretty much get them killed.”

While on the topic of gender and “White rage” Finley asserted his opinions by stating that this is not only a male phenomenon and that “some of the women are actually smarter in the sense that they are very much in leadership but it’s in really subtle ways behind the scenes even though they are calling the shot.”

In closing, Gray called out Louisiana State Rep. Ray Garofalo and Campus Reform, saying that “here we are, three black scholars, and no matter how much tenure we get, how much money we get paid, we will always be in a situation of precocity when it comes to discourses, when it comes to this particular country. That’s white rage and we started working on this text long before Ray Garofalo knew who we were or we started getting emails from Campus Reform.”

LSU media relations director Ernie Ballard told Campus Reform that forums and discussions hosted by the university do not “represent an official view or statement from the university.” Rather, “the overarching goal is to inform and educate students, expose them to new ideas, and teach them critical-thinking skills.”

Martin told Campus Reform that anyone “concerned about the discussion” should join it to “hear what we have to say about understanding the linkages between race, religion, and labor.” Gray declined to comment.

Despite concerns from faculty and lawmakers, the event moved forward with dozens of people in attendance. It is also still available on YouTube.

Campus Reform reached out to Garofalo for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the authors of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft and @abbyystreetman