Race Studies conference discusses 'white rage,' 'Becky'

The University of New Mexico is hosting a social justice conference this week with speakers discussing racism, colonization, and white “anti-racism” in education.

According to the event flyer, the focus of the conference is to discuss “colonization being endemic in society and its connections to anti-indigeneity, antiblackness, anti-brownness, anti-immigration, anti-LGTBQ and anti-dis/ability rhetoric; discourses deeply rooted in the social fabric of the U.S.”

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The Critical Race Studies in Education Association Conference is a three-day event sponsored by the Critical Race Studies in Education Association, several UNM departments, and social justice organizations like the Partnership for Community Action (PCA).

CRSEA is made up of an “interdisciplinary consortium of experts” who wish to “identify and expose inequities for the ultimate eradication of white supremacy” by “countering and combating systemic and structural racism with scholarship,” according to its website.  

The conference agenda lists social justice lectures primarily focused on race and education, such as “Antiblackness, White Rage, and the Threat to White School Space,” “Confronting white supremacist ideology in everyday campus life,” and “Undoing Colonization America’s Greatest Mind F**k.”

Other panels focus specifically on white women, such as “Examining Becky and the White Hegemonic Alliance” and “How college creates Becky: White women’s racism in higher education.”

UNM has supports other social justice efforts both on and off campus, as well, and recently announced a new graduate certificate program in Race & Social Justice. The courses that fulfill requirements for the certificate come from a variety of departments, including law, sociology, and women’s studies. 

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One class that applies toward the certificate, “Whiteness Studies,” looks at “how white power and privilege shapes schools and society” while exploring concepts such as “white antiracism”, “multiracial alliances,” and “antiracist education,” according to the course catalog

The course is taught by Ricky Lee Allen, the faculty advisor for the Institute for the Study of Race & Social Justice, a conference sponsor.

“He says he wants you to speak, but then once you disagree or stray outside his narrow world, he cuts you down” a student wrote in a review on Allen’s RateMyProfessor profile.

“He discusses white privilege, but fails to recognize his own” another student wrote, noting that Allen “can write about White people as a group, but conduct[s] no research to ground his claims.”

Allen is listed on the conference agenda to speak on “The Myth of White Ignorance and Emotionality.”

The University of New Mexico and Allen did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment. This article will be updated if and when they reply.

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