The Smithsonian Institute published what amounts to rather questionable information through its National Museum of African American History & Culture on the topic of whiteness and “white culture.”
What are the details?
The materials are available for people to use in an effort to constructively discuss “race, equity, and inclusion.”
A blurb on the museum’s website reads, “Issues of race are sometimes blatant and obvious, sometimes subtle and nuanced, and often difficult to confront. However, with commitment and caring, we can all play an important role in dismantling racism to create a more inclusive, just, and safe society. By committing to understanding and talking about race, all our lives will be better.”
The museum, through its website, also insists that because white Americans “hold most of the political, institutional, and economic power,” they are able to reap the benefits that “non-white groups do not.”
Its “Talking About Race” page defines “whiteness” and “white radicalized identity” as “the way that white people, their customs, cultures, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups are compared.”
Other topics featured for points of discussion include “white fragility,” “white nationalism,” and, of course, “white supremacy.”
“Whiteness is also at the core of understanding race in America,” the site adds. “Whiteness and the normalization of white racial identity throughout America’s history have created a culture where non-white persons are seen as inferior or abnormal.”
The museum even went as far as to create a graphic for teaching about the problematic notion of whiteness.
The graphic, titled “Aspects & Assumptions of Whiteness & White Culture in the United States,” points out that many white people operate under the same idea of what it “means” to be white in America.
What’s on the graphic?
Some items on the list include “Family Structure,” which is defined as a nuclear family composed of a father — who is the breadwinner, of course — a mother, and 2.3 children who each have their own bedrooms in the family home.
Another notion that white people apparently embrace includes “Protestant Work Ethic,” which places high priority on a hard day’s work.
“Religion” is another topic, in which white people reportedly predominantly believe that “Christianity is the norm” and that there is “no tolerance for deviation from [a] single god concept.”
Beauty, according to the graphic, is based on European ideals such as “blonde, thin, ‘Barbie'” women, and men who have high economic standing, intellect, power, and wealth.
The organization also says that white culture emphasizes the importance of respecting authority, being self-reliant, maintaining independence, and things such as future planning and valuing property and ownership.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner shared the graphic on Twitter, writing, “The National Museum of African American History & Culture wants to make you aware of certain signs of whiteness: Individualism, hard work, objectivity, the nuclear family, progress, respect for authority, delayed gratification, more”
The National Museum of African American History & Culture wants to make you aware of certain signs of whiteness: In… https://t.co/YsjtzZQYJO
— Byron York (@Byron York)1594814759.0