This Wednesday the Office of Diversity and Equity is holding a webinar with self-proclaimed, anti-racist educator Tim Wise. To be fair, Wise is an intelligent person and a well-crafted wordsmith. However, I cannot in good consciousness remain silent while our university spends resources providing him with an unchallenged platform. To be clear, my problem with Wise is not located in his social commentary on racism or the realities of Whiteness. My problem resides within the hate-filled name-calling that he constantly participates in through social media.
For Wise, anyone who disagrees with his politics is a racist, fascist, Nazi or TeaBagger. From his Facebook page, “…the conservative right and all of it’s [sic] members are…racists, without a single exception…”; “…FU Kate O’Beirne, and all who think like you. You need 2B crushed, mercilessly”; “if you support the Tea Party agenda you are either a) ignorant or b) an asshole, or c) a racist, or d) some of all three…no exceptions”; “the GOP and their Democratic enablers are straight up evil…a collection of misogynistic rape-empowering jack holes…no exceptions. And if you support them on this, the critique applies to you…”
He also stated he wanted Andrew Breitbart to “die on the street” as well as threatened to “forcibly” medicate Donald Trump by “shoving pills down [his] throat.”
These examples don’t even cover the sexism laced throughout his writings about Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. I don’t mind Wise debating ideology. Yet, it is antithetical that his ideological rants are marked by the dehumanizing language many of us hope to end.
Regardless of one’s political preferences, Wise’s violent tactics only cause divisiveness and do absolutely nothing to foster a productive conversation that would actually improve race relations in this country and on our campus. I would even argue that Wise’s rhetoric ultimately hurts the anti-racist movement insomuch that it destroys any possibility of having an actual dialogue about racial oppression. Who wants to have a conversation with someone who is always calling them a bigot solely based on their party affiliation?
Wise may have an educated insight when it comes to understanding how Whiteness manifests in our everyday realities. However, I refuse to tolerate his arrogance and bullying on our campus and if the Office of Diversity and Equity is taking the time to spend our money and resources on this individual, then they best hold him accountable for these hate-filled tyrants during Wednesday’s webinar.
graduate student studying speech communication