By Sophia Corso
Boston University clinical associate professor Phillipe Copeland recently created a “racism denial response guide” that smears those who make statements such as “I don’t see race” as deniers of racism and gives guidance on how to initiate and fuel divisive confrontations over the matter.
In a piece published in the Emancipator, a project of the Boston Globe in partnership with Boston University, Copeland defines racism denial as a “political strategy” and “coping tool” that “obscur[es] the reality of racism or minimiz[es] its significance.”
For example, Copeland suggests that believing that the non-profit organization Black Lives Matter–which has been credibly accused of allocating more than $6 million of its funds to purchase a mansion home for its founder–“lacks credibility” is an example of “engaging in racism denial.”
He proceeds to outline “the eight forms of racism denial”: refuting, minimizing, myopia, replacing, defending, excusing, revising history, and distorting. Each form is defined in a chart, giving examples of “tactics” of these forms and “response strategies.”
For example, “myopia” is defined as “an inability or unwillingness to perceive racism accurately.” Stating “I don’t see race” and “claiming the existence of additional or alternative explanations [that equals] the absence of racism” engages in this type of racism denial. Copeland tells readers to respond by saying that racism still influences the particular outcome of the discussion and to “correct miseducation or disinformation.”
Using this definition and examples, seeing and judging someone for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin now seems to be an act of denying racism. This is the complete opposite of what proponents of racial equality, such as Martin Luther King Jr., preached– whose observance was just recently celebrated on Monday.
Another example of racism denial that Copeland outlines is “distorting”, which he defines as “turning reality inside out to claim that White people are the real victims,” such as labeling antiracism as racism. Copeland’s responsive strategies include asking the individual to “define racism and explain specifically how antiracist efforts are ‘racist.’”
As Young America’s Foundation has previously reported, there are many examples of universities discriminating against certain demographics that can be considered anti-white or anti-Asian racism. For example, Ithica College in New York planned to host a career exploration program exclusively for racial minority students in October. The Medical University of South Carolina excluded white students from the institution’s “Business Success Academy” program, which provides a $20,000 scholarship to students who participate. While those on the Left may view these programs as “great leaps for the advancement of diversity,” discriminating against certain races while favoring others is clearly a racist violation of students’ civil rights.
Ibram X. Kendi, a proponent of “anti-racism,” who has perpetuated his agenda through various written works, including “How To Be An Anti-Racist” and a children’s book, “Anti-Racist Baby,” voiced his support for Copeland’s piece on Twitter.
In this @the_emancipator piece, Boston University’s @PTheeEducator breaks down eight forms of racist denial, which "involves obscuring the reality of racism or minimizing its significance."https://t.co/C0r4eAzR2M pic.twitter.com/r33MHzUnR7— Ibram X. Kendi (@ibramxk) January 13, 2023
“In this [the Emancipator] piece, Boston University’s [Dr. Phillepe Copeland] breaks down eight forms of racist denial, which ‘involves obscuring the reality of racism or minimizing its significance,’” he wrote.
To “confront” well-intentioned people, as Copeland suggests, and to further suggest that their common sense approach to race relations (treating everyone equally, regardless of skin color) is “harmful” is clearly wrong.