After being subjected to too much time with too many white people at an academic conference, a black New York University (NYU) librarian complained in a recent blog that she is the latest victim of “racial fatigue” – from having to endure being “in the presence of white people” for an extended period of time.
Describing the trade conference that she attended for those in the library profession as if it were a five-day prison term, April Hathcock – who identifies as a “Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU” – claimed that she came away from the event with a severe mental affliction that can apparently only be shaken by white people steering clear of her.
“I just spent the last 5 days at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago, and I am suffering serious race fatigue,” “Hathcock wrote in her personal blog post titled “ALA Race Fatigue,” that she published last month after attending the event. “Race fatigue is a real physical, mental and emotional condition that people of color experience after spending a considerable amount of time dealing with the micro- and macro-aggressions that inevitably occur when in the presence of white people. The more white people, the longer the time period, the more intense the race fatigue.”
Insufferable whites …
Her blog site, titled “At the Intersection: Blog about the Intersection of Libraries, law, feminism and diversity” is categorized as a “critical theory” piece, and her entry appears to be in line with the latest trend – coming in the wake of a complaint coming from the NBA star of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lebron James, who declared last month that he needs “a day without white people.”
“Its been 5 straight days of being tone-policed and condescended to and ‘splained to.,” Hathcock continued in her rant. “Five days of listening to white men librarians complain about being a ‘minority’ in this 88-percent white profession – where they consistently hold higher positions with higher pay – because they don’t understand the basics of systemic oppression. (They’re librarians. You’d think they’d know how to find and read a sociology reference, but whatever.) Five days of having ‘nice white ladies’ tell you to be ‘civil’ and ‘professional’ when you talk about the importance of acknowledging oppression and our profession’s role in it.”
The white-weary librarian insisted that it is not only the white people she considers obnoxious as being the problem, but all whites – even the nice ones – as their skin color alone makes them insufferable … in her opinion.
“Even with well-meaning white people, friends even, it’s been exhausting; the fatigue is still there,” Hathcock insisted. “Five days of having white colleagues corner you to ‘hear more’ about the microaggressions you’ve suffered and witnessed, not because they want to check in on your fatigue, but because they take a weird pleasure in hearing the horror stories and feeling superior to their ‘less woke’ racial compatriots. Five days of mounting anger and frustration that you struggle to keep below the surface because you can’t be the ‘angry and emotional person of color’ yet again.”
The only tolerable moment at the conference – according to the disgruntled feminist library professional – was the appearance of another black woman speaking at the event, but she had to admit that she saw a few like-minded whites there who did not stress her out too much.
“Don’t get me wrong, there were delightful moments of reprieve,” she expressed in relief. “I went to the Spectrum Scholarship 20th Anniversary celebration and met the amazing Dr. Carla Hayden – first black, first woman, first librarian–Librarian of Congress. (She’s so wonderful. We chatted about my name, which I share with the main character of her favorite children’s book.) I caught up with friends and colleagues of color and met new ones. These moments kept me going. And I did have some moments of rest with a few absolutely invaluable and genuine white allies.”
Hathcock concluded her diatribe with a battle cry to fight for something – possibly the eradication of whites … at least from the areas where she and other like-minded and afflicted blacks congregate.
“But I’m tired … Luckily, the rest of my summer will be spent going on vacation with family, steeping in time with the people who love and know me best,” Hathcock shared in her recovery state. “I’ll be getting some much needed R & R in this racial battle called life. And when I get back to it all, I’ll keep on fighting, bearing in mind the inspiring words Dr. Hayden imparted to us at the Spectrum celebration: ‘You gotta be in the room. You gotta be at the table. You gotta fight.’”
In a request for Hathcock to explain her tirade against whites further, Campus Reform reached out to the library professional after surviving the Chicago “ordeal.”
Despite numerous requests to clarify her “litany of complaints” further, Campus Reform New York Campus Correspondent Toni Airaksinen noted that the feminist blogger refused to comment.
Where’s this all coming from?
According to some progressives in the psychology field, Hathcock’s and Lebron James’s so-called “white phobia” can be explained as a “legitimate” mental or emotional condition.
Sam P.K. Collins of Think Progress posted an article headlined “Black people aren’t making things up: The science behind ‘racial battle fatigue’” that visited the origins of the mindset empowering and justifying the latest wave of racial tension and hatred targeting whites.
“In the early 2000s, University of Utah researcher William A. Smith coined the term ‘racial battle fatigue’ while studying how racialized microagressions – relatively inconspicuous, but potent, degradation of marginalized people – affected black students at predominately white colleges and universities,” Collins informed in his piece. “His paper, titled ‘Challenging Racial Battle Fatigue,’ concluded that students of African descent constantly worry, have trouble concentrating, become fatigued, and develop headaches when navigating personal and professional spaces that have historically favored white people. Even more frustrating for undergraduates of color, Smith asserted, was an assumption by the majority power structure that leveling the playing field stopped at integrating them into institutions of higher education. Since then, a series of studies have built on Smith’s findings, with researchers coming to similar conclusions about what has been described as the pitfalls of living while black.”
A condition dubbed GAD – or generalized anxiety disorder – was mentioned by Collins, who cited a study published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders titled the National Survey of American Life, which surveyed 5,800 American adults.
“More than 40 percent of the African Americans surveyed recounted receiving some form of racial discrimination, and nearly 5 percent suffered from GAD,” Collins gleaned from the study. “Meanwhile, nearly 39 percent of Afro-Caribbean respondents said they received discrimination, and less than three percent developed GAD. Whites who suffered from GAD in the study did so because of other forms of discrimination, head researcher Jose Soto, Ph.D. told PscyhCentral.com.”
Soto claimed that Americans from the “black diaspora” – such as Afro-Caribbean Americans – suffered their condition as a result of entering unwelcoming environments, which can allegedly trigger mental illness “similar to what soldiers face on the field.”
“The results of our study suggest that the notion of racial battle fatigue could be a very real phenomenon that might explain how individuals can go from the experience of racism to the experience of a serious mental health disorder,” explained Soto, the head investigator at the ultra-Left Pennsylvania State University. “While the term is certainly not trying to say that the conditions are exactly what soldiers face on a battlefield, it borrows from the idea that stress is created in chronically unsafe or hostile environments.”
Also mentioned was researcher Dr. Joy DeGruy’s work, which included her 2005 book, Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which contends that chattel slavery and perpetuated institutionalized racism keeps African Americans from living fulfilling lives. She spoke at a Black History Month presentation at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a keynote speaker to argue that the legacy of slavery continues to take its toll on the lives of black people in the United States.
“Denial was huge – that denial turns into something that says, ‘Not only can’t I hear what you are saying, I need to stop you from saying it,’” DeGruy declared. “So, it gets deeper than that. I need to silence you. This injury reflects itself in things like ‘I don’t see race,’ or ‘I don’t really care what color people are.’ So you have all of these pathologies that show up because people aren’t dealing with reality.”