The Normalization of Hate, from David Duke to Tucker Carlson: How White Supremacist Thinking Went from the Margins to the Mainstream
In this presentation, Wise examines how overt racism has increasingly penetrated American political discourse and has contributed to terrorist violence, most recently in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, El Paso and Charleston. Having begun his career in the campaigns to defeat Neo-Nazi David Duke in his runs for political office, Wise has been a witness to a 30-year process of radicalization on the right, and can speak directly to how racist dog-whistles—long a staple in American politics—became full-fledged bullhorns. What were once extreme views—about immigration, for instance—are now expressed nightly on Fox News and echoed by prominent right-wing leaders from Donald Trump to Congresspersons to pundits like Tucker Carlson. And as many as a third of Americans, and half of Republicans, now say they believe some politicians are deliberately trying to “replace” white Americans with immigrants of color for political gain—the very theory that animated the recent terrorist attacks. In this speech, Wise explore the reasons for the growth and effectiveness of racist appeals, their likely consequences, and how we might push back against the mainstreaming of hate and stave off further disaster.
The Attack on Critical Race Theory — What’s It Really About?
In this presentation, Wise examines the recent attacks on anti-racist education and the real motivations behind them. Although those leading the attack claim they are simply pushing back against “Critical Race Theory” — which they claim is anti-white and suggests America is an evil nation — CRT teaches no such things, and isn’t actually being taught in K-12 schools to begin with. When we examine what books and lessons the right is seeking to ban — including children’s books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks — it becomes clear: this isn’t about stopping “radical” ideas from being taught; it’s about whitewashing history. As Wise demonstrates, this assault on truth is about three things: seeking to stem support for the movement for racial justice and Black lives, seeking to blame the victims of racial injustice for their position in American society, and undermining support for public education itself.
Beyond Diversity: Steps for Uprooting Racism, Privilege and Institutional Inequity
[Note: This can be done as a workshop or as a lecture presentation followed by Q & A.]
In this session, Tim will explore the causes -- both formal and informal -- for institutional racial inequities. By examining the various policies, practices, and procedures that exist within educational, employment, and organizational settings -- and which often inadvertently perpetuate unequal opportunity and treatment -- participants can develop strategies for shifting their institutional cultures in the direction of greater parity. This session can be tailored specifically for educators (at the primary, secondary or higher ed level), businesses, non-profits, government agencies, or religious bodies, as desired. Among the topics that can be explored in this session are:
• The difference between individual bias and institutional bias
• The sources of internalized supremacy/oppression and how these can manifest in all of us
• Privilege as the flipside of oppression
• Stereotype Vulnerability and Racial Performance Gaps - The Hidden Key to Disparities
• The harms of inequity for all members of an institution, including dominant group members
• Strategies for creating equity in the classroom, workspace, and throughout our institutions
DEI or DOA? How To Move Beyond Window-Dressing to Achieve Institutional Equity
In this presentation, Wise examines DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts in educational, government, and/or corporate settings, and how those efforts either support real change or perpetuate institutional inequity. As he explains in this speech, much of what gets done under the rubric of DEI doesn’t challenge fundamental cultural norms or practices that contribute to inequity, rendering DEI efforts DOA (Dead on Arrival), regardless of the good intentions of those charged with implementing them. Until those structural impediments to change are explored and altered, institutions are setting up their DEI officers for failure, letting down their employees, staff and/or students of color, and doing real damage to the cause of justice. Wise will provide examples of structural changes and institutional norms that promote equity, so that participants can walk away with tangible ideas on how to move real DEI work forward.
Anti-Racism is Not a Self-Help Movement: Moving From Individual Analysis to Systemic Change
In this presentation, Wise explores contemporary anti-racism analysis and “activism,” and critiques the way both have developed since the killing of George Floyd. From implicit bias training to workshops on white privilege and fragility, too much of the work has focused on whites as individuals — fixing their biases, checking their privileges, and challenging their fragility — rather than creating policies, practices, and procedures in schools, non-profits, and corporate settings that will produce greater racial equity. While understanding implicit bias, privilege and fragility can be helpful as a first step, it remains too easy to get stuck at that level, never moving on to explore systemic change. In this speech, Wise discusses how to bring a systemic lens to our anti-racism, so as to avoid merely individualizing and “psychologizing” anti-racism work, ultimately turning it into just another self-help movement, rather than a movement for justice.
STEM is Not Enough: Equity and the Importance of MESH Education (Media Literacy, Ethics, Sociology, and History)
In this bold presentation, Wise explores the current push for STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), both in general and for students of color and women, and critiques the single minded focus on these subjects at the expense of comprehensive civics education. As he explains, science and technical skills, absent an understanding of history, group power dynamics (which are explored in sociology), ethics and media literacy will produce a society of coders and engineers but very few people who have what it takes to build and maintain a multicultural, pluralistic democracy. Equity and democracy, after all, don’t come with phone Apps or simple mathematical equations. They require an informed citizenry with the historical memory and ethical grounding needed to produce justice. In fact, even the STEM disciplines need a MESH filter, given the way in which science and technology have been weaponized in history against marginalized populations. In this presentation, Wise examines the problems with STEM, the necessity of MESH, and how schools can ensure a proper balance between them, for the benefit of all.
Tim Wise can also tailor presentations to focus on topics like race and education, race and health care, race and the legal system, among others.
Contact SpeakOut for details.