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Academic Paper Rails Against ‘Dominance Of Whiteness’ In Music

Chris Agee
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The ongoing leftist push for so-called equity has often devolved into what critics say is an all-out attack on White individuals. That trend seemed to be on display when the office of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu inadvertently sent out an invitation for a segregated holiday party to the entire city council despite the fact that White members were specifically excluded.

Such racial division has also made a glaring impact on the realm of higher education, including the broad application of affirmative action and specific cases such as Florida State University’s alleged exclusion of a White student from an on-campus mental health service available only to students of color.

More recently, a pair of professors — Erika Knapp of the University of North Texas and the University of North Dakota’s Whitney Mayo — published a paper laying out their claim that “Whiteness” had become a problem that needs to be eradicated within music education. 


The paper, titled “Disrupting Racism in Music Education: Conceptualizing Admissions Processes Through the State and the War Machine,” included a few high-brow philosophical references but hinged its argument on an anecdotal case involving “James,” an apocryphal student whose ambitions of becoming an inner-city music teacher were supposedly dashed by institutional racism. 

Of course, even in the authors’ cherry-picked example, the alleged victim of music school discrimination did not have the skills typically required to attain admission.

The process “ultimately would come down to his audition, which was not likely to go well since he didn’t have enough experience,” they acknowledged.

As a result, James was not admitted — and the authors provided what they apparently felt was the only possible explanation for the admissions board’s decision.

“James is Black,” they wrote.


Knapp and Mayo went on to allege that the disproportionate number of White music school graduates could not possibly be due to increased interest or merit but must be evidence of an “inherently racist” admissions process.

Even music programs that welcome minority students, they claimed, are only using them as “tokenized markers of how diverse their programs are while maintaining a majority-White student body.”

They concluded with a reference to their own perceived privilege and self-ascribed moral superiority.

“We are cisgender, heterosexual White women, and we view our privilege as a responsibility that requires us to critically examine the systems from which we have benefitted throughout our careers,” they wrote.

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