“A two hour sermon” — goodness, I didn’t think I was a preacher! Who would have guessed that a workshop (created well in advance of any hiring call and at the request of a Black Berkeley grad student) would be received so poorly by a white union officer. It was firmly grounded in the latest theories of race, given by people with degrees and qualifications in this subject, but sure — your takeaway is that Black people made you feel bad and it’s some secret Black plot. I’d like to draw readers’ attention to the multiple structural issues beyond the hiring call that my co-facilitator and I raised, issues of membership building focused on white people, of white supremacy, of definitions like “majority” where were being used to ignore marginalized voices, or giving a history lesson on the white, often male, mainstream history of unions.
Kurt is mad that his theory is not a universal theory, that his version of a union is not the only version out there. He positions himself as some sort of rebel (oddly since I study far right movements this is something they do too) battling for truth and justice in the face of “The Man.” But the fact is that he’s always supported the status quo. As a part of the last admin caucus, SWITCh, and an ardent supporter of business unionism, Kurt is really showing exactly how you can claim you support marginalized people right up until they speak up against your paternalism.