Even White Paint Is Racist Now
The identity politics industry is on the qui vive to discover symptoms of racism unrecognized until now. Whiteness, a barrier to racial justice, is a malign condition to which “white” people are peculiarly susceptible. Hidden clues are everywhere. None are too absurd to go unexamined by race-stalkers in academia. Even white paint is suspect.
Are there racist implications to the many global uses of the chemical compound titanium dioxide (TiO2)? Has the pigment derived from it — titanium white — contributed to white supremacy? Is the universal prevalence of titanium white a signifier of oppressive Western ideology?
Whiteness studies are a gravy train for grant-seeking academics throughout a declining West. Since TiO2 and titanium white were developed by two Norwegian chemists in the 1910s, Norway is funding an audit of its own role in the spread of white privilege.
The Research Council of Norway has granted 12 million Norwegian Krone (about $1.2 million) to the University of Bergen to “investigate” the baneful “planetary consequences” of white paint. Entitled “How Norway Made the World Whiter (NorWhite),” the project states its claim on public funding: “Whiteness is one of today’s key societal and political concerns.”
An additional $288,000 from the Norwegian Artistic Research Program goes to Oslo National Academy of the Arts for a sister project: “The Materiality of White (MoW).” This postmodern grift ponders whiteness in the concrete, the solid stuff of it: “The aim of the project is to highlight TiO2’s materiality and ubiquity, and to contribute to critical thinking on the color white and its mineral origin.” MoW asks the decisive question: “Do we need our world to be more white?”
The answer was baked into the initial grant applications. This joint “theoretical and critical reflection” on TiO2 points in one direction: to the stigmatization of “white” people —
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