by Addison Pummill
The Literati Bookstore, an independent book shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, invited progressive author and Wayne State University professor emeritus Fran Shor to discuss his book Weaponized Whiteness: The Constructions and Deconstructions of White Identity Politics.
Literati Bookstore advertised the Oct. 12 event as a discussion on “the meanings and implications of white supremacy and, more specifically, white identity politics from historical and sociological perspectives.
But Shor’s presentation, “Weaponizing whiteness: past terrors, present predicaments,” also criticized a range of conservative policy including gun rights, policing, voter ID laws, the large defense budget, and the pro-life movement.
The former professor also claimed that John Gast’s famous painting, American Progress, is “whitewashing” American settlements on native territory. Shor also expressed infuriation that the painting depicts Westward expansion in a positive way while at the same time, he claims, creating the richest, most powerful and most militarized nation in world history.
Shor then attacked Congress’s recent defense budget, calling it an “addiction” fueled by those who “cannot come to grips with this history of settler colonialism.”
Trevor Bills, a junior at Angelo State University, told Campus Reform that Shor can only express these radical ideas because the military has protected his very right to free speech.
“The large defense budget allows the US to protect our interests, both at home and abroad,” Bills said. “It has been proven time and time again that if it was not for the United States and our massive defense spending, we would not have the freedoms we have today.”
Shor then claimed that current day gun rights and policing are “byproducts of slavery.”
He said that policing emerged from enslavement and slave patrols, claiming that gun rights and slavery are “intimately associated.”
While discussing later chapters, Shor celebrated movements to topple confederate statues and memorials and called such crimes “essential.”
Shor said that such statues are a reflection of white supremacy, and that it is absolutely essential that they are taken down.
Shor also rebuked the pro-life movement in the United States, falsely claiming that the movement is focused on oppressing women and people of color.
According to the author, the pro-life movement is connected to a white supremacist project of marginalizing women and people of color.
Bills also told Campus Reform that this is simply “not how [the pro-life movement] works.”
“Its called the pro-life movement for a reason, not the anti-woman movement, not the anti-black movement,” he said.
At the end of the presentation, one attendee asked Shor about his stance on voter ID laws.
Shor responded that he is “a little bit suspicious of voter ID.”
He claimed that, historically, voter ID laws have been a method of suppressing the vote of the black community, the working poor, and students.
The Literati Bookstore did not respond to requests for comment.
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Addison Pummill is a Campus Reform correspondent and previous Leadership Institute intern exposing liberal bias on college campuses. Addison is a junior at the University of Arkansas, majoring in Computer Information Systems with a minor in management. She is the founder and president of the Network of enlightened Women at the University of Arkansas.
Photo “Fran Shor” by Amazon.