Everything from US states to the classics to British TV is now routinely criticised for being ‘too white’. How has this happened when describing something as ‘too black’ would be considered unacceptable?
Have you heard of the expression ‘too white’? In the jargon of the Western elites, ‘too white’ serves as a synonym for words like ‘unpleasant’, ‘problematic’ or ‘toxic’.
Just listen to Tom Perez, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee in the US. He claims that New Hampshire is ‘too white’ to have the first primary for the election of a president. He also thinks that Iowa is ‘too white’ to have the first caucus during the election campaign.
According to the New Republic, the American Department of Justice is ‘too white’. A survey of minority businesses in the US concludes that local chambers of commerce are ‘too white’. Apparently American TV is also ‘too white’. Television in the UK does not get a free pass; Sir Lenny Henry insists that it is ‘too white’. A former head of comedy at the BBC agrees with this assessment and suggests it would not commission Monty Python today, because it is ‘too white’.
It appears that the UK’s green sector is also ‘too white’. Former head of Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett, insisted that it must leave behind its “white middle class ghetto.” Even poor old Extinction Rebellion is indicted for being “too white, too middle class and lacking in empathy.”
The sense of outrage conveyed by the term ‘too white’ can attach itself to the most unexpected of targets. I am obviously unaware – because I did not know, but now I do – that even ‘dyslexia heroes are too white’.
Numerous sources insist that classical music is ‘too white’. Time and again I hear the claim that philosophy is ‘too white’. Some would even want to cancel the most important philosophers that ever lived, like Plato and Kant, because they are ‘too white’. In fact, virtually every university discipline – from classical music to mathematics through to history – has been condemned for being ‘too white’.