Sisters Harriet and Charlotte Childress gave a presentation at Portland Community College in honor of “whiteness history month” in Oregon. Besides railing against the National Rifle Association and white males in general, the pair asserted that there are no mass shooters of any other demographic in the United State. Moving to political action, they recommended framing issues in debates as an evil hierarchy.

Of the various demographic groups in the country, when speaking about mass shootings, one of the sisters said “There’s only one group that’s doing it.” Instructors in chemistry and engineering at Lane Community College in Eugene OR, the Childress sisters were widely derided in 2013 for an op-ed they wrote for The Washington Post entitled “White men have much to discuss about mass shootings.” The title of the Childress’ lecture this week was “The Accumulation Effect: The national response to PCC’s Whiteness History Conference grew out of the accumulated effect of generations of hierarchy-busters. Learn simple powerful methods to keep progress for social change/social justice growing exponentially.”

The Childress twins

The presentation focused on dismantling hierarchy while seeking to avoid the use of the term “privilege.” Following the shootings at the Sandy Hook elementary school by a deranged, suicidal man in 2013, the Childress sisters determined that the NRA is allegedly ignorant about firearms, but its “authority from their position on top.” On one of the slides of the presentation, they asserted the following: “Imagine if African Americans men and boys were committing mass shootings -- we wouldn't be asking their opinions. Women and girls, immigrants, Latinos with mental health issues are not killing groups of strangers. NRA perspective comes from white males, but we're supposed to believe it represents everyone. Similarly, white male ‘American History’ is assumed to be inclusive of everyone; we must have separate classes to learn about Asian, Native, African, women.”

The Childress sisters said during their presentation that the “clueless” Republicans who support GOP candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, listen to radio personality Rush Limbaugh or watch the Fox television network are allegedly “conservators of hierarchy.” They used cartoons to illustrate their contentions about conservatives. They used a fictitious character, David, to explain how he might be higher on some hierarchies, and lower on others. Such as his race (Asian), height, hair, physical shape, and his “ableism.” ‘David” is “higher” on the ableism hierarchy scale, say the Childress sisters, because he has all of his fingers, but he is lower on the sexuality scale because he’s homosexual and lives with his partner.

“Ableism” has been described as form of discrimination or social prejudice against people who have disabilities. Advocates of the term may also refer to: disability discrimination, ablecentrism, physicalism, handicapism, and disability oppression.

The pair of professors defended the former governor of Alabama, George Wallace, for his active life despite being confined to a wheel chair as a result of an assassination attempt, but ignored his lifelong affiliation with the Democratic Party when they talked about his vocal opposition to civil rights for African Americans. In Portland, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, African Americans accounted for 6.3 percent of the city’s population, whereas in the U.S. nationally the number stands at 13 percent.

Harriet and Charlotte Childress are the authors of 'Clueless at the Top: while the rest of us turn elsewhere for life, liberty, and happiness.'

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It was at Umpqua Community College in Roseberg, Oregon, that an African American man, Chris Harper-Mercer (26) shot nine people to death. Those who self-identified as Christian, he shot in the head. Those who answered otherwise were shot in the legs.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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