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Robin DiAngelo Smears The Sistine Chapel Because She Wants To Destroy Western Civilization, Not ‘Antiracism’

To continue her antiracist crusade, DiAngelo must burn down the Sistine Chapel so the rest of us cannot stand in awe of what it represents.

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Last week marked a new low in our national conversation on education. On an episode of the “Not Your Ordinary Parts” podcast, professional race-baiter Robin DiAngelo shared how she uses a classic piece of Renaissance art as an example of “white supremacy and patriarchy.” In doing so, she revealed the truth about her ideological mission, which is not to create a better world by eliminating racial prejudice but to undermine the foundations of Western civilization itself.

The masterpiece DiAngelo degrades is none other than Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Painted circa 1511, this now iconic fresco is the central point of Michelangelo’s epic depiction of the early chapters of Genesis.

Then as now, the image of God extending his hand to Adam commands attention. Giorgio Vasari, Michelangelo’s student and biographer, described Adam as “a figure whose beauty, pose and contours are of such a quality that he seems newly created by his Supreme and First Creator rather by the brush and design of a mere mortal.” In his 2003 book Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, art historian Ross King explains how Michelangelo’s depiction of God was incredibly novel for its time: “The Lord God in full length, complete with bare toes and kneecaps, was a rare and unaccustomed sight.”

In my own lectures on this work, I have drawn my students’ attention to the body language of God and Adam. As God strains to touch his beloved creation, Adam’s efforts to reach toward his Creator are apathetic at best. Indeed, his eyes are riveted on the female figure behind God, who is usually identified as Eve. Thus, in a single picture, Michelangelo both praises God for His unfailing love for man and condemns man for his indifference toward God, an indifference that continues to doom man to hell.

Deconstructing the Deconstruction

The technical brilliance and theological depth of Michelangelo’s work are utterly lost on the philistine DiAngelo. Instead, in typical neo-Marxist fashion, she deconstructs the image so it can be forced to convey her crude political message:

When I’m doing a presentation, I use a lot of images; you may be surprised that the single image I use to capture the concept of white supremacy is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. God creating man, you know, where God is in a cloud and there’s all these angels and he’s reaching out and he’s touching, I don’t know who that is, David or something [sic], and God is white and David’s white and the angels are white, like that is the perfect convergence of white supremacy, patriarchy, right? … I was raised Catholic, so I saw many images like that as a child. … I don’t think to myself, “Oh, God is white,” but that’s in a lot of ways its power, right? I always belong racially to what is seen, what is depicted as the human ideal.

Never mind the fact that like almost all Renaissance artists, Michelangelo had very limited experience of other racial types and based his depictions on the human beings he saw every day. Never mind the poor opinion he had of humanity in general; such basic historical context just gets in the way of the oppressor-versus-oppressed narrative to which DiAngelo owes her academic and financial success.

Meanwhile, she can’t even properly identify the figures in the piece she is abusing. One might think that a person who was “raised Catholic,” earned a Ph.D., has written several books, and is currently an associate professor of education at the University of Washington would be able to identify Adam correctly — something even my homeschooled 7-year-old was able to do instantly.

Too Much Education?

Maybe that’s the problem, though. My 7-year-old is at the very beginning of his academic journey, so his mind is still open to receiving and understanding basic truths about man and God. DiAngelo, on the other hand, has been training herself for decades to see the phantom of white supremacy everywhere she looks. Small wonder, then, that she sees it even in a celebrated fresco with global appeal. To paraphrase a quotation attributed to G.K. Chesterton, her education has opened her mind so much that her brain has fallen out.

Unfortunately, DiAngelo is not content with her own ignorance; she glories in being the Typhoid Mary of wokeness, and she is paid very well for spreading this pseudo-intellectual disease to whoever will pay her, including colleges and school districts. The “Accountability” page of her website explains why it’s perfectly fine that she makes more than $700,000 per year promoting white self-hatred while claiming “that those who do not make their living from antiracist work are financially benefitting from systemic racism.”

Even before the death of George Floyd, the tragedy that propelled DiAngelo to leftist superstar status, she successfully infected the educational establishment with her teachings. In 2019, the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, voted to incorporate the concept of “white fragility” into NEA trainings and staff development, literature, and other communications. Less than five years later, this ridiculous policy is still in force even as students’ test scores are at record lows. DiAngelo’s book White Fragility also features prominently on the NEA’s “Great Summer Reads for Educators,” a list that studiously avoids any of the actual great works of Western civilization.

Burning Down the Chapel

When explaining her approach to promoting antiracism, DiAngelo’s website states, “Racism is the foundation of Western society; we are socialized into a racial hierarchy.” This is why she chooses to denigrate Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” to her disciples; she knows a picture is worth a thousand words. If all that young, impressionable students ever learn about Michelangelo’s art is that he believed God was white, it will be all the easier to get them to hate the words of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and the Founding Fathers.

At its best, Western civilization asserts timeless principles that apply to all humanity regardless of skin color. History has shown that embracing these principles, especially the idea that man should strive to connect with the divine as shown by Michelangelo, will lead to human flourishing and fulfillment. DiAngelo cannot accept this truth because such a society will categorically reject her doctrines of self-flagellation. To continue her antiracist crusade (and reap the financial benefits thereof), she must burn down the Sistine Chapel so the rest of us cannot stand in awe of what it represents.


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