Title

CACREP, Rap Music and Anti-Black Erasure

Author Information

Ahmad R. Washington Ph.D.Follow

Conference Strand

Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy

Abstract

After posting and subsequently removing an offensive “rap” video from its website, CACREP issued a remorseful public apology. In this presentation, I examine how CACREP’s trivial rendition of Hip Hop culture is emblematic of the pitfalls inherent to “liberal” multiculturalism, and how it illuminates an urgent need within counseling for more radical theories of social change (e.g., anti-Blackness).

Description

In March, CACREP bestowed its 2017 Advocacy Week Award upon a student for creating a rap video. The winning submission, offered by a white male, second year, doctoral counselor education student, was an instructional rap video inviting career-seeking students to use the CACREP.org website to determine whether a career in counseling could be personally gratifying. In performing the rap, the doctoral student adorned himself in relatively nondescript attire; he did, however, choose to wear a black Afro wig and a pair of sunglasses, while engaging in histrionic body movements and hand gestures that signified a stereotypical Black aesthetic. CACREP started receiving complaints and dissatisfied messages shortly after making the video public; one person on Facebook commented that the video felt like a blackface performance. Eventually, CACREP posted the following tepid and abbreviated statement to its Facebook page:

It has been brought to our attention that one of the videos from CACREP’s 2017 Advocacy Week has generated controversy. We apologize for any concerns generated and/or offense taken and, therefore, have chosen to remove all of this year’s video contest winners from our social media sites.

Removing all evidence that the contest had even taken place absolves CACREP from having to address its complicity in providing a platform to a performance of stereotypical Blackness that reflected the “White gaze,” a form of ogling that hooks (1992) argues, “seeks to dominate, subjugate, and colonize” (p. 7). CACREP is an undoubted leader within counseling with the potential to shape students’ perceptions about issues of racism, power and social inequity. CACREP squandered a valuable leadership opportunity to critique liberal multiculturalism and advance a conversation about why counselors need to examine how the profession contributes to white racial domination and the maintenance of racial hierarchies (Katz, 1985) that are rooted in demeaning conceptions of Blackness.

Evidence

Atasay, E. (2015). Neoliberal multiculturalism embedded in social justice education: Commodification of multicultural education for the 21st century. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 12(3), 171-204.

Darder, A. (2012). Neoliberalism in the academic borderlands: An on-going struggle for equality and human rights. Educational studies, 48(5), 412-426.

Haskins, N. H., & Singh, A. (2015). Critical race theory and counselor education pedagogy: Creating equitable training. Counselor Education and Supervision, 54(4), 288-301.

Sharpe, C. (2014). Black Studies: in the wake. The Black Scholar, 44(2), 59-69.

Weier, S. (2014). Consider Afro-Pessimism. Amerikastudien/American Studies, 59(3), 419-33.

Wilderson III, F. B. (2010). Red, white & black: Cinema and the structure of US antagonisms. Duke University Press.

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Ahmad Washington Ph.D., NCC is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at The University of Louisville. His research interests include critical Hip Hop pedagogy, developing a framework for critical Hip Hop school counseling, and social justice school counseling. Dr. Washington has either contributed to or produced independently more than 30 manuscripts, and national, regional, and state presentations. Additionally, Dr. Washington has received various counseling related awards including the 2014 Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) Young Emerging Leader Award and the First Annual Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development Asa Hilliard Scholarship Award (2009).

Start Date

2-9-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

2-9-2018 5:15 PM

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Feb 9th, 4:00 PM Feb 9th, 5:15 PM

CACREP, Rap Music and Anti-Black Erasure

After posting and subsequently removing an offensive “rap” video from its website, CACREP issued a remorseful public apology. In this presentation, I examine how CACREP’s trivial rendition of Hip Hop culture is emblematic of the pitfalls inherent to “liberal” multiculturalism, and how it illuminates an urgent need within counseling for more radical theories of social change (e.g., anti-Blackness).