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Paper on racism in a coffee cup ‘scores praise’

Swedish student says paper mocking CRT with milk and coffee scored on his university professor

Adulterating black coffee with white milk is an act of racism, a tongue-in-cheek Swede has proclaimed in an essay – only to find his work praised by a critical whiteness studies teacher at Stockholm University, he claims.

Student Arvid Haag says he enrolled in the course in “Critical whiteness perspectives on Nordic culture” at Stockholm University during the autumn term, describing his choice as little more than a joke, as he spoke to Swedish news outlet Fria Tider (Free Times) on Monday. Haag explained that the local pandemic grant rules had equipped him and other students with an unexpected financial aid windfall, and that he figured at the time he could “get something fun out of it” by taking up what he thought was a harmless if absurd class.

However, Haag claims he soon found his classmates “seriously believed in what was taught.”

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“It is one thing that there is a course coordinator in Sweden who thinks this makes sense. But everyone who read the course seemed to swallow this with gusto,” Haag said, apparently surprised to find the American-born ideology so readily embraced by his countrymen. While he told the outlet he “added some critical comments from time to time” during class discussions, he largely remained silent otherwise – until it came time to turn in his final paper.

Haag’s magnum opus was an essay titled “Black and white drinks,” in which he outlined “an account of what happened from the early 20th century in the struggle between coffee and milk.” He described the marketing of coffee, reveling in ‘problematic’ ethnic terms: how it had been “characterized by highlighting black and exotic elements of the drink,” while milk had instead been marketed based on its “local and white” characteristics.

Referring to the common practice of stirring milk into coffee, he questioned whether the mix was truly “reconciling” the two liquids, or if it was “imposing” white properties on the black drink.

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Milk in the coffee can… be seen as a drink-based colonization. The hot and strong coffee cools and is rounded off in taste with the help of the milk, which thereby controls and domesticates the coffee.

Despite admitting to not having read most of the books or blog posts he cited, nor understanding what “critical whiteness perspectives” really means – a charge he similarly leveled at his classmates and professor – Haag says he received a B grade on the essay, meaning “very good.” The teacher called it an “exciting topic” that could be extended into a “longer essay.”

Haag doesn’t think the teacher got the joke, though. “The joke must have gone over his head. His only criticism was that I did not have the exact source references on my photos,” Haag said.

https://ift.tt/3pCgxgs 29, 2021 at 04:35AM
from RT – Daily news

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