Astrophysicist Warns Against 'Exceptionalism' — It's White Supremacy

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Are you exceptional? If so, you may want to rethink that.

Such seems a reasonable takeaway from astrophysicist and Colorado College (CC) Professor Natalie Gosnell’s recent remarks.


In a school blog post dated January 5th, the Professor schools readers on racism.

Natalie is nested in science, but she also believes bigotry is for the birds. Amid such a state of high-mindedness, white supremacy isn’t going to fly. Indeed, the professor is taking aim at KKK-ish crudity. Curiously, she herself hatched from the horror.

The academic explains to CC’s newsroom:

“As an astrophysicist, I’m a product of institutions that are steeped in systemic racism and white supremacy.”

Sexism has stricken science, too. Colorado College lends context:

Despite the strong ties she feels between art and science, she’s had to work for years in a society divided. [Natalie] sees this division rooted in the systemic racism and sexism that the physics institution has been born into, and it limits what physics could be and limits the people who feel welcome practicing it. … Most of Gosnell’s career has been dictated by the hyper-masculine world of astrophysics. Now, she is deciding that she doesn’t have to fit into that mold — she is changing the ways she teaches physics, and the way she professionally shares it.

One might expect astrophysics to be violence-free, but it isn’t. Natalie drops science:

“I think because science and art have been so separated, and there’s…systemic issues within science, the metaphors that are often chosen [to discuss science] are very violent and hyper-masculine. … And I totally played into [the hyper-masculine stereotypes], because, ooh, snazzy. I get to be on the Discovery Channel. Of course, like, the price was too high.”


Natalie says she “felt like [she] was masquerading, essentially, as what an astrophysicist was supposed to be like.”

But now she’s speaking her truth. And she’s defying components of white supremacy. She lists three:

“(I’m a product of) the tenants of white supremacy that show up…of individualism and exceptionalism and perfectionism…”

That surely makes it perfectly impossible to be exceptional or an individual. Yet, those appear to be the very heights which Natalie has reached — hence the entirety of her interview.

Her level of odds-beating sets a hideously high bar — if, in fact, exceptional white people (of which Natalie is one) are engaging in white supremacy and nonwhite exceptional individuals are playing white peoples’ game.

Due to enlightenment, we’re living in tough times:

University Launches Graduate Program to Fight the ‘Rampant’ White Supremacy of Museums

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s ‘Equity Summit’ Condemns ‘Individualism’ as White Supremacy

English Teacher Fights the ‘White Supremacy’ of Teaching Kids to ‘Write Properly’

College Prep School Hosts Seminar for Those Guilty of ‘Parenting While White’

Law Professor Denounces the Constitution’s ‘White Supremacy,’ Calls for an ‘Antiracist’ Replacement


In Order to Fight White Supremacy, an Actress Vows Not to Star in Cop Shows

In order to fight white supremacy, maybe everyone’s doing their part in their own way. According to the articles above, one way would be to write poorly, avoid museums and cop shows, conform completely, and eschew standards of excellence.

How then, might one be such an exceptional individual so as to become an astrophysicist? Thankfully, there is hope to do just that; at least one person has.



See more content from me:

Professor Pooh-Poohs Professed Hetero Preference, Tells Pretenders to ‘Watch Gay and Lesbian Porn’

College District VP Compares Social Justice Resisters to Animals Fit for ‘the Slaughterhouse’

Great Grandma Buys a Baby Gift for Christmas, the Toy Tells a Sex Joke About Catholic Priests

Find all my RedState work here.

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