Disturbing video footage from a “diversity meeting” at the Village of Oak Park, Illinois’ board of trustees shows board member Susan Buchanan yelling “You are a white male! You stop it, you are a white male!” at other board members.
In the Oct. 7 video, Buchanan, who is an associate professor of environmental sciences, went on a racially-charged tirade against fellow board members for the color of their skin.
Despite being the whitest person shown in the video footage, Buchanan told fellow trustees, “I don’t want to hear what you have to say,” adding, “You shouldn’t have an opinion on that, this is the point. Why do you have an opinion on equity?”
“You have been white from birth,” Buchanan said while banging her hand on the table. “Why are you arguing what is a system of oppression? You’ve never experienced one, so shut up!”
She went on, “I don’t want to hear from you! Just stop Dan, just stop Deno. You are not oppressed and people in Oak Park are, and we are trying to recognize that as a community.”
The councilwoman went on to deride Palestinian-born Mayor Abu-Taleb and other board members as “obviously not willing to face history.”
“And you stop it!” Buchanan shrilled while pointing her finger in Abu-Taleb’s direction, possibly referencing him. “You stop it, you are a white male! Your skin is light enough!”
The councilwoman’s diatribe appeared to be directed at fellow trustee Deno Andrews, who could be heard trying in vain to respond to Buchanan’s racially charged attacks.
According to the Oak Park government website, Mayor Abu-Taleb Anan Abu-Taleb is a successful restaurateur who “was born in the Gaza Strip as the second-oldest of 13 children. He immigrated to the Chicago area at the age of 18 to attend college. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of Illinois – Chicago and his MBA from University of Chicago.”
The video has caused a stir online due to what many see as the irony of a white politician lecturing other politicians on whiteness.
The full video of the board’s meeting on “diversity and inclusion” can be found here.