WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU RACIST SPACEMEN?
Yesterday I watched a talk titled “Aliens or Alienated: Hidden Assumptions about Race that Persist in Paranormal Cultures” by a person known as Professor Wham:
“Anomaly Archives Saturday Streamathon Fundraiser Series Part-Two” Anomaly Archives
Time: 1:33:44 – 2:30:00
It derives in part from her dissertation:
TAKEN: Constructions of Race, Biology and Colonialism informing the Alien Abduction Narrative in the United States (PhD dissertation, American Studies, University of Kansas, 2001)
A bibliography entry informs me that, according to a 2015 Facebook post by Stephen Miles Lewis: “Carol currently goes by the name WHAM which is short for Wahabah Hafsa Al Muid. She co-hosts as “WHAM” on a radio show / podcast called CHURCH OF MABUS”
Though I know I read some of the dissertation years ago, since I can find footnotes referencing it in my files, I feel the audiovisual talk must be the better manner of presentation since it seems far the more memorable. Possibly it is a better distillation of her thinking.
She tells the story of how she was at one of Leo Sprinkle’s gatherings of contactees and she noticed how some nonwhites reacted to a British contactee who answered a question about what the aliens looked like with, “they had white skin – like us.” The next day a woman who had been branded by Nazi soldiers in WW2 excoriated the audience for having assumptions about aliens that they should think twice about. Matthews overheard patronizing remarks by a woman in the audience, dismissing her as having had a really hard time.
She gets into the Hill case, since it is the ur-abduction in America culture and observes that while Betty has a conversation with the aliens in which she learns they are explorers and traders, the aliens only show interest in Barney Hill’s physical attributes. Simon catches on that Barney’s past had episodes in it that explained some of his part of the regression story like once visiting an integrated beach with his prior wife where a white Piper Cub pilot shouted epithets down at them. This did not make it into Fuller’s book because of patient confidentiality. Budd Hopkins would also elide the context of Barney’s biography despite Simon’s warning that Barney’s experience should not be separated from his history as a black man.
Hopkins would be also be chided for having interviewed far too few black people in his abduction work. She gets into several alien experiences by black people and observes they tend to have a different character, emphasizing Riley Martin’s The Coming of Tan. The author made it onto Howard Stern’s show. Sun Ra is also mentioned.
She remarks how the number of alien races follows habits about racial taxonomies by Linnaeus, Kant and Swedenborg. Science fiction and horror aliens have been treated by critics to analysis along racial lines. Long John Nebel, John Keel, and Vallee are quoted about realizing that racial assumptions of contactees betray a white understanding of the world and play into white supremacy ideology. Menger, Adamski, van Tassel, and George Hunt Williamson are singled out for mention in this regard.
She notes native Americans have been studied for their experiences by Ardy Sixkiller Clarke and that Barbara Alice Mann has been writing about the history and archaeology of the mound-builders and other American landscape constructs that refutes assumptions appearing in ufo writings crediting aliens with their origins.
Inevitably I have focused on the matters I found of most interest and likely missed some of the nuances in this too-brief summary. Watch the youtube video to get the full experience. I don’t think any psychosocial thinkers will be disappointed by what she is saying.