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Arvid Haag Swedish Freakbuster
The real reconciliation between milk and coffee.
Arvid Haag is a hero. With any luck, and with a bit of providence in these winter solstice times, Arvid Haag's deeds will meet with widespread acclaim and gratitude.
Arvid Haag, 27 years old, decided to do a 'Wallraff' with a course in 'Whiteness Studies' at the University of Stockholm. His essay - which postulates that putting milk in coffee is actually racist - was graded highly - with a 'B' - and praised enthusiastically by his teacher.
'The only thing he objected to was the lack of source attribution on the graphics I used', says Arvid Haag.
Whiteness studies, as they're called, are a new branch of leftist ideology in the US. Conservatives there object to it being spread throughout education, but courses in 'Critical Whiteness Theory' have already made it to Sweden, where the instigator was Tobias Hübinette (Sam Dol Lee) at the University of Karlstad.
The remote course 'Critical Whiteness Perspectives on Nordic Culture' was offered this past autumn at the University of Stockholm. Arvid Haag signed up.
'Student loans are different during the pandemic', says Arvid Haag. 'So I thought I could boost my income a bit. Why not take an extra course in Whiteness Studies?' Arvid Haag laughs.
Arvid Haag confirms that the other students swallowed it hook line and sinker.
'It's one thing that there's actually someone from a university that teaches such a thing, but everyone who signed up seems have taken it seriously.'
Arvid Haag asked a few critical questions during the course, but the teacher didn't preside over the discussions.
The students were tasked with writing an essay of 10,000 characters. Arvid Haag called his essay 'Black and White Beverages - An Account of What Has Occurred Since the Early 1900s in the Struggle Between Coffee and Milk'. (Yes, really - link here.)
'I picked a really bizarre topic and ran with it', said Arvid Haag.
Arvid Haag writes in his essay how the marketing of coffee brought out the 'black and exotic aspects' of the beverage. And, as for milk, that part has been portrayed as 'local' and 'white'.
'Force white qualities onto a black drink'
The part of his essay that Arvid's particularly fond of is the following.
'The question one can ask is whether it's really a reconciliation between milk and coffee that's taken place, or whether adding milk to coffee is a way to deny coffee its unique qualities and instead force white qualities onto a black drink.'
'Milk in coffee can, when seen critically, be regarded as beverage colonialisation. The strong piping hot coffee cools, and its taste is rounded off by the milk which thereby controls and domesticates the coffee.'
Arvid Haag's essay was praised by his teacher who gave him a 'B'. The teacher found it 'an exciting topic', 'creative thinking', and even suggested that it could be expanded into a serious academic opus.
'That it was a joke - the thought never crossed his mind. His sole criticism was that the paper lacked proper source attribution for the graphics I used.'
Arvid Haag's already taken other courses in political science, and he laments at how lame and freaky this course was.
'It took me three hours to write that essay. I added citations to books I'd never read, along with some of Hübinette's blog posts. I still have no clue what Critical Whiteness Perspectives is supposed to mean, and it doesn't seem anyone else knows either.'