One way to understand this thinking is to place it on a spectrum of thought about race. On the far right is open white supremacy, which instructs white people to fight for their interests as white people. (Hence the 14-word slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”) Moving to the left, standard-issue conservatism tends to discount the existence of racism and treat all problems in pure color-blind terms, as though racism has been banished. To the left of that is standard liberalism, which acknowledges the existence of racism as a problem that complicates simple race-neutral solutions.

The ideology of the racism-training industry is distinctively to the left of that. It collapses all identity into racial categories. “It is crucial for white people to acknowledge and recognize our collective racial experience,” writes DiAngelo, whose teachings often encourage the formation of racial affinity groups. The program does not allow any end point for the process of racial consciousness. Racism is not a problem white people need to overcome in order to see people who look different as fully human — it is totalizing and inescapable.

Of course, DiAngelo’s whites-only groups are not dreamed up in the same spirit the same as David Duke’s. The problem is that, at some point, the extremes begin to functionally resemble each other despite their mutual antipathy.