“Rest as Resistance,” the “Nap Ministry,” and Thanksgiving as White Supremacy

Editor’s Note: Today we profile Melody Pannell as an illustration of the intersectional-oppression ideology — colloquially referred to as wokeness — that permeates the University of Virginia. To avoid letting our biases creep into this and other profiles, we let the subjects express themselves in their own words. Sometimes the informally spoken word does not translate well into the written word as seen in a transcript, so we have done our best to render Pannell’s statements more intelligible by means of punctuation and excisions. Readers can judge from the video clips if we have done a fair job. — JAB. 

Meet Melody Pannell, UVA Health’s Director of Diversity & Community Engagement. Her job, says the UVA Health website, is to “cultivate an inclusive community, address social disparities and health inequities, and empower others. She also develops diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings.”

Pannell described herself and the struggles of her work in a video dialogue with Kimberly Barker, the Librarian for Belonging & Community Engagement at UVA’s Health Sciences Library.

Said Pannell: “As an activist, accomplice … DEI work, all kind of stuff like that, I’ve had my times where I lean in. … And sometimes I just have to retreat and say rest is resistance. Part of my work is actually making sure that I’m still here.”

Rest is Resistance? What does that mean? Well, Pannell is a fan of Tricia Hersey, also known as the Nap Bishop. In this video from a recent UVA Health event called “Connect with a Sister: Rest is Resistance Book Discussion,” she discussed Hersey’s theory of “rest” as a form of resistance against capitalism and white supremacy.

“This is again life changing because it really intersects in amazing way,” she said. “This idea of how racism affects us in [the] idea of rest, how sexism affects us, and even capitalism, and so how we’re socialized and how these three things and all the other isms come together in many ways have taught us not to rest. … All the aspects of oppression … have taken a toll … on our bodies, our minds, and our dreams.”

As she guided UVA staff and community members through the Four Tenants [sic] of the Nap Ministry in the same video, Pannell elaborated upon what she means by “rest.”

“Rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against capitalism and white supremacy,” she said. “That is just mind blowing. Who ever thought about that being a strategic tool, that I can rest, and I actually am pushing back or working against capitalism and white supremacy culture.”

Rest includes naps and daydreaming.

In the next video from a UVA Health Event called Coming to The Table: The Journey of Racial Healing, Jodie Geddes, a restorative justice DEI expert, shared how she didn’t respond to emails over the weekend. In her response, Pannell observed that a sense of “urgency” is a hallmark of white-supremacy culture.

Said Pannell: “It really is, you know, it is in a sense of setting these boundaries and saying this is it, this is when I am attentive to this and other times I’m not. So, what’s urgent and what’s not urgent? That’s a whole another thing … as far as even white supremacy culture, who says what is urgent?”

Pannell was involved this year in organizing UVA Health activities surrounding Black History Month, the theme of which was “Racial Healing: The Art of Racial Equity.” One of the speakers she invited was Gene Cash, executive director of the Counseling Alliance of Virginia, who argued that “perfectionism” is another cultural attribute of white supremacy. (See the video here.)

As seen in this video, UVA Health’s DEI director also subscribes to the notion of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,” which was developed by Portland State’s Joy DeGruy Leary.

“One of the things [Leary’s book] shows … civil rights, Jim Crow, being a slave … is this idea of not being able to mourn, not being able to grieve, because it’s dangerous to do so,” she said. “We don’t have time, or even the emotional wherewithal, [or the] capacity.”

(The concept of Post Slave Traumatic Syndrome is controversial within the intersectional-oppression community. In 2016 anti-racism guru Ibram X. Kendi described it as a racist idea that deprives Black Americans of agency, or free will, and legitimizes the idea that the Black community suffers from dysfunctional behaviors.)

Pannell applies a critical eye to traditional American holidays such as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, which indoctrinate people, even minorities, into the nation’s “white supremacy culture.”

Here she discusses Columbus Day:

“No matter what your racial background may be, the education system … is what critical race theory talks about in many ways,” she said. “Our systems are set up to follow a particular structure and even the people who were African-American they also follow that structure [by] being socialized to the education system. This is again the curriculum that we have and also assimilating into white supremacy culture or white education culture.”

And here she talks about Thanksgiving:

“This idea of really seeing how deeply I have been conditioned and colonized in many ways, and so you think about these holidays,” she said. “I love Thanksgiving. … I like to celebrate Thanksgiving. … Of course, what does this mean, family and food and fun, fellowship? You know all those different things, but what does it really mean? … If you think about [it], I shouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving now … because we benefit from them in many ways: personally, emotionally, right, our traditions, all those different things. And, so, it is finding a way to grapple with Native Americans …  in their own land, and grieving that and naming that. And, so, lots of times … we don’t want to let go of it, we don’t want to name it, because also that means we shift and change power structures. … So, give up power or give up a privilege or give up a tradition. It’s so deep. It is so deep.”

Let us conclude with Pannell leading a Rest is Resistance guided meditation using a track narrated by Tricia Hersey. “Welcome to your Dream Space.”

4 4 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

13 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
HooDaMan
HooDaMan
3 months ago

Whatever we’re paying her it’s not enough. Bravo.

John L. Warden
John L. Warden
3 months ago
Reply to  HooDaMan

No, it should be zero, unless you believe bullshit has value. In fact, she should pay the Commonwealth for access to the University.

Jack Cann
Jack Cann
3 months ago

It is hard to believe that responsible management would spend time and treasure on such nonsense.

Peter LeQuire College ‘65
Peter LeQuire College ‘65
3 months ago

So, if I read this gibberish correctly, systemic racism can be “resisted” by napping, mediocrity, and complacency. Perhaps the DEI enforcers need to be reminded that these are traits that racists attribute(d) to descendants of slaves. The Woke police should be called out for their self-serving hypocrisy, and for their twisting of our history.

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
3 months ago

Peter I think you nailed it!

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
3 months ago

Do we need any further validation of the twisted, worthless bureaucracy that DEI is? $20,000,000 @ UVA that should be eliminated immediately, expense savings passed directly to reduced tuition charges, which are the highest of any state university in America.

Rick Hotchner
Rick Hotchner
3 months ago

🤦🏻

UVA Past
UVA Past
3 months ago

It is so easy to blame others for your problems.

Jim Kovalchick
Jim Kovalchick
3 months ago

Is UVA paying someone to justify laziness?

Clarity77
Clarity77
3 months ago

As a retired health care practitioner, I find this to be the most mind blowing reveal of the woke insanity at UVA yet! To think that UVA Health actually pays someone to spout this absolute crap as to a sense of urgency and perfectionism requiring “nap resistance” in order to remove white supremacy and capitalism!

It would be quite fitting for her to have a life threatening medical emergency in her DEI office there at UVA Health, call down to the ER, and be greeted with a recording that the staff is unavailable due to a scheduled “Rest is Resistance guided meditation.”

Or maybe the future Daily Regress headline, “UVA President suffers heart attack while doing daily run, calls UVA ER, told to wait while ER staff, that he himself hired, complete officially required DEI “Nap Resistance” guided meditation.”

Can we conclude the lunatics at UVA are in fact now fully in charge of the asylum?

Remind me never to call UVA Health as Martha Jefferson might be a healthier alternative. Unless they too, God forbid, have a DEI Director of Diversity and Community Engagement similar to this clown. Which reminds me last time I saw lipstick that thick was yes on a clown. The glove fits!

walter smith
walter smith
3 months ago

I’m going to my Dream Space…
I think of Kieran Bhattacharya…whose life was destroyed for having the good sense to think that the microaggression babble he was hearing was poppycock, but not the good sense not to question the false religion of the mandarins in charge.

Robert Pyles MD
Robert Pyles MD
3 months ago

Is this a sample of what U Va is getting for 20 million?
Terminally embarrassing!