There's a mixed element of sadism/masochism in abstract art that made it fun to take art classes with African students. The heavyset European lesbian graduate students doing the teaching could and did instantly belittle anyone who questioned their conclusions that, say, gluing used pregnancy tests to a corkboard was a powerfully intellectual and artistic act--anyone, that is, except the black kids who, when forced to take off their headphones, could curtly say, "The hell is that shit?" without recrimination. Of course the white lesbians were terrified of criticizing an Afro, and so were the curators at museums. A Euro student who said, of a Rothko, "I don't really think that's art, it's just sort of, uhh, smudgy wallpaper," would get pulled aside, disciplined, and made to write essays. An Afro who didn't show up to the museum at all, or who walked around loudly quoting pimp-related rap lyrics--or who considered the painting and said, "A monkey could do that shit"--would receive an A.
The white lesbians couldn't bring themselves to scold the black students, even for being straight, but they could encourage them to justify their high grades by nodding their heads in agreement when the lesbians explained that simple smears of color could possibly be a reaction to oppression, couldn't they, can't you see it, the way it explains whatever problems you might have with your life, now can't you, Tyrone, can't you see how it means nothing is your fault and people owe you stuff? With the usual degree of irony, the Afro men had to listen dutifully while the Euro females explained what oppression was and how to express/recognize it, and after having confessed their sins, the Euros would feel better about themselves...and on to the next exhibit room they'd walk, while the black kids went to the lobby to sit on benches and listen to more rap. Once the Euro women had publicly shamed themselves by having the viewpoints they'd lectured upon for hours mocked and belittled in front of a group over which they held authority, they resumed the sadistic role of punishing other Euros who weren't murmuring over exhibits with sufficient reverence. It was like a test run for Black Lives Matter.