Phi Beta Cons

How Much White Privilege Do You Have?

Next semester, Notre Dame will offer a course titled “White Privilege Seminar,” the goal of which is for students to become “more aware of injustices and better equipped with tools to disrupt personal, institutional, and worldwide systems of oppression.” The description states that “the nature of living in contemporary culture indicates that people consciously and unconsciously simultaneously participate in and are affected by systems of oppression; however, since these behaviors can be learned, they can also be unlearned.” Well, doesn’t that sound neat? And such catchy language! “People consciously and unconsciously simultaneously participate” in stuff! The seminar, by the way, will prepare students for next spring’s White Privilege Conference, which is apparently a real thing that real people attend. 

Campus Reform reports that the same claptrap being peddled by sociologists at universities like Notre Dame is now rearing its head at the community college level. A professor at a two-year school in Texas recently asked students to check off statements that applied to them, such as “[If] a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race.” The professor, inspired by the recent Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, apparently thought it would be a cute little exercise for her class, a way to determine how much “privilege” students have as a result of their race. Her class, by the way, was titled “Learning Framework: 1st Year Experience,” a required course aimed at instilling the “tenacity necessary to succeed in mathematics.” 

Kudos to the student (mentioned in the article) who had the courage to refuse to complete that assignment and report it to the college’s higher-ups. In an official response, the college stated that “[the] purpose of this lesson is to encourage students to not only explore the rich dimensions of diversity that are contained within each person, but to also take the time to reflect on the aspects of diversity that make up who they are as individuals.” Ah, so that’s what this is all about: satisfying the “diversity” fetish. I feel sorry for the students who not only have to complete a chintzy college course designed to make them “tenacious” math learners, but who must put up with such vulgar indoctrination in the process. 

Jesse SaffronJesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a North Carolina-based think tank dedicated to improving higher education in the Tar ...


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