A questionnaire recently handed out at San Diego State University allows students to calculate their “white privilege” for extra credit.
Feminist Peggy McIntosh’s essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” may have been published in 1989, but its blueprint for identifying “white privilege” is now worth academic bonus points to “Aztecs” in 2017. A copy of one sociology class’ “White Privilege Checklist” was forwarded to an educational watchdog on Tuesday and confirmed by its author Tuesday.
“Only through processes that allow us to share intersubjectively, weigh all of our perspectives according to amount of shareable empirical evidence can we approximate an objective understanding of our society,” professor Dae Elliott told The College Fix. “It may never be perfect, in fact, I am sure we will always be improving but it is a better response if we are truly seekers of what is truth, what is reality. In a society that values fairness, our injustices that are institutionalized are often made invisible.”
Some of the statements that allegedly privileged students are asked to check off include:
- “I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.”
- “I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.”
- “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.”
- “I can go into a music shop and count on the music of my race represented.”
Students obtain extra credit by answering questions such as, “Were you surprised by your score, or did it confirm what you already knew?” and “Why is privilege normally invisible and what does it feel like to make it visible,” the watchdog reported.
This is not the first time in recent history that Ms. McIntosh’s essay made national headlines.
An anti-racism campaign launched in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2012 featured YouTube videos in which activists scrawled messages inspired by “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” on their face.
“I am a white man. That’s unfair,” one actor’s facial graffiti read, Fox News reported June 22, 2012.
Some of the campaign’s co-sponsors included the City of Duluth, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and the NAACP.
The media firestorm that followed prompted the university to issue a statement soon afterward expressing its “displeasure to the partnership that the PSAs were aired without a chance for our review.”
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