Mandatory Course On Black History and White Privileged?

A white college professor at Dartmouth College believes all college students should have to take a course on Black History and White Privileged.    For some reason it seems that White Liberals are the ones who are constantly complaining about White Privilege.   In the video here Candace Owens, how can you not love this girl, takes on a Progressive Liberal about White Privileged.

There’s a graduation requirement I’d like every college and university to adopt, just like math or writing. All students should take an accessible course on race and ethnicity if racial equity is to be an achievable goal.

As a sociology professor at Dartmouth College, I teach such a class, and it is at once exhausting and exhilarating. It is not easy to learn about, let alone talk about, racism. In the course, we learn how the very idea of race was invented with colonialism — but even 400 years after the start of slavery in America, race still exerts a powerful influence on life chances, working through institutions like higher education, the criminal justice system and the labor market.

By the end of the term, students have a deep understanding of these complex social problems, and realistic ideas for how to make change through our relationships and institutions.

Lift the curtain on ‘white blindness’

Everyone learns, but I find that the small handful of white students in the class usually learn the most. That’s because for the first time in their lives, they begin to look at themselves as members of a racial group. They understand that being a good person does not make them innocent but rather they, too, are implicated in a system of racial dominance.

After spending their young lives in a condition of “white blindness,” that is, the inability to see their own racial privilege, they begin to awaken to the notion that racism has systematically kept others down while benefiting them and other white people.

But their white blindness is not an accident; it is cultivated in our elementary and high schools. Except for a few states in the throes of implementing ethnic studies requirements in their K-12 curricula, America’s public schools do not require white students to contend with history in an inclusive, critical way.

What’s more, our geographically separate and financially unequal public schools do not give white students opportunities to see themselves as anything but individuals participating in a meritocratic system where their hard work earns them just rewards.

Society needs clarity on race

For many white students, by the time they get to college and elect to take a race and ethnicity class, it is the first time they have questioned their advantages: how their grandparents likely benefited from affirmative action as part of the GI Bill, how the federal government kept the suburbs white — which allowed their parents to accrue the wealth that sent them to college, and how mass incarceration and felon disenfranchisement give their white voices more say in our democracy.

Arguably the greatest tragedy, however, is that people of color, like white people, do not question American cultural messages of individual responsibility and equal opportunity. Because they are taught a white-centered history, they may internalize a narrative of personal failure for their social and economic standing.

But lack of clarity about history is also a tragedy for greater society, because it leads to a false confidence about the simplicity of rectifying racial injustice through appeals to personal goodness rather than structural intervention.

Students in my class particularly resonate with James Baldwin’s description of the “personal incoherence” that arises from the historical narratives we learn — and those we don’t — in school. More than 50 years ago, Baldwin said, “People who imagine history flatters them (as it does, indeed, since they wrote it) are impaled on their history like a butterfly on a pin and become incapable of seeing or changing themselves, or the world.”

Good intentions aren’t enough

Near the end of the course I teach, we use this quotation as a starting point to talk about our personal responsibilities to disrupt the white blindness we observe at Dartmouth College and other predominantly white institutions. One white student who took the class more than two years ago (because it fit in her schedule!) recently wrote me a thank you note describing how because of the class, she is committed to keeping helping others at the center of her personal mission.

As it is now, students self-select into the course, and most who do are students of color. Because white students have managed to avoid critical discussions of race their whole lives before college, they tend to see racial and ethnic inequality as “not their issue.” Rather, it is generally the students who already have an inkling of racial injustice who seek out more information, who challenge themselves to be uncomfortable every day in the process. It is also an injustice, though, that only these students take on the burden of learning about, critiquing and challenging the system of oppression.

Requiring a course on race and ethnicity for all college students would send the message that both the university and society value the kind of learning that produces informed and critical citizens for a world after graduation. We can’t just drift into racial equity with good intentions, nor put much hope in generational change. We need to actively, purposefully take the blinders off.

Emily Walton is an associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College and a Public Voices fellow with the OpEd Project.

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4 Responses to Mandatory Course On Black History and White Privileged?

  1. bogsidebunny says:

    To quote Rush: “The Liberals and their plantation stooges don’t want the “slavery problem” fixed. What they really want is America and the constitution destroyed and replace with an “imaginary, but never attainable” Socialist paradise. The two classes above (white Libs and Black stooges) have different motivations:

    1: White liberals = total control over a remade America to sate their power & wealth lust.

    2: Black stooges = punish the Conservative white devils and achieve a Schadenfreude Nirvana..

  2. dekare says:

    How about a required class on white history, showing ALL of the great things achieved by white people that have benefited everyone of every color. Let’s teach students that while blacks were still living a tribal existence, killing and enslaving each other, whites were building ships and exploring the world. That while blacks were sitting in dung huts eating scabs, white people were developing crops and farming, medicine, laws, and everything else that exists with a civilized society.

    I am F%^KING SICK AND TIRED of my race being labelled the bad guy and that I should be forever ashamed of who I am. Whites didn’t invent slavery, but you know what we did…we ended it. And did it in pretty short time once we decided it was enough. Take a look around at EVERYTHING that makes life better and easier, and you can bet your ass a white person had something to do with its creation. If I add up everything that is of benefit to society invented by every non-white race, I bet it doesn’t amount to a tenth of what “my people” have contributed to this civilized world.

    Now, I am not saying all blacks are bad people, but from what I see, a successful black person who doesn’t have racism in their heart against white people is the exception to the rule. Hell, how many of you out there have met a black person and thought they were decent and good, only to see them slip and say something offensive against whites, letting you know that deep down, they hate white people, for no other reason other than their white skin? I have seen this happen on many occasions, and was shocked at first, as I thought we were friends.

    Everyone knows what is in their heart. Accidentily saying something that is not politically correct today does not make a person a racist no more than saying legal words in latin makes you a lawyer. But just watch how some white person says one thing that was not meant to be harmful to anyone, and they are immediately labelled a racist, and targeted for destruction (think Paula Deen, Michael Richards, Don Imus, Justine Sacco, Liam Neeson, Roseanne Barr, Gilbert Godrey, and on and on and on). Does anyone truly believe that these people simply hate blacks for no reason, and want to see a return of slavery? Hell, look at the beloved confederate flag and all of the statues of great southern leaders that have been removed. Nothing but a ploy by blacks to maintain their victimhood status and all of the great benefits that come with it.

    And why is it blacks have no words that are off limits to them? Yet there are dozens of words I am not allowed to say. Words blacks can say with complete impunity. If these words are so reprehensible, than no one should be allowed to say them. But nope, blacks can say “nigger” all day long and it’s cool for them to do it. These words are only evil if they come out of the mouth of a white person. Almost as if it’s not about the words at all…but maybe about control instead.

    Blacks claim they don’t want to be judged by the color of their skin, yet they condemn all of us crackers based on the color of our skin. So, who is the real racist here?

    And why the hell am I supposed to be ashamed for something a white person did centuries ago? In elementary school, I was beat up by a black kid for no reason other than he was a bully and I was a small white kid who’s lunch money he wanted. Would I be justified in hating all black people who had nothing to do with this incident that happened decades ago? Yet blacks want exactly this. We’ve all heard the saying, no black man alive today was ever a slave and no white person alive today owned a slave. In fact, racism on the part of white people against blacks is all but a dead issue. So much so that racism has to be invented just to keep it alive (think jesse smullet). Innocuous words have been redefined to now mean racism, just to keep the falsehood of racism going. The media jumps on ANYTHING that keeps this racism lie alive, and with all the reporting, all the investigating, all the searching for any micro sliver of racism by a white person, look at what makes the headlines. Ridiculousness about Nike sneakers and an American flag is racist. That’s what they got. That’s the most racist thing they can come up with.

    Yet look at racism in the heart of many blacks against whites. Hell, the fact that I hear about racism today all but proves that blacks still hold a grudge and hate me for no other reason than the color of my skin. This effort to keep the hate of white people alive instead of maybe realizing just how far we have come is enough. How about admitting that racism is all but dead, and lets work together solving real problems of the world. When blacks say they want an open and honest discussion on racism, what they mean is they want whitey to admit he is evil and how much reparations should he pay. When the real reasons are discussed on why it is blacks can’t seem to break the cycle of poverty, why 6% of the general population make up almost 40% of the prison population. Blacks are not disproportionately incarcerated for no reason, they disproportionately commit more crimes…and why? The justice system isn’t setup to go after black people…it is setup to go after criminals. Why are more black children growing up without a father, or the poor success rate of blacks despite every advantage given them and on and on. Hell, we have lowered the bar to success so low for blacks, that we’ll make you the president, if you learn to speak properly. You don’t need experience or a background of successes, just apply for the job. To even bring the subject of racism up is enough to bring up screams of racism. It’s not the truth they want, it’s the continued status of being a victim is all that matters.

    I will say this, if you want to make white people racists…continue on this path we are now. Keep labeling innocent white people as racist. Keep telling them they are evil and despite what is in their heart and all the good they have done for others, they are bad. Keep coming out with words and actions that had no ill intentions, and redefine them as racist. Judge whites by their innocent actions decades ago by today’s ridiculous politically correct standards, alter history to make our heroes into villains, label every person’s actions as if they were motivated solely by hate, and punish innocent people over and over for the “crime” of being white. And later, act surprised when that person lashes out and starts to despise those that have chosen to label whites as racist. I have to admit, I am beginning to detest black people. Not all of them, but those that are attacking me and accusing me of being racist. I am starting to judge these people without really knowing them. It is this racist mentality that enters my mind from time to time, making me hateful and I am starting to judge others based on their skin color. Something I have never done before. I am only human, and this is most likely a defense mechanism. I am being targeted and accused of something I am not. How long does it take to start becoming that which you are being accused of? And not just me…but my entire heritage, every white person thoughout history is not only being attacked and labelled as racist, but judged by today’s standards. If any white owned a slave, they are immediately a racist, when the fact is, that was how life was back then. Not all slave owners hated blacks. For every master that beat their slaves, there was hundreds that treated them decently. I am not promoting slavery by any means, but merely pointing out that despite movies like Roots and Twelve Years a Slave and every other movie where blacks are tortured by white slave owners, hundreds of slave owners treated black slaves kindly. Sadly, movies about white people being nice to blacks don’t make money or push the agenda.

    Look at Thomas Jefferson, who is vilified because he owned slaves. He didn’t choose to own slaves , he inherited them from his father’s estate, and that was how things simply were. Thomas Jefferson hated slavery and wanted to end it as well, but knew that creating a new country and all of the changes needed to create America as we know it, would be difficult enough, and trying to add the end of slavery on top of it, would have meant failure of the United States before it even began. Thomas Jefferson called slavery a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot” and believed that slavery was a great threat to the survival of this new country he helped to found. Jefferson fought to end slavery until his death, that is how much he hated slavery. Yet his legacy is to be destroyed, his statues torn down, and history books altered, all in the name of keeping racism alive.

    And why are men who are long gone being attacked? They are not here to defend themselves, and maybe that is one reason. Maybe another reason is that since racism is all but dead today, and finding acts of racism is all but impossible today, they have to search history in order to find hints of racism to attack. This only goes to show that racism is no longer a thing today. No significant incidences occur today, so they look to history. How long before cave paintings are interpreted in such a manner in order to prove that racism existed back then as well?

    What our Founding Fathers did create was a country that recognized slavery as evil, and put into motion a system that ended slavery in less than a century (which is damned quick by history standards). Hundreds of thousands of white men died putting an end to slavery, but that doesn’t count for some reason. ( I do have to wonder, in these talks of reparations, how much do the descendants of those soldiers that were killed fighting to end slavery have to pay?)

    Anyway, it is my race that I am not allowed to be proud of. Every other minority is allowed to promote their heritage, even at the expense of white people. They denigrate white people and or history and are applauded for it. But if I show so much as an ounce of pride in being white, I am a racist. Why am I not allowed to be proud of my history? Why must the history of my people be altered or removed entirely? Why are the successes of my heritage belittled? They want to change history to reflect that anything good done by white people was wholly motivated by racism and nothing else. Whites build great ships, not to explore and trade goods, but to transport slaves. Whites created the cotton industry, not to provide clothing and promote textiles, but to make black people pick it. Out system of laws and the creation of a civilized society wasn’t created for the benefit of all mankind, but instead to setup a judicial system where whites can incarcerate blacks. Whites wake up everyday wondering how they can create something to make the lives of black people worse. That is what we are led to believe today.

    And I have to ask, why is it there are no successful black nations (well, except for Zamunda and Wakanda). And let’s take a look at the way white people were treated in this fictional wonderland of Wakanda. Whites were treated like crap, looked down upon, and “barked” over whenever they tried to talk. That is how the movie portrayed it. And this was supposed to be the most modernized and progressive country created by black people ever. A place where only black people have value and whites are shit. Gee, who is the racist here? Am I to understand that if blacks ever achieved the power and position shown in this movie, all whites will be treated like garbage, not even being allowed to speak, even if all they were doing was trying to help? I do wonder, if the roles were reversed, will I be treated as decently as blacks are treated today? I think we all know the answer to that. The fact is, an all black society that is civilized just plain doesn’t exist. Again, why? And look at entire communities where black culture is dominate. You have crime and drugs, and no one is safe. What do you think will have a bad result? A black man walks through a white neighborhood at night or a white man walks through a black neighborhood at night? Who is the mostly likely to end up dead?

    The fact is, I am NOT ashamed of being white. I don’t hate anyone without good reason. Despite the labels thrown at me, I still judge a person, not by the color of their skin, but by what is in their heart. I am proud of the accomplishments of my race. Our Founding Fathers are vilified, yet they created the greatest country that benefits EVERYONE, no matter what color your skin is, and did in just over two centuries. What has the founding fathers of Africa crated in the last 50 centuries? Only in America, a country created out of the minds of old white men, do poor people own smart phones, drive cars, have air conditioning, excellent medical care, access to clean water and nutritious food, and suffer from obesity. I would rather be poor in America than rich by any third world standard. Every great thing that has been created by whites has benefited everyone.

    So let’s teach that to our young children. Not hatred or resentment of one race against another. It is our constant striving to do better and to be better that is one of our best traits. But there are those that would rather focus on past mistakes and condemn us entirely for them, leaving out all of the good and the kindness. Teaching goodness creates unity, whereas focusing on the negative creates contempt and division, which is what they want. We need to get rid of this leftist mindset that wants to destroy. Racism exists not because of the evil acts of whites, but instead, by the refusal of those on the left that don’t want it to die. There is a great benefit to the left in keeping racism going for as long as possible. And by doing this, they are only hurting those they proclaim to be standing up for. Every race would be so much better off if we could focus on being united. And if this were taught instead, racism would no longer exist. And as long as we allow leftist to influence our children, the cycle of hatred will continue.

    Being white is nothing to be ashamed of. Being black is neither. We are all human beings, and we all should be proud of the good we create together. As it was once said, a house divided cannot stand. We need to stop dividing our house.

  3. Leonard Jones says:

    Put me in that class and I will be the turd in the punchbowl. I took a class on first
    aid/CPR and AED’s (Automatic Electronic Defibrillators.) In the first aid part
    of the class, we covered what to do if woman goes into labor. One of the Tour
    Bosses (shift supervisors) asked what could be done to delay the delivery. My
    mother told me that there is no power on Earth anyone could do to delay things.

    Little old asshole me put up my hand. I said sure, just grab a hammer and a big
    cork. The nurse nearly pissed her pants laughing!

    I could turn half the class against this bullshit in minutes.

  4. Eskyman says:

    Wonderfully well said, dekare, and I endorse each and every word!

    Sadly, it seems to me that our divided house will not stand, as those dividing it have no intention of stopping. I fear this will not end well.

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