University of Minnesota – Duluth: “It’s hard to see racism, when you’re white.”

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In a simple slogan saying, “It’s hard to see racism, when you’re white,” the ‘Un-Fair Campaign’, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, has effectively unleashed what they truly think about racism in America.  In an effort to stop ‘white privilege’ in its tracks, they attack the issue of how other races tread under the foot of white society.  Their aim?  Well, we aren’t exactly sure. The Un-Fair Campaign website goes on to talk about how they would define various terms:

What is prejudice?  The prejudging of a person or situation without sufficient knowledge or facts. Personal and individual beliefs about race that are influenced by the dominant group’s values, practices and beliefs. Anyone can be prejudiced.

What is racism?  Racism is more than individual prejudice based on race.  Racism is the power of a dominant group, through its systems and institutions, to enforce the dominant culture’s history, values, practices and beliefs.  It advantages those in the dominant group and disadvantages those who are not.  It results in disparities.

What is white privilege?  A set of advantages that are given to people who are part of the majority and dominant group.  These opportunities and privileges are often invisible.

Do they have any examples of ‘white privilege’?  In fact they do!

  • I can walk around a department store without being followed;
  • I can come to meeting late and not have my lateness attributed to my race;
  • I am able to drive a car in any neighborhood without being perceived as being in the wrong place or looking for trouble;
  • I can turn on the television or look to the front page and see people of my ethnic and racial background represented;
  • I can take a job without having co-workers suspect that I got it because of my racial background;
  • I can send my 16-year old out with his new driver’s license and not have to give him a lesson how to respond if police stop him.

Now, we have a university that is sponsoring an effort to demonize white people, in such a way that all people that have white skin should feel guilty about being ‘privileged’.  So, what is their solution?  Climb ‘the ladder’ (see below and read from bottom to top):

Community of Love and Resistance

____________________________________

Collective Action

____________________________________

Taking Responsibility / Self-Righteousness

white can do right / especially me

____________________________________

Open Up / Acknowledgement

Houston, we’ve got a problem

____________________________________

Guilt and Shame

white is not right / I’m bad

___________________________________

Denial and Defensiveness

I am not the problem

____________________________________

Be Like Me

we’re all the same, you’re the problem

___________________________________

What Are You?

first contact

____________________________________

I’m Normal

Well, I’m glad that’s over.  Being a ‘privileged-white-religious-tea partying-conservative-male …who likes country music’, I found this to be pretty insulting.  In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe I’ve ever met these people.  And they have the audacity to call me a ‘privileged white racist’?   Guess I should start climbing, then.

Actually, I have an argument against this entire campaign: Oh, I’ll just use their own words…

What is prejudice?  The prejudging of a person or situation without sufficient knowledge or facts. Personal and individual beliefs about race that are influenced by the dominant group’s values, practices and beliefs. Anyone can be prejudiced.”

Couldn’t have said that better myself.

COMMENT below: How do you feel about this campaign?

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