“If you’re white, you’re oppressing. If you’re non-white, you’ve been a victim.” That is how one parent described a class that her son and other students were required to take at a high school in Wisconsin.
In a typical field assignment, students were instructed to visit the toy aisle of a local Wal-Mart and count the number of dolls representative of blacks and compare the number with that representative of whites.
Reading materials included a passage from a book title “White Privilege,” that includes the following:
In critical race theory, white privilege is a set of advantages that are believed to be enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.). Theorists differentiate it from racism or prejudice because, they say, a person who may benefit from white privilege is not necessarily racist or prejudiced and may be unaware of having any privileges reserved only for whites.
Another handout, this one from University of Texas professor Robert Jensen, argues that people don’t have complete control over their fate:
There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out in our lives, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased from society.
Brendan Pringle, of the conservative Young America’s Foundation, called the course “race-baiting,” adding:
[It] offers a snapshot of a larger trend that has plagued university curriculum for years and has only recent crept into high school classrooms. Professors and teachers are increasingly telling white students that they are part of the problem of racism, and are telling black students that they are second-class citizens. This race-baiting technique is an attack on American values and can only breed bitterness and envy.
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