College students stage protest over ‘whitewashed’ curriculum

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A student activist group at Reed College in Portland, Ore., staged a protest this past August in an attempt to change the school’s “whitewashed” curriculum.

Holding signs that voice their support for “Reedies of color,” the students drew attention to one particular class, Humanities 110, that they feel places too much attention on European thought leaders and focuses primarily on the ideas and accomplishments of white Europeans.

The group at Reed College in Portland, Ore., called for the school to cut ties to Wells Fargo Bank over its relationship with privately run prisons and stop teaching what it called a “whitewashed” curriculum that is too focused on the ideas and accomplishments of white Europeans and their descendants.

The group, called Reedies Against Racism (RAR), has been camping out in college President John Kroger’s office.

The students say that a mandatory humanities course dubbed “Hum 110” focuses overtly on European thought leaders, leading to “whitewashing” of the students’ education. The course has long been a target of the school’s left-leaning activists, who successfully shut down an Aug. 28 lecture on Ancient Greece.

“We believe that the first lesson that freshmen should learn about Hum 110 is that it perpetuates white supremacy — by centering ‘whiteness’ as the only required class at Reed,” reads a RAR declaration delivered to all new students, the Atlantic reported.

“The required freshman course should be reformed to represent the voices of people of color,” read the demands posted online. “Before this is accomplished, Hum 110 should be conscious of the power it gives to already privileged ideas and welcome critique of that use of power.”

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