If you can wear “flesh colored” band-aides, you are guilty of “white privilege”.
A “cultural competency” workshop at the University of North Carolina guides students on sensitive topics such as “white privilege” and “structural racism”.
A warning is given to new students:
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Diversity and cultural competency can be very sensitive issues for many people. Make sure you establish a safe space for people to discuss their thoughts and feelings without fear of being ridiculed. Encourage participants to be honest with themselves and each other. Because this is such a sensitive topic, feel free to set up a meeting to talk to a professional staff member who could give you suggestions for facilitating this program.[/pullquote]
Part of the workshop is a “white privilege survey” students are asked to take, and rate themselves based on their answers. Questions to find out if you are a person of “white privilege” include:
- I can swear, dress in secondhand clothes, or NOT answer letters, without people attribute those choices to bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
- I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a racial outsider.
- I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the “person in charge”, I will be facing a person of my race.
And the final question on the survey:
- I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match the color of my skin.
Another segment of the workshop is a 38-page “Structural Racism and Community Building” booklet. It also covers the concept of “white privilege” and racism very thoroughly, including this alternative view of “race”.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Millions of Americans still think and talk about race in terms of fixed biological or genetic categories. A strikingly different way to view the concept of ‘race’ is as an unequal relationship between social groups based on the privileged access to power and resources by one group over another. Race is historically and socially constructed, created (and recreated) by how people are perceived and treated in the normal actions of everyday life.”[/pullquote]
The University promises “At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to develop a sense of self-awareness and an understanding of privilege.”
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