By: Charlie Jones
Students in an Anthropology course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were required to identify their white privilege as part of their grade, according to a tip received through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tipline.
Students in Professor Jerome Camal’s ANTHRO 104: Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity course were assigned to read Peggy McIntosh’s article, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.
McIntosh’s piece poses twenty-six statements to readers and asks them to evaluate their agreement. The more an individual can relate, the more racially privileged they are.
One of the statements read, “I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.”
“I can be pretty certain that if I ask to talk to ‘the person in charge,’ I will be facing a person of my race,” said another.
“If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.”
McIntosh also writes that in acknowledging white privilege, one “must give up the myth of meritocracy.”
Each student was asked to select six of the twenty-six statements and answer several questions. The questions asked about students’ awareness of their privilege, what or who benefits from it, and what structures exist to create and maintain it.
Students were also prompted to suggest two more items to add to the list in order to “make it more relevant to America today.”
Finally, students were asked to think about the “unearned disadvantages and advantages” in their lives.
“This assignment is aimed at a diverse group of students and does not ask anyone to identify their own white privilege,” UW-Madison Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communications Meredith McGlone told YAF.
“The goal for students who choose to take this course is to learn honestly and with empathy about the advantages and disadvantages all people experience as a result of their identities. Students are graded on their ability to critically analyze the material, not on whether they agree or disagree with the author.”
Chairman of UW-Madison Young Americans for Freedom Blake Weiner told YAF he was not surprised.
Our institutions of higher education are obsessed with wokeism. They are hellbent on dividing their students and the country at large. Americans should be striving to reach a society where everyone is treated equally based on their inherent humanity. Focusing solely on one’s immutable characteristics is not the way to achieve that society. Students must continue to call out this blatant racism in the classroom.
Charlie Jones is the chapter chairman of Michigan State University YAF and a contributor to The New Guard.