by Caroline Rushing
If you are straight, white, and male, please stand up. Congratulations, you are more privileged than you probably ever realized. Because of your blessed birth, you are responsible for the victimization of thousands of your underprivileged peers. You may not be aware, but implicitly you hate, resent, and distrust everyone who does not look like you. How does this make you feel? No, do not answer. Instead, allow us to tell you how you should be feeling. You should be feeling extremely guilty and ashamed, and in order to move past your racist tendencies and make amends for being born privileged, you should apologize to those you victimize daily. Now, tell us how you feel.
The above sums up the way the Left deals with diversity. I have witnessed this firsthand during “diversity day” for a leadership conference just this past summer at the University of Virginia, where I am a rising third-year student. This kind of indoctrination from the Left is not unique to my school.
Allow me to walk you through the day I call “white guilt awareness day.” Liberals want to make whites — men especially — feel guilty for being white, and to feel responsible for centuries of oppressing minorities. They want to show them that deep down whites inherently resent and hate blacks and other minorities, and college professors and administrators have taken it upon themselves to “help” students discover these deeply-rooted feelings.
During breakfast, we took a “privilege assessment” to gauge how much more advantaged white people are than everyone else. The measure of privilege was split up into three categories: Gender and Sexual Orientation, Race, and Nationality. Here are some of the criteria used to assess us in the “race” category:
1) Most hair stylists know how to work with your hair.
2) You can choose blemish cover or “flesh” color bandages that more or less match your skin tone.
3) You have never been asked if you are the hired help.
These are just a few of the statements that were used to award “privilege” points. It is no surprise that white males turned out to be the most privileged according to this assessment. When we moved to discussion, we talked about how our privilege — or lack thereof — made us feel. The faculty attempted to provoke white students into saying how “shocked and guilty” we felt and how we “had never thought of these things during day-to-day activities.” Upon being made aware of our “white privilege,” we were immediately sent on a guilt trip.
Next, we moved to a lecture discussing an article titled “The Central Frame of Color-Blind Racism.” In his remarks, the professor essentially told the class that implicit feelings of resentment and hatred are engrained in all white people. Now, not only did the white students feel guilty, but also the minority students felt victimized and resentful.
The last infuriating activity was a personal reflection activity. We were given web-charts with eight stems in the web. Each stem was to be filled with the following categories: race, gender, sexual preference, socio-economic status, religion, disability, and two characteristics of our choice. We then were asked to discuss, in small groups, a time we were proud and a time we were ashamed to identify with one of these characteristics. A “privileged” man in my group fed right into the liberal agenda of the activity and explained he has been ashamed of being a white man when he sees the terrible things that white men have done, the injustices in the world, and how he has so much while others have so little. This poor guy took the diversity day bait hook, line, and sinker.
“White guilt” is the politically correct agenda taught by the Left on college campuses today. That is why colleges such as Bryn Mawr and Mt. Holyoke have started student organizations called “Whiteness Awareness Allies Group,” and “Mt. Holyoke Anti-Racism Coalition.” These groups were formed so that white students can sit around and “facilitate dialogue about whiteness,” “deconstruct white privilege,” feel guilty about being white, and find ways to apologize to society for the injustices whites have inflicted upon other cultures.
Sadly, this is exactly what the politically correct elitists on the Left want. White guilt perpetuates the victimization of minorities by convincing them of how terrible their existence is. As long as we keep telling people they are victims, the Left will continue their reign over the oppressed, students will be forced to be more politically correct in order to avoid further injustice, and white students will continue to be ashamed of themselves and find ways to apologize to society. White hate groups are just one of a few different means used at universities to battle the “privileged.”
Welcome to the politically correct world of higher education — allow them to tell you how you should feel.
Ms. Rushing is a third-year student at the University of Virginia and interned with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.