Prof. measures students' white privilege with class assignment
An unidentified, female professor at Lone Star College in Texas required students to complete a “white privilege” assignment to measure their privilege.
The professor allegedly deemed the worksheet appropriate in light of the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. A student whistleblower, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the college, told KPRC he felt singled out and uncomfortable despite the class being online, and didn’t feel right answering the questions.
"If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race."
“I was shocked, I thought it was a joke [when I received the assignment],” the student told the local station. "There was a white privileges handout and a white privileges checklist and a white privileges quiz to see how privileged you are as a white person.”
The class, called Learning Framework: 1st Year Experience, is supposed to teach “strategies and tenacity necessary to succeed in mathematics,”and is required of all freshmen. The student said he wouldn’t have minded the assignment if it was a different type of class, like sociology.
“Basically the way I felt was I was supposed to feel alienated and that I was supposed to feel bad,” said the student.
Students were allegedly told to put checkmarks next to all of the statements in the worksheet, 20 in total, which applied to them.
According to KPRC, one statement read “[i]f a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.”
The student reportedly refused to complete the assignment and filed a complaint with the community college. It is not yet clear if any action has or will be taken. Other Lone Star students conceded the assignment was inappropriate.
“If it’s an assignment, then I would be like, 'I’ll take a zero' because that’s kind of racist,” said student Brandy Adams.
Another student, Giovanni Hernandez told the local news stations, “[w]ell I don’t think people should be judged on their color or anything.”
Lone Star officials did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment, nor confirm the identity of the professor; however the school did release a written statement to KPRC.
"Diversity is an important topic covered in the Lone Star College Student Success Course. In addition to its importance, it can also be a very difficult topic to teach, facilitate, and even discuss with students. The structure of the Student Success Course allows individual faculty members to create their own lesson that helps to illustrate the various elements of diversity. Some of the topics addressed can include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, and religious beliefs, just to name a few. The purpose of this lesson is encourage students to not only explore the rich dimensions of diversity that are contained within each person, but to also take time to reflect on the aspects of diversity that make up who they are as individuals. The assignment...was a supplement exercise with no point value assigned to it."
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