‘White privilege checklist’ offered as extra-credit assignment

Anthony Gockowski
Contributing Editor/Investigative Reporter

  • So-called “white privilege checklists” continue to surface at campuses across the country, and in some cases professors even ask their students to survey the list for extra credit.
  • Most recently, a San Diego State University professor offered students extra credit for submitting an inventory of their own privileges.
  • So-called “white privilege checklists” continue to surface at campuses across the country, and in some cases professors even ask their students to survey the list for extra credit.

    In fact, The College Fix reported Tuesday that students in a sociology class at San Diego State University were offered extra credit for completing the checklist with a corresponding list of questions.

    "Place a check next to the privileges that apply."   

    [RELATED: College offers scholarships to attend White Privilege Conference]

    The checklist, however, has popped up at universities across the country, presenting students with variations of 20 different scenarios in which they are to “place a check next to the privileges that apply” to them.

    “I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time,” and “I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race” are just some of the 20 or so scenarios presented on the checklist, which has been found at other schools across the country.

    At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for instance, Campus Reform reported in July that the same checklist was provided online for students in a series of resources designed to help visitors determine whether they had “white privilege,” “able-bodied privilege,” heterosexual privilege,” “male privilege,” or “social class privilege.”

    Similarly, Campus Reform reported in April that a variation of the same list was displayed in a dorm at the University of Minnesota, with one self-described “social progressive” even stating he thought the display “crosses the line,” calling it “a one-sided affair” that offers no opportunity for productive dialogue.

    [RELATED: Prof pledges to ‘deconstruct whiteness’ in all her courses]

    Such lists, notably, are based off the work of scholar Peggy McIntosh, who was popularized for her article titled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” in which she offers the first iteration of a white-privilege checklist.

    “I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life,” she explains before presenting her checklist. “I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined.”

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    Anthony Gockowski

    Anthony Gockowski

    Contributing Editor/Investigative Reporter

    Anthony Gockowski is the Contributing Editor and an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, Intercollegiate Review, The Catholic Spirit, and The College Fix.

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