Johns Hopkins Chief Diversity Officer creates list of 'privileged' groups, retracts after backlash

Dr. Sherita Hill Golden issued a list of 'privileged' groups in the U.S. that included 'White people,' 'Able-bodied people,' 'Cisgender people,' and 'Christians.'

Golden later retracted her statement following backlash and called her original message 'overly simplistic and poorly worded.'

A professor, vice president, and Chief Diversity Officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine created a list of groups she claimed are “privileged.”

In the January 2024 issue of the “Monthly Diversity Digest” published by End Wokeness on X, Dr. Sherita Hill Golden defined “privilege” as “a set of unearned benefits given to people who are in a specific social group,” and named nine groups in the U.S. that have been “granted” privilege and provided “advantages and favors” to the detriment of others.

According to Golden, these “privileged” groups are: “White people,” “Able-bodied people,” “Heterosexuals,” “Cisgender people,” “Males,” “Christians,” “Middle or owning class people,” “Middle-aged people,” and “English-speaking people.”

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Golden claimed that “Privilege is characteristically invisible to people who have it. People in dominant groups often believe they have earned the privileges they enjoy or that everyone could have access to these privileges if only they worked to earn them. In fact, privileges are unearned and are granted to people in the dominant groups whether they want those privileges or not, and regardless of their stated intent.”

Golden’s comments prompted responses, including from X’s owner Elon Musk:

Donald Trump Jr. was also vocal about his disappointment:

Following the outrage, Golden sent a message to the Johns Hopkins Medicine community, which was posted by End Wokeness on X. In it, Golden claimed she “deeply” regretted her definition of privilege and that it “did not meet [the] goal” to “inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins. . . . In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect of being exclusionary and hurtful to members of our community.”

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“I retract and disavow the definition I shared, and I am sorry. I will work to ensure that future messages better reflect our organizational values,” Golden concluded.

Following these events, Golden’s personal X account appears to no longer exist.

A Johns Hopkins Medicine spokesperson issued this statement, as reported on Fox News: “The January edition of the monthly newsletter from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity used language that contradicts the values of Johns Hopkins as an institution. Dr. Sherita Golden, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Chief Diversity Officer, has sincerely acknowledged this mistake and retracted the language used in the message.” 

Campus Reform reached out to Dr. Sherita Hill Golden and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Office of External Affairs for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.