Prof. tells son of Syrian immigrants that he's 'exerting' his 'white privilege'
A LGBTQ activist and guest speaker at Minnesota State University Mankato (MNSU) accused a public forum attendee of exerting white privilege for filming the university event.
On Monday, October 6th, MNSU Mankato held an event to show The New Black, a documentary “that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the LGBTQ rights issue in light of the recent marriage equality movement and the fight over civil rights.”
“The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda,” according to the film’s website.
A panel discussion followed the screening with Dr. Shannon Miller, assistant professor in the Gender and Women's Studies Department at MNSU, and Andrea Jenkins, an openly transgender Minneapolis activist, writer, poet, educator, and performer.
In video obtained by Campus Reform, Dr. Shannon Miller asks an attendee filming the event why he was doing so. The attendee, who wishes to remain anonymous, informed her he was just filming the event because he found it interesting. Dr. Miller accused him of disrupting the event shortly before the video cuts.
WATCH: Dr. Miller tells an attendee he’s exerting his "white privilege."
The video resumes during a confrontation with an individual the videographer identified to Campus Reform as Dr. Miller’s graduate assistant. The assistant, who was seated directly behind the attendee, accused him of suppressing people’s rights. When the attendee asked how he was suppressing people’s rights by filming, Andrea Jenkins jumped in.
“She’s not saying you are suppressing people’s rights, but that you are exerting your white privilege,” Jenkins said.
“I went up to Andrea after the event and informed her that I found what she said offensive, because I am the son of a Syrian immigrant,” the attendee told Campus Reform.
“You guys are instilling the same racial division that you are supposedly trying to combat,” the attendee claims he said.
He says that Andrea did not get to respond, because Dr. Miller immediately intervened.
“Thank you for your time, now get out of here,” she allegedly said.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TaylorEgly