Commentary: “White Privilege” High School Course Draws Ire

Parents in a Wisconsin community are furious that a high school would dare teach its students about the concept of oppressed minorities.

Posted: 01/17/2013 05:55 PM EST

At Delavan-Darien High School, teachers of the school’s “American Diversity” course were trying to make the very valid point that whites are often provided leeway in America. They did so by having children read literature exploring the concept of “white privilege,” defined on a class handout as such:

In critical race theory, white privilege is a set of advantages that are believed to be enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.). Theorists differentiate it from racism or prejudice because, they say, a person who may benefit from white privilege is not necessarily racist or prejudiced and may be unaware of having any privileges reserved only for whites.

Race relations in America are, of course, not as bad as they were decades ago, but problems like staggering Black unemployment and the pathetically biased criminal justice system linger, making it clear that Blacks are still burdened by unfair disadvantages. That’s obvious to anyone who knows anything, and there are facts to prove it.

The notion of white privilege is not a radical concept. It merely acknowledges the reality that, due to a variety of complex and often invisible societal prejudices, white people are given a leg up in places minorities are not. Relatively benign? Not to some parents.

One parent told Fox News that the American Diversity course is “teaching white guilt,” adding, “[t]hey’re saying to non-whites, ‘You have been oppressed and you’re still being oppressed.’”

That it is somehow offensive to some people to face the reality that minorities face oppression is a terrifying thought. Alas, the superintendent of the district says he plans on going over the coursework with the diversity teachers in order to ensure “fairness.”

Oh, the sick irony of a lesson about white privilege getting shut down by angry white people for teaching children of color about “oppression.”

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(Photo: Pablo Alcala/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT/LANDOV)

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