White privilege, a topic made important by university professors in the halls of academia across America is rearing it’s ugly, misguided head again and again. This time, University of Minnesota is the offender. In addition to imputing false guilt, the aim of peddling white privilege at college campi is to silence anyone who is not of color. Conservatives such as Ben Shapiro have been screaming that white privilege is “reverse-racism of the highest order. You are basically saying that white people who are aren’t racist, and can’t find any proof of racism, that they must be racist because they are white. That is called racism. If you are accusing someone of something simply because of the color of their skin, without any evidence, that’s called racism.” Many scholars and thinkers on both sides have added much to the discussion of white privilege and can be found on cable news outlets, or wherever their voices can be given legitimacy outside the classroom.
Enter the University of Minnesota, you’ll find against the wall of a residential hall, a board which lists eleven different ways to “check your privilege” are posted. A picture of the board was taken at the Mark G. Yudof Hall and drew many different responses. Here is the list of privileges to be checked (if you are a white person) according to the University of Minnesota:
1. I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
3. I can turn on the television or open up the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
4. When I am told about our national heritage or about ‘civilization’, I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
5. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
6. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the food I grew up with, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.
7. Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial responsibility.
8. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
9. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
10. I can take a job or enroll in a college with an affirmative action policy without having my co-workers or peers assume I got in because of my race.
11. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
The students at the University of Minnesota have spoken out to organizations like Campus Reform in their piece “‘White Privilege Checklist’ appears in Minnesota dorm”:
Evan Christenson, the student who photographed the board, told Campus Reform that he believes the display “attacks the individual and not the idea,” and doesn’t offer opportunities for dialogue about the issue. “I do believe it crosses the line. When it attacks the individual and not the idea, there is a problem,” Christenson said. “I am not inherently racist because I don’t believe in white privilege. I believe there needs to be dialogue on the subject but it needs to more of a give and take and not a one-sided affair. I still consider myself a social progressive but I am quite frankly appalled by the double standard applied to free speech as of late,” he asserted.
The origin of the Communist-Soviet style list comes from Peggy McIntosh, who originally authored White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack, which a list of 46 privileges were identified. According to an interview cited by Daily Mail UK, “I asked myself, On a daily basis, what do I have that I didn’t earn? It was like a prayer,’ McIntosh, now 82, has said in an interview explaining the origin of the list. ‘The first one I thought of was: I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.”