Students at San Diego State University have the opportunity to earn extra credit by determining their personal level of “white privilege.”
Sociology professor Dae Elliot of San Diego State University has offered her students the opportunity to earn extra credit by filling out a form that reveals their unique level of “white privilege.” The form was inspired by the work of educator Peggy McIntosh, who helped popularize the concept of “white privilege” in the late 1980s. McIntosh famously compared “white privilege” to an invisible knapsack of social advantages that often go unnoticed by those who benefit from them.
The examples of white privilege listed on the form include:
- I can choose blemish cover or bandages in flesh color and have them more or less match my skin.
- I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
- I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
- I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.
Elliot told The College Fix that the exercise not only allowed students to earn extra credit but served as a healthy way to help students see from perspectives other than their own.
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“Only through processes that allow us to share intersubjectively, weigh all of our perspectives according to amount of shareable empirical evidence can we approximate an objective understanding of our society,” she said. “It may never be perfect, in fact, I am sure we will always be improving but it is a better response if we are truly seekers of what is truth, what is reality. In a society that values fairness, our injustices that are institutionalized are often made invisible.”
San Diego State University College Republicans President Brandon Jones condemned the exercise, calling the extra credit assignment “another attempt by the Left, and Professor Elliot, to divide America.”