The course description of Professor Sanders’s class claims that being white attaches material and psychological benefits to white individuals. This is the problem with equality. It’s not so much designed for getting people to see each other as equals as much as it’s designed to make one group of people put down another, thus creating more racism.
Students taking the course will also study the literary work of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who referred to the 9/11 first responders as “menaces of nature” in his latest book. In addition to reading the work of Mr. Coates, students will consider questions such as “[w]hat is white normativity, and how does it interact with other normative orders, including male normativity and heteronormativity?”
Students will also consider how non-white Americans “experience and negotiate skin privilege and white normativity.”
Portland State University isn’t the only university offering classes in whiteness. The University of Alabama-Birmingham, for example, is offering a course titled “Whiteness Studies” this fall, which “seeks to uncover and de-center the fiction of whiteness.”
Similarly, students at Binghamton University could enroll in “The Social Construction of Whiteness” this fall, which explores “intersections of whiteness and white privilege” and the “scholarly methods used to understand whiteness.”
The University of Southern California also gave students the chance to study whiteness this semester.
“Critical Studies in Whiteness,” offered by USC’s graduate school, focuses “on how whiteness operates within specific racial regimes to perpetuate inequality.”
All classes like this do is create more hate. Racism is a vicious cycle. Somebody will always be looking for something to claim offense at. This is how the myth of white privilege works. It’s a stereotype designed to justify insecurities. Teaching a class about dismantling “whiteness” to break down racial barriers is a paradox. All it does is create more racism.