When is an elective not really an elective?
When you force everyone to take it, even those who are being targeted because of the color of their skin.
For one professor at Dartmouth College, a class (formerly known as “race relations”) on “White Privilege should be mandatory for students. According to a recent opinion piece in USA today, professor Emily Walton feels her class should be mandatory for all students to attend. Not bad for someone in academia — teaching a mandatory class is just a step below tenure when it comes to ongoing job security.
Walton says white students should be forced to attend her class so they can learn about their inherit guilt — no white person, no matter how nice or kind, is truly innocent, according to Walton.
“Everyone learns, but I find that the small handful of white students in the class usually learn the most,” she said. “That’s because for the first time in their lives, they begin to look at themselves as members of a racial group. They understand that being a good person does not make them innocent but rather they, too, are implicated in a system of racial dominance.”
She feels that white students do not take her class often enough (though with the content she described, it is not surprising that few would sign up to be targeted on a weekly basis, then tested to determine if their guilt and remorse over “privilege” is strong enough for a passing grade.
Walton also feels that her class awakens her white students to the injustices their very existence triggers, sometimes going back several generations.
“After spending their young lives in a condition of ‘white blindness,’ that is, the inability to see their own racial privilege, they begin to awaken to the notion that racism has systematically kept others down while benefiting them and other white people.”
While this professor feels her own class should be mandatory — and many in the increasingly “woke” college environment agree — she also thinks that classes on White Privilege should be taught at all colleges, so students that are not of color can fully understand their advantages and the way they have stifled others. According to Walton, the white students on campus are benefitting from this system of privilege, not from hard work or intensive focus on studies:
“Our geographically separate and financially unequal public schools do not give white students opportunities to see themselves as anything but individuals participating in a meritocratic system where their hard work earns them just rewards,” she said.
Apparently, for Walton, the white students of Dartmouth have not really earned their places through merit, but rather through preferential treatment.