With special guest lecturer . . . Barack Obama?
Via Campus Reform:
According to Portland State University Professor’s Rachel Sanders’ “White Privilege” course, “whiteness” must be dismantled if racial justice will ever be achieved.
The course description states that “whiteness is the lynchpin of structures of racial meaning and racial inequality in the United States” and claims that “to preserve whiteness is to preserve racial injustice.”
Students taking the course will “endeavor to make whiteness strange.” In order to make whiteness strange, the description says students must “interrogate whiteness as an unstable legal, political, social, and cultural construction.”
The course readings and concepts are drawn, in part, from the field of “critical race theory.” According to Harvard University, critical race theory “combine[s] progressive political struggles for racial justice with critiques of the conventional legal and scholarly norms which are themselves viewed as part of the illegitimate hierarchies that need to be changed.”
The Portland State University course description claims the construction of “whiteness” attaches material and psychological benefits to “individuals who identify, or are identified, as white.”
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.”