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Ohio State University Teaches Students “Only White People Can Be Racists”
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Ohio State University

Summary: A workshop held at Ohio State University suggests that white people are the only racists and because of their white power, they cannot be victims of racism.

From what Ohio State University is teaching, only white people can be racist. At a workshop held by the university during their “Ally Week of Action,” the school is telling their white students that only they can be racist and they cannot be a victim, according to an attendee who is a reporter for The College Fix.

  
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Ohio State University is trying to teach its white students that they have a “privilege” that others do not have and aims to teach them how not to act racist. As one student said during the workshop, “Whiteness grants you power and access to things. As a white woman, I can walk into any space and know that my white privilege will grant me power and access to things that someone else is not going to experience.”

The workshop, titled “Interrupting Racism: Tips & Tools for White People,” was delivered as part of the school’s series of events hosted by the multicultural center. Around 20 students attended the workshop. An African-American student asked Angie Wellman, who is the associate director of the Student Life Multicultural Center, is white people were the only racists. Her response, according to the attendee from The College Fix, was “yes.” Wellman apparently also explained that races other than whites lack a power aspect so that is why white people cannot be victims of racism. Wellman taught the attendees that there are three “ingredients” to racism – race, prejudice, and power.

Director of Media and Public Relations Benjamin Johnson said the workshop was held to “strive to increase self-awareness, explore beliefs about race, and examine racism.” The event was advertised as “all are welcome, though content will focus on skill building amongst white identified people.”

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Assistant Vice President of Media and Public Relations Chris Davey told Fox News, “It is not the position of The Ohio State University that only white people can be racist. Nor is it the position of the university that white people cannot be victims of racism.”

A worksheet was passed around the workshop, listing 26 examples of “white privilege.” According to The College Fix, the examples include “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented,” and “I can choose blemish cover or bandages in ‘flesh’ color and have them more or less match my skin.” Wellman asked the attendees to self-reflect on how they as white people have contributed to white supremacy both overtly and covertly and what they can do about that.



The workshop also encouraged students to sign a Week of Action Pledge and post a statement on social media demonstrating #BuckeyeValues. Some of the pledges made so far include “stand up for the oppressed and use my privilege to make change” and “to shut up and listen when people of color tell me how my actions affect them.”

Do you think a public university should allow and especially promote these kinds of workshops? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about racism, read these articles:

Photo: tripadvisor.com



 

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