Un-Fair Campaign sparks discussion on 'white privilege', Defended By University Of Wisconsin-Superior
OMG at the video! Messages written on white people's faces proclaiming their privilege. lmao.
The University Of Wisconsin-Superior has announced that, despite criticism, the school intends to continue its support for the "Un-Fair" campaign, a local advertising effort to raise awareness of and fight misconceptions about racism.
Conservative blogs have been criticizing what they call "racially charged" advertisements that show Caucasian people with statements like "is white skin really a fair skin?” written on their faces.
UW-Superior said in a statement released last week that the school is "proud to host the diversity dialogues" as a partner in the Un-Fair campaign, and will work to "reshape the message" to avoid alienating anyone in the community.
"We have an obligation to engage in difficult conversations about complex, even controversial social issues, with a goal of finding workable solutions," the UW-Superior statement reads.
UW-Superior added that media reports have mischaracterized the university as the sole sponsor of the campaign.
"In fact, the campus is part of a coalition of 16 third-party community sponsors," the statement reads. "That coalition includes a wide range of education, civic, religious, and service organizations."
According to the Un-Fair campaign's website, it was conceived in 2011 by a committee of the Duluth YWCA and a local ad agency. Since then, it's added local churches, the NAACP, community groups and Lake Superior College as campaign partners.
The campaign's stated mission is to "raise awareness about white privilege in our community," and the tagline reads "It's hard to see racism when you're White."
"We swim in a sea of whiteness -- it's the norm," Ellen O'Neill, one of the campaign organizers, told Minnesota Public Radio in January of last year. "If we're white, we don't have to think about it, we don't see it. So the first step is getting white people to see it."
Last summer, the University of Minnesota-Duluth dropped its support of the campaign, calling the ads "divisive" in a statement.
The same conservative blogs now criticizing UW-Superior declared victory when UMD dropped out, saying that pressure from sites like Campus Reform, which claims to have broken the story, helped to prompt the decision. However, the Duluth News Tribune and MPR both had reported on local backlash in January 2012, shortly after the university announced its involvement in the campaign.
The News Tribune reported at the time that Mayor Don Ness had received complaints about the ads from "fair number of people in the community," and quoted area resident Ann Reyelts as saying the ads were "poorly conceived."
"To assume that it's hard for whites to understand racism is insulting to my intelligence," Reyelts told the paper. "I get what they're trying to say, but I don't think that's the way to go about it."
The Duluth-Superior metro area is overwhelmingly Caucasian: 91.9 percent classified themselves as non-Hispanic white in the 2010 census, down from 97.5 percent white in 1980, according to data tracked by the Harvard School of Public Health.
MPR reports that a 2010 survey of local residents "found Duluth residents viewed the city as less hospitable to racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, young adults without children, and talented college graduates looking for work than other comparable cities."
- "This... is Whit Privilege" web site.
[quote]White privilege is hard (for white people) to see, so consider this a compilation album of White Privilege's Greatest Hits. Submit your examples. All flavors of people welcome, but we don't serve vanilla at this yogurt shop. Modded by a naked sushi and Renleigh the King and adminned by Dion the Socialist. This website proudly sits at The Black Kids Table.
- Here's the test on the campaign's Facebook page for you to take to see if you're privileged.
- White people have it so easy! They don't have any problems or burdens at all, and they are always treated well everywhere they go. They have to admit this publicly, and then the world will be a better place.
- That blog at r2 is disgusting and hateful.
- R5 = elderly racist.
- How childish, R4.
- [quote]To assume that it's hard for whites to understand racism is insulting to my intelligence," Reyelts told the paper. "I get what they're trying to say, but I don't think that's the way to go about it."
Than what way SHOULD we go about it, Mayor?
People say that weaselly shit all the time, knowing their real motive is to not have the discussion at all.
- Bump for white power.
- bump!! white pride world wide
- I never get these discussions of white privilege.
What do you expect white people to do: confess shame at being privileged because the're white? Well, of course they're not going to do that (and why should they?). Ask them to disadvantage themselves so they don't have white privilege anymore? They're not going to do that either. Ask them to admit they have it all the time and be aware of it all the time? Nothing in the world is more boring or less constructive than white liberals constantly expressing their guilt at being white.
- When it is just white people alone with themselves, all sorts of other criteria suddenly blooms and a new hierarchy forms.
Many once despised white people benefit from diversity -- they probably benefit the most. Minorities and immigrants are often just as ignorant of whites as whites are of them, and can't tell the difference between a Simon Legree and a Thomas Jefferson.
- R11, perhaps try and be less nonchalant about it? Perhaps comprehend that someone who isn't white and who is educated and wealthy and lives an exemplary life will still encounter idiots obsessed with one's epidermis?
- What's interesting about this campaign is that it's by white people for white people. People of color have nothing to do with that conversation, which is a good thing. When white people have the conversation among themselves, it moves away from guilt to awareness, which is where the real change begins.
It is not my job as a black person to educate white people about white privilege. In fact, my presence in the space makes them immediately defensive. The responsibility isn't on me to hem and haw and whine and wheeze about the fact that racism and white privilege are very real things. The responsibility is on them to realize that and to figure out how they want to deal with it.
In my eyes, whites have two choices: be complicit in their privilege and continue in a state of (somewhat feigned) ignorance, or to take the steps to recognize what's going on and how they can take small steps to make things a bit more equal.
The latter is hard work. I understand why it is easier for most people to take the former path. But I appreciate the types of people who start campaigns like this, because it shows me that some whites truly do get it.
- When did it become a privilege to shop without being unfairly targeted by security? Being able to drive a car without fear of being pulled over at random? These seem like basic rights, not privileges.
I'd rather see such mistreatment targeted and stopped, not subject whites to it too because being able to move about freely without harassment is "privileged."
- [quote]"We have an obligation to engage in difficult conversations about complex, even controversial social issues, with a goal of finding workable solutions,"
It isn't that complex. Blacks were enslaved for approximately the first 250 years of colonial and US history. Once freed from slavery, they were legally discriminated against for roughly another 100 years. All this time, whites were privileged by comparison by having freedoms and ability to advance themselves and their descendants. They built the country for themselves.
The only fair and just thing to do at this point is begin reparation payments. The arguments "I wasn't even alive then," or "My ancestors didn't come to this country until 1950" are nonsense. If you're white and you're here, you're not objecting to all of the ways you benefit from white skin - you just don't want to recognize that someone else has been disadvantaged to give you that privilege.
Until the US recognizes the social and financial cost to the descendants of of blacks in the US and makes reparation, social justice will not exist.
Suck it up, America. It's time for whites to pay the bill for all of the damage they've done to their own citizens, even if their ancestors only started out as "three fifths" of a person.
- They all sound kooky.
- R15, that's a good point. I think what used to be white privilege is becoming rich/politically-connected privilege. Our rights as a whole are being eroded, which is intensifying racism in some instances.
I sort of find this campaign to be clunky and awkward. I'm a white woman and I am painfully aware of white male privilege. The campaign message reminds me of the website "stuff white people like." But hey, if it gets the message across to some, I support it.
- Did they use a Magic Marker?
How long will those phrases remain on their skin?
They'll certainly stand out at the Olive Garden looking like that.
I'll say, ha ha ha .
- [quote]Suck it up, America. It's time for whites to pay the bill for all of the damage they've done to their own citizens, even if their ancestors only started out as "three fifths" of a person.
If you believe in collective punishment based on race then why do you oppose slavery?
- [quote]In my eyes, whites have two choices: be complicit in their privilege and continue in a state of (somewhat feigned) ignorance, or to take the steps to recognize what's going on and how they can take small steps to make things a bit more equal.
Tell us what whites are suppose to do.
- r16, are you white?
- [quote]If you believe in collective punishment based on race then why do you oppose slavery?
Slavery isn't punishment. It's theft of labor. An economic system.
Whites benefit from an economic, social, and legal system that favors white skin, and blacks pay a high price for it.
Asking whites to pay their bill isn't punishment. Only a racist would claim otherwise.
- The only fair and just thing to do at this point is begin reparation payments.
How would that even work? It's been seven or more generations since slavery was abolished; in that time there has been so much intermarriage that there are literally dozens of millions of people in the US with slave ancestry (some of them even appear white). Do they all get reparations? How much? How would it be determined? Would people have to produce genealogical charts? And most pressing of all: since the federal government would pay for it, wouldn't that money in the end just come from the pockets of the very same people it was supposed to go towards?
Reparations for slavery are just NEVER going to happen in the USA. It's been too long since slavery was abolished, and it's too impractical.
- [quote]Asking whites to pay their bill isn't punishment.
How can you levy the payments for this bill just from whites alone? Would there be a tax that would only come from white people? What about people of mixed race, like Barack Obama--would they pay 1/2 of the tax? Would Malia and Sasha Obama, as adults, each pay 1/4 of the tax?
What about white people in America who had no ancestors in the United States before the abolition of slavery--would they have to pay the tax? On what possible ethical grounds could such a claim be made?
[quote]Only a racist would claim otherwise.
So anyone who disagrees with you is a racist? I reject such a claim--your claims are so poorly thought through I reject that you have the ethical high ground in this debate. Indeed, I would claim YOU are the racist for suggesting that reparation taxes have to be levied on the citzenry based entirely on race.
- The government has pumped trillions into urban areas where blacks make up the majority. Reparations were already paid.
- Nothing better to keep Blacks down then a nice 'white privilege' campaign.
In the meantime: Isn't it funny that Asian Americans (both male and female) now comfortably out earn Whites?
Gee... how did that happen?
- Latinos as a race probably have it worst of all right now.
- r27, because Asians are hardworking and educated unlike blacks
- I spend my time thinking of how I can improve myself and my circumstances and it shows. Crossing goals off of my list on a monthly basis. I don't have the time or inclination to preoccupy myself with class and/or race issues. I have bigger fish to fry. It is hard enough to maintain my relationships, my home and my income. Ain't nobody got time for race issues but those who aren't doing anything with their lives.
- [quote]because Asians are hardworking and educated unlike blacks
And in your racist statement, you neglect to realize that following the person's logic you were responding to, then that means that Asians are more hardworking than whites as well.
- Doesn't white privilege affect all non-whites? Why is everyone automatically assuming it means blacks?
- That's right R24, should women get reparations for the centuries of their suffering? The only people concerned with payback are those who aren't mixed with other races in recent generations and over the age of fifty. You can't ask me to care about YOUR heritage when I'm still reeling off of the history of my Viking ancestors. Don't ask me to concern myself with your Black experience. I'm not going to care about your Jewish identity either or anything that has nothing to do with me. Don't ask me to care. Everyone is for themselves. You. Me. I concern myself with gay issues. Don't need any of your issues on my already full plate.
- I don't know why so many have a hard time believing that white privilege exists.
Anytime the majority has power over and has oppressed members of a minority, the majority has that privilege. In the same vein, there is also heterosexual privilege, Christian privilege (in the USA) and male privilege.
- White privilege is nothing more than black failure.
- r34, if your'e white, are you going to proclaim that you've had it easy? Really? Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Maybe you have, but most people haven't. There are white people who are homeless right now. They've had no benefits in life. That is why so many people are offended by this concept. Reparations would be the end of the black community. You'd see a new civil war break out. The people here proclaiming the necessity for reparations know it will never happen, so they have no problem suggesting it.
Here's Wikipedia's page of Reparations for slavery debate in the United States.
Let's face it, there are the haves. and the have nots. There are millions of blacks in positions of power. It all comes down to rich vs. poor, not white vs. non-white. Right now, blacks have more power than Latinos. Latinos are now at the bottom, and they are under attack from all sides.
- I'm so glad I have no one to blame for my failings in life (and there have been many) on no one but my self.
- R16 NOBODY WAS ALIVE BACK THEN! Why should whites have to pay for something that they had nothing to do with
My Grandparents didn't come to America from Italy until the '40s, my Grandmom's Sicilian relatives were slaves in Italy.
None of my ancestors owned black slaves.
That's like saying if your ancestor commited a crime hundreds of years ago you should pay for it, despite the fact you didn't even exist back then.
- [quote]I don't know why so many have a hard time believing that white privilege exists.
I don't think it's true at all people have trouble believing it exists. I think if you asked most Americans if they believe white people have it easier in most things over black people, they'd agree.
I think people object to the stupidity of the buzzphrase itself, and they're also confused as to what they're expected to do about it. The idiot above who thinks reparations are the way to go is easily dismissed; but what else is there to do? Express guilt constantly about it?
- I wonder if the person who demanded reparations was a troll.
Seems the conversation has moved conveniently from a white led and focused anti r@cism movement to the most straw man of straw man arguments when it comes to race in this country.
No sane person is arguing about reparations.
This isn't about "lazy" blacks, or minority lack of achievement, or about how other groups (I.e. Asians) have come to America and benefitted from equal rights laws fought for by Blacks, conveniently sidestepping the pesky 200 years of slavery and 100 more years of segregation that followed it, this is about whites talking about this stuff amongst each other with no shame or guilt.
Like I said upthread, minorities have ZERO to do with that particular movement. To engage in the same, tired arguments centered around a black "villain" who is trying to make white people feel bad about being white is to conveniently ignore the fact that nobody non-white had anything to do with this campaign.
I'm aware that this is a level of discourse that is far beyond what most here are used to or capable of operating at, so I suppose part of the problem is that whites talking and speaking amongst themselves about their role in the whole messed up saga of race relations in this country is such a new phenomenon.
- You've still not said what you want whites to do, r40. You're just scolding. Scold, scold, scold, scold, scold.
- R40 wrote: "(Asians) have come to America and benefitted from equal rights laws fought for by Blacks, conveniently sidestepping the pesky 200 years of slavery and 100 more years of segregation that followed it.. "
Nice way of waving off Asian success.
Asians have benefited from hard work and a reverence for education.
You really think recent immigrants from the hell-hole that is China (or India for that matter) have not had their own trials and tribulations?
- [quote]if your'e white, are you going to proclaim that you've had it easy? Really? Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Maybe you have, but most people haven't. There are white people who are homeless right now. They've had no benefits in life. That is why so many people are offended by this concept.
They are offended because they do not understand the difference between class and racial privilege and obviously, neither do you.
A poor white with the same tangibles in life as an equally poor black will not have to deal with systematic discrimination in the form of racism on top of all the other horrible things in his life. That is what white privilege is.
Convenient how you did not argue against the concept of male privilege, heterosexual privilege, or Christian privilege. Do any of those things mean that ALL males have better, richer or more successful lives than every woman? Does heterosexual privilege mean that there aren't homeless straight men but rich and powerful gay men? Does Christian privilege mean that all Christians are richer, powerful, and more successful than all non-Christians? No to any of those.
White privilege does not in any way mean that ALL whites have better, richer, or more successful lives than ALL blacks or any other minorities.
Also, I said nothing in any of my posts about reparations.
[quote]Let's face it, there are the haves. and the have nots. There are millions of blacks in positions of power. It all comes down to rich vs. poor, not white vs. non-white. Right now, blacks have more power than Latinos. Latinos are now at the bottom, and they are under attack from all sides.
Again, class privilege and racial privilege are not the same thing.
You keep making this about blacks vs. whites when you hear "white privilege," which is very telling. White privilege affects all minorities. Stop focusing on the blacks alone, who had absolutely nothing to do with this campaign.
- "I wonder if the person who demanded reparations was a troll."
No, it is a specific Black Lesbian troll who infiltrates many of the gossip blogs with her racial preoccupations. She's renowned with gossip lovers. Asian guys and gals aren't venting these issues, especially on DL. Younger people of color aren't focusing on these issues today. It's an elder. Chris Rock went off about this during one of his tours. It annoys her that Asians, even immigrants have an easier time assimilating into mainstream White culture.
She hasn't done it in awhile but she used to affect this immigrant Asian woman persona who screamed in caps using old stereotyped vernacular. It was some of her best work.
Her other preoccupations include Germans and Jews, Trayvon Martin and White Americans. She poses as protagonist and antagonist to get people riled up. Her trolldom is legendary on Dlisted,LChat, ROL and X17 just to name a few.
- [quote]Asians have benefited from hard work and a reverence for education.
Your racism is showing. Asians have benefited because to racists like yourself, you have dubbed them as the model minority--the minority that lives up to the standards of what the white majority has set (in your mind, "hard work" and "reverence for education," as if other minorities don't hold these same values). You like them because to you, they are more like the white majority and less like those uneducated, lazy blacks you so despise.
Asians have assimilated enough to your liking. If the whites were not so approving of (and fetishizing of) Asians, things would be a lot different.
- (Good God)
R45 Nice try. Keep up the excuses.
- Blacks love their excuses while they smoke their crack on welfare
- Those silly college twats will change their tune after a few years in the working world. I know I did.
Oh and Asians benefit from affirmative action without having gone through what blacks have, which thus screws blacks over further.
- [quote] That blog at [R2] is disgusting and hateful.
I dunno about that, but the blogger missed an opportunity for open dialogue, and instead just seems to be counting and cataloging their hurts.
- The blog at r2 is about as thorough a demonstration of the Nietzschean notion of "ressentiment" as you're likely to ever see. Whoever wrote it is one aggrieved and pout-upon little princess.
- This is all a waste of time. There will be no reparations. People will not feel guilty. It's time to get on with things. Other countries make fun of how PC the US is. Time to stop blaming others for being a complete failure in life. Jews have had it harder than anyone in existence. You don't see them blaming everyone else for their hardships. They picked themselves up by the bootstraps. Time for other minorities to get up off their asses, and knock off the boohooing.
- [quote]Jews have had it harder than anyone in existence.
- r52, nigger