I ran across someone writing about this at Reason.com and decided to check it out for myself.
It is a column written to Penn St.'s university newspaper by a student named James Fisher. The column is titled: 'Privilege' does not exist to White Penn professors — and they keep 'trying it' and then sub-titled: Spilling the Real Tea | White Penn professors inhibit black students with their privilege
Fyi, before beginning this it is important to note that tuition to Penn is $69,340 per year.
Yeah. Talk about who has privilege . . . I couldn't afford $300k for a degree and I work full time.
Anyway . . .
This dude starts off whining about how bad his last year was at Penn because he had three white professors! Oh the horror! This poor young black man is being forced to sit in a class run by white men! No wonder he is so triggered. And on top of it, they simply don't understand that they have the scourge of our time white privilege and apparently don't have any inclination to be instructed on their privilege by some onesie wearing millennial. Or at least to James Fisher's satisfaction as he claims one teacher actually spoke to him after he broke down in class (oh brother . . .) saying, and I quote: "There is no way that I could acquire the wisdom that you possess."
Now I've never been a student at Penn, but I did go to college and I cannot imagine any teacher, at any level for that matter, saying that to me about any subject. Period. Ever.
Apparently Fisher is triggered simply by the fact his professors are white, that they may be from the suburbs and that they may do terrible things like not constantly point out their own privilege or that they show pictures of slaves on plantations (I wonder what class that is for? It's never mentioned.) and allow the white students in the class to make ignorant comments (like what I wonder? Again, there's never any real examples in the column. I wonder why?).
When his teacher responds that he has to respect all the voices in his classroom and that everyone's opinion has validity, well little whiny James had enough. He left the class for a month:
"I stopped going to his class for a month. With different emotions going through my head from not only this class but from the Trump election, I did not want to step foot into another white space until I made sure that my mental health was restored."
Got that? He couldn't go to class because his candidate didn't win the election. But he has much more to lecture his ignorant privileged professor about:
"These are the types of things that happen when white teachers do not want to acknowledge their privileges; they can psychologically hurt their students. It is not enough to be aware of your privilege. It is also not enough to be a nice person. Your niceness does not mean that you are not capable of contributing to racial systems of oppression.
It is not enough that you are sorry for the injustices caused by your people. It is not enough that you read one article on the Black Lives Matter movement because your black friend recommended it to you. It is not enough that you gave your black students extensions on their papers because Trump got elected."
So I wonder, did profs at Penn give all their black students a month off after Trump got elected? Did they give all of the black students extensions on papers and make up tests because of the election? Wow. Instead of whining like a baby, these students ought to be praising these professors for tolerating their slothful behavior.
I also wonder -- how does one constantly acknowledge one's privilege to the satisfaction of young James here? Does the white professor, whom I'm assuming has a PhD in whatever he's teaching allow the uneducated "triggered" student like James run the class? Does the professor allow the student to dictate the course's direction or pre-approve the syllabus before each term? I can see that working out just great in a physics or math class --
Teacher: Since physics was in part created by an old white man, Isaac Newton, who by virtue of his skin color is inherently a racist, I'm going to allow James Fisher here to teach this semester on thermondynamics. James . . .
I was sort of heartened by a lot of the comments below the article where students were slamming this guy on his infantile maturity and below college level writing skill (their comments not mine, I'm in no place to rag on someone else's composition skills).
Part of Fisher's rap is to complain that his professor's stance on allowing everyone to have an opinion and that everyone's opinion matters is part of what is wrong with the #AllLivesMatter movement. This in and of itself is very telling. Like the rioters at Berkeley the other night, those at NYU last night and others . . . conversation isn't wanted, dialog isn't wanted, debate isn't wanted, Fisher and those like him want you to shut up, give them whatever they want and then go away. The #BlackLivesMatter movement, the Equal Rights Movement of the 70s, and all these other protest movements that are spiraling towards anarchy today aren't about equality. They're about removing those the protesters don't like and replacing them with those who adhere to the preferred philosophy on whatever topic is in vogue at the moment -- climate change, lbgtqetc rights, reparations (incidentally I saw someone talking about pushing for individual reparation accounts whites could donate to to salve their white guilt/privilege . . . unfuckingbelievable!) and so on.
A lot of commenters wrote that they thought the column was satire. I hope it is. Sadly, I doubt it though. These stances politically and philosophically are getting a lot of positive push in the liberal media and from Hollywood. I'm not sure we've even come close to a tipping point yet. And I'm not sure we have the steadiest hand on the tiller in government right now.
Got my fingers crossed. We'll see.