Checklisting Your “White Privilege” at U of Minnesota

By Kody Fairfield

A display in a White Privilege residence hall provides an 11-point “checklist” to help students identify their “white privilege,” Campus Reform reports.

The “White Privilege Checklist,” found hanging in Mark G. Yudof Hall and photographed by a current student, features 11 statements that ostensibly apply exclusively to white people, according to the report.

“I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time,” the list begins, following up with references to being able to see “people of my color” or “people of my race” in popular culture and discussions of national heritage, explained Campus Reform.

The List:

  1. I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
  2. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
  3. I can turn on the television or turn to the top page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
  4. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
  5. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
  6. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my racial representation and find the food I grew up with, enter a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.
  7. Whenever I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to count against the appearance of financial responsibility.
  8. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection of my race.
  9. I can worry about racism without worrying about being self-interested or self-serving.
  10. I can take a job or enroll in a college with an affirmative action policy without having my co-workers or peers assume I got in because of my race.
  11. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

Evan Christenson, the student who photographed the board, told Campus Reform that he believes the display “attacks the individual and not the idea,” and doesn’t offer opportunities for dialogue about the issue.

“I do believe it crosses the line. When it attacks the individual and not the idea, there is a problem,” Christenson told Campus Reform. “I am not inherently racist because I don’t believe in white privilege. I believe there needs to be dialogue on the subject but it needs to more of a give and take and not a one-sided affair.”

Christenson also spoke to a larger “double standard” on campus, according to Campus Reform, pointing out that a Trump mural erected in September was vandalized and offended students were offered emotional counseling, yet the privilege board is displayed proudly in Yudof Hall.

“I still consider myself a social progressive but I am quite frankly appalled by the double standard applied to free speech as of late,” he asserted.

Campus Reform reached out to UMN for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

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