The University of Wisconsin-Madison will reintroduce a class this spring that teaches students why being white is a bad thing.
The “Problem of Whiteness” course—part of the African Cultural Studies program—makes its mission to help students “understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy.”
The class will investigate how white people “consciously and unconsciously perpetuate institutional racism and how this not only devastates communities of color but also perpetuates the oppression of most white folks along the lines of class and gender.”
The course aims also to teach students about what an “ethical” white identity entails, as well as what it means to be white.
“Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive—students said they found it valuable to examine majority cultures and how power imbalances are created, sustained, and challenged in societies around the world,” a University of Wisconsin-Madison spokesperson wrote in an email to The College Fix.
“The problem of racism is the problem of whites being racist towards blacks,” the course’s professor, Damon Sajnani, told The College Fix in a 2016 phone interview. Sajnani is also a rapper who writes songs about the problems of whiteness.
Not everyone is happy about the course, however, including multiple state lawmakers who loudly expressed their displeasure over the university’s course offering.
“I am extremely concerned that UW-Madison finds it appropriate to teach a course called, ‘The Problem of Whiteness,’ with the premise that white people are racist,” state Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, wrote in a statement after the course was first announced.
“Even more troubling, the course is taught by a self-described ‘international radical’ professor whose views are a slap in the face to the taxpayers who are expected to pay for this garbage,” Murphy continued. Despite Murphy’s and others’ objections, the university continues barreling forwarding and has no plans to retract the course for spring 2018.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison did not reply to a request for comment in time for publication.
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