They won’t admit it if you ask them, but a new effort being promoted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction may only further the racial divides and bigotry and possibly lead to more racial violence.
The Wisconsin DPI has been using several programs for teachers and students that focuses on ‘whiteness’ and ‘white privilege.’ One of those programs was CREATE Wisconsin, which is cultural sensitivity training program for teachers. According to their webpage:
“CREATE begins with one question: Why?”
“Why don’t students from diverse backgrounds achieve at the same level as their peers?”
“Why are students from diverse backgrounds enrolled in special education more often than their peers?”
“To answer these questions, CREATE mobilizes educators to reflect on their educational practices. The objective is to identify strategies that contribute to eliminating the achievement gap and utilize those approaches through professional development, training and technical assistance.”
Basically, they are teaching teachers that white students do better in school because they are privileged by being white. Minority students evidently come from poorer families and homes and therefore do poor in school because of situation ethics, although they don’t use that term anymore, but it amounts to the same thing. So white students are supposed to feel guilty for being born white and no member of a minority can be privileged regardless of how wealthy or successful their family is, because they aren’t white.
Now, high school students are being targeted through the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program which is run by Americorps. This program wants to also focus the student’s attention to the supposed fact that white students do better because they are more privileged than minority students. To help the white students comprehend this, they want them to wear white wristbands to remind them that they are white and privileged and that they should be more socially sensitive to minority students. The program also encourages the students to set time out each day so they can critically examine just how being privileged works. They are urged to put notes on their mirrors and computers or someplace they look at regularly to remind them to think about privilege.
Were these programs developed by white supremacist extremists or what? I thought people like Martin Luther King Jr. devoted their lives to breaking down racial barriers and ideas of white supremacy or privilege. The people behind these programs are only going to encourage ethnic divides and even make white students the target for violence.
Ever since the Trayvon Martin shooting last year, there have been numerous reports of blacks targeting white. Groups of blacks have attacked lone whites, putting many of them in the hospital and several in the grave. Imagine if these blacks, who already hate whites, sees a white student wearing a white privilege wristband? They’ll interpret it as the white student flaunting the fact that he’s privileged, which will only infuriate those that already hate whites.
I don’t see the white privilege programs as doing anything but setting racial and civil unrest back 50 years or more. Back then, whites wore white sheets instead of white wristbands to show they felt privileged and we know what happened then. Will the same start to happen now?