The University of North Carolina at Charlotte — home to 30,000 students — held a white privilege workshop last week.
Only nine students showed up.
The event was titled “White Consciousness Conversations for Students,” and on the UNC page, organizers said it was for “students only.”
“Understanding the meaning and implications of whiteness and engaging in anti-racist practice is crucial in creating racial equity. This space is for all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte who are interested in engaging in conversations to assist in their understanding of how racism is perpetuated individually, culturally, and systemically. This space is intended to be group-based, meaning we would love for participants to attend all sessions. Join in conversation with IEE staff as we work toward racial equity,” the page said.
By the way, the “IEE” is the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement. Yes, UNC has one of those.
“The total number of students in the audience for the first ‘White Consciousness Conversation,’ held Sept. 10, was nine — but two were students there not as participants but as journalists mainly to observe,” the College Fix reported. ” One was from The College Fix and another from the Niner Times campus newspaper.”
“Of the remaining seven students, five are members of the university’s conservative Young Americans for Freedom chapter, who were there more out of curiosity and concern about the nature of the seminar and its taxpayer-funded narrative as opposed to learning about how they allegedly perpetuate racism and inequality as Americans with white skin. Finally, the other two students attended because their professors offered them extra credit to do so, they told The Fix.”
UNC Charlotte hosted the same type of event in 2018. In advertisements, only white people were invited. Campus officials were forced to reword the ads.
The two-hour meeting was led by two campus diversity facilitators who spoke on topics such as feminism, white privilege, toxic masculinity and LGBTQ equality, and outlined their own definition of racism, one that claims that while racial discrimination can be targeted at anyone, by anyone, racism itself stems inherently from white people and their “whiteness.”
At the end of the workshop, at least two conservative students said the information presented seemed focused on blaming white people and whiteness for racism.
“I went into the event with an open mind, I wanted to learn what my peers thought about how the concept of whiteness ties into racism, whether or not it is an issue on our campus, and how we, as students, can create change if it was necessary,” YAF member Kelly VonEnde told The College Fix.
Other colleges have held similar events. The University of Rhode Island hosted an event “with speakers discussing topics such as ‘White Accountability,’ ‘Addressing Microaggressions,’ and more” in 2018, Campus Reform reported.
This past June, Rutgers University hosted a workshop seeking to dismantle “white organizational culture.”
“Throughout the event, attendees will be taught to ‘understand what is white United States-ian culture; understand the beliefs and values of white United State-ian culture; recognize characteristics of white United States-ian culture in organizations; begin to explore the impact the culture has on professionals in the field; and learn antidotes to dismantling white organizational culture,'” Campus Reform reported.