Professor Dae Elliott teaches sociology at San Diego State University and is offering extra credit to any white student who completes a checklist to determine how much privilege they have.
The “White Privilege Checklist” includes 20 “examples of ways white individuals have privilege because they are white.” Students are asked to check off the ones that apply to them and then if possible, “list at least two more ways you have privilege based on your race” just to drive home the white shaming.
To help the students, the professor includes a proper definition of white privilege, as written by the associate director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, peggy McIntosh: “An invisible package of unearned assets, which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.”
Here are just a few of the examples to ponder this type of skin color privilege:
I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the food I grew up with, into a hairdresser’s shop and fine someone who can deal with my hair.
I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
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 it because of my race.
I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
After going through all 20, Professor Elliott tells students to tally up their scores and then asks them, “Were you surprised by your score, or did you confirm what you already knew?”
In an e-mail to The College Fix, the professor explained that the outcome of exploring white privilege “may never be perfect,” but by asking students “to step out of their subjectivity, extend their understanding and begin to be a conscious part of understanding,” they will gain “more power and agency to effect change.”
Another option is drop the class and find one where you actually learn something.
Here's the entire checklist: