White Privilege Conference Attendees Complain Conference Is Too White

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Blake Neff Reporter
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The Daily Caller News Foundation attended the 17th Annual White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia, held April 15-17. The following is part of a series of articles concerning events at the conference.

Disaffected participants in the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) have taken to Twitter to complain that the conference was, ironically, too white and was actually filled to the brim with white supremacy.

Adopting the hashtag #WPCSoWhite, inspired by the recent #OscarsSoWhite campaign, Twitter users claimed the conference that was supposed to battle white privilege instead served to entrench it.

The tag appears to have been started and pushed with particular vigor by Aeriel Ashlee, an education consultant who attended WPC and objected to several parts of a keynote address delivered by (white) historian James Loewen. (RELATED: 7 Things That Offended People At The White Privilege Conference)

She said Loewen’s rhetoric, which was solidly progressive throughout, actually entrenched white supremacy, partly because his speech allegedly lasted too long. When Loewen attempted to defend himself, Ashlee said that any defense was invalid and only further showed his white supremacy.

Others ganged up on Loewen for using the N-word during his speech, which dealt heavily with racist sentiments throughout American history. One even described Loewen’s comments as “deeply offensive and traumatizing.”

The #WPCSoWhite label was used to go after more than Loewen’s speech, though. Users also complained about everything from the hairstyles of white attendees to the “ridiculously unsafe” environment that apparently existed (TheDCNF noticed no evidence of any violence or otherwise dangerous behavior during the three-day conference).

Another attendee even denounced a white male at the conference for selling a book that was, in her view, too expensive.

TheDCNF estimates about 70 percent of attendees were white.

A regular ticket to the conference, purchased in advance, cost $375, and the cheapest ticket (for college students) was still $200. Attendees hoping to attend a special Saturday night dinner or special bonus sessions could end up spending hundreds more, and most attendees also had to cope with lodging and travel costs. Having the free time and money to attend a three-day conference, it turns out, may be the most privileged thing of all.

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