Ohio State Students To Study White Privilege, Microaggressions

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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White privilege and microaggressions are on the academic menu this spring at Ohio State University.

The College Fix reports that the school is offering a course to students that will enable them to identify such highly debatable phenomenon in their lives and to “develop an understanding of major social justice concepts.”

Students can enjoy a reading list that encompasses such works as: “Waking up White: What it means to accept your legacy, for better and worse,” “The Arab Woman and I” and “Memoirs of a Gay Fraternity Brother.”

Anyone questioning the viability or popularity of such studies should know that the course is one way to fulfill the university’s requirement to compete a “diversity” module before graduation.

The university that offered students a “safe space” to cope with inauguration day is inaugurating its own identity politics curriculum that will focus on social justice themes and train students to “identify microaggressions,” recognize “systems of power and privilege” and assess how best to promote diversity and inclusion at school and in the workplace. It will also discuss the importance of “global citizenship” in Trump America.

“Crossing Identity Boundaries” aims to expand students’ “self-awareness” and help them develop “dialogue skills.”

Because the course qualifies as part of mandatory diversity requirement, the university is already ensuring that it will run throughout the academic year.

Students will be required to bring some of their work home by participating in “implicit bias tests,” and keeping a journal that records incidents of “power/privilege in your life.” Tolerance levels will really be evaluated by tests that ask Christians how it would feel to be a Muslim or suggesting that men imagine themselves as women and “reflecting on how this new identity would have impacted your day.”

The microaggressions group presentation is a critical part of the course.

According to the syllabus, students must “find at least 12 examples of microaggressions using at least 3 different types of social media (e.g., Yik Yak, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest). Explain who the target of the microaggression is and why your group believes it is an example of a negative remark. Provide an example of how you might respond to such a comment.”

The point of all this is for students to “evaluate the impact that power and privilege have within social media,” a syllabus states. Grades are assigned on the basis of “quality of microaggresion chosen (do they clearly articulate why they are microaggressions and which group is targeted” and “quality of response (did they address the microaggression in an appropriate and meaningful way?)”

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