Monday, March 06, 2006

You're overblown! No, YOU are! 

There was an editorial last week by a professor of French at UM-Duluth in which she reported having an article torn down, perhaps because its content was politically incorrect. I am pretty sure this is the article. You might think the professor is overreacting; certainly this letter writer today does:
Let me get this straight: You are offended because one article you had on your UMD door was taken down? (And you don't even claim to know who did it?) And you are offended because the Diversity Commission offered to send six students to a "White Privilege Conference?" You see these two things as attacks? Wow, it sounds like you should go to the conference. Seriously.

He means this conference.
The White Privilege Conference (WPC) provides a forum for critical discussions about white privilege, white supremacy and oppression. WPC is recognized as being a challenging, empowering and educational experience. The workshops, keynotes and institutes are designed to be engaging, informative and practical/useful. The conference participants and presenters include corporate and non-profit folks, students, educators, activists, musicians and artists. This conference is not about beating up on white folks. This conference is about challenging the society in which we live and working to dismantle systems of white privilege, white supremacy and oppression.
Phew, for a minute I thought it was a conference on tearing down articles. Seriously, take a few minutes and click around that site. According to the letterwriter who thinks the faculty member is blowing this out of proportion,
People of color wake up every single day and are reminded throughout that day that they are not white. Shouldn't we take a look at that disparity, especially in a country of immigrants and First Nations who were quickly dominated by whites?
The professor has written a rather antagonistic article to those groups, saying that offering to pay admission for UMD students to that conference is offensive. It's not; it's just another waste of money. Hard to pick a dog in this fight.