Wednesday, June 11, 2008
This is part one of a continuing series, background here. Previous drawings can be found from yesterday's item here. This appears in the classroom and office building stairwell nearest my office, and has been left up for months.
I am not interested, for those who have asked, in having this display taken down. It's not my job to decide what the university wants to present to students, staff and visitors (read: parents and incoming freshmen visiting campus for orientation). I would rather have this material out there for people to see, as it is my opinion that this is what the campus views as part of its function.
This picture is of a person of color with a mop and pail in the foreground. To the left, one white person says to another "May I speak with the manager?" At top and in background, a white man emerges from a room labeled "manager's office." The number 24) on this tag would suggest to me that there were many other 'effects' offered for drawings. We cannot be sure we have the entire set here, perhaps only a best-of display.
Perhaps we should learn more about white privilege; they have entire conferences. There's a lot of groups -- in particular church groups -- promoting this agenda. But they say "this conference is not about beating up white folks." You see, you were supposed to be blind:
I have come to see white privilege as 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, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks. (emphasis added, though the apostrophe in the original.)You might want to look at a few earned assets as well, however. For instance, a government study of the working poor showed that black males with a bachelor's degree were less likely to be below the poverty line than white males with a bachelor's. Marital status has a bearing on earnings and employment as well.
And again, tell me, who is the source of the intentionality of this obliviousness?