ISU students tell their white peers they should ‘head to the doctor’ to check for privilege
A group of students at Iowa State University is advising its white peers to “head to the doctor” in order to be treated for their white privilege.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that there is a sickness spreading at Iowa State. So the next time you use your mandatory health insurance and head to the doctor, tell him or her if you are experiencing these little-known symptoms,” a group known as Latinos United for a Change wrote in a letter to the editor:
· “You can get your hair cut wherever you want.”
· “You can walk into the supermarket and find your favorite foods.”
· “You can see yourself positively portrayed in the media.”
· “You can speak your native tongue without getting looks or comments from other people.”
“If you have symptoms like those described above, you may want to be checked for white privilege,” the group writes. “White privilege is like a virus. Carriers are often unaware of their infection for decades while spreading their disease to everyone they come in contact with,” they added.
The purpose of the letter was to respond to “the institutionalized white supremacy” at their school. Apparently, two op-eds published in the school’s paper convinced the students of the patriarchal nature of their institution—one made a case against political correctness and the other explained why race-based scholarships may be inherently unfair.
“Both of these pieces (and many before them) use a lot of privilege reasoning behind the arguments of the authors. So this is our letter to the editor, pointing out the privilege behind those opinion pieces,” the group commented on its Facebook page.
In their letter, the students argue that race-based scholarships are necessary in order to make up for the sins of white ancestors.
“White people have spent decades building wealth while many of our ancestors were blocked from buying property, owning homes and building businesses,” they write before arguing that the monetary success of white people has correspondingly resulted in their race’s overall financial demise.
“As a result, white families have double the wealth on average than families of color, meaning we often have less financial support from our families,” they wrote.
They then say that, although the First Amendment is worthy of appreciation, such bigoted opinions should not be allowed to circulate on a college campus.
“White privilege isn’t one person. It’s not your neighbor or your classmate. While we can all appreciate the First Amendment, it is reckless and dangerous to allow such hateful and blatantly wrong rhetoric to continue to circulate,” they said.
The authors of the letter then conclude by returning to the topic of white privilege, calling it an “epidemic” so vast that it could not possibly addressed in a single letter or even cured at all.
“White privilege is so ingrained in our society that there’s no way that we could cover this epidemic in one letter to the editor. But don’t be scared. While there is currently no way to cure white privilege, there are definitely ways to deal with the symptoms,” they said.
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