Politics

UW-Madison Will Not Drop ‘Problem of Whiteness’ Class

University defends course on inherent racism taught by professor who celebrated Dallas police massacre

The University of Wisconsin-Madison claimed Monday a course titled “The Problem of Whiteness” was “not designed to offend individuals or single out an ethnic group” — even though its stated purpose is to explore “what it really means to be white.”

The class, still listed on the university’s course list for the upcoming spring semester, is under the department of African Cultural Studies. The course is not mandatory, although it does fulfill the university’s ethics studies requirement.

“If UW-Madison stands with this professor, I don’t know how the university can expect the taxpayers to stand with UW-Madison.”

Dr. John Fonte, senior fellow and director at the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute, told LifeZette in an email that the UW-Madison course was “deliberately designed to undermine the legitimacy of the American liberal democracy, which is based on equality of citizenship.”

“‘The Problem of Whiteness’ class is anti-American propaganda masquerading as ‘education,’” Fonte said. “Courses highlighting so-called ‘white privilege’ are a means to the larger end of de-legitimizing America and what we used to call ‘The American Way of Life.’”

In defense of the class, the university claimed the course does not “single out” any one ethnic group.

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“The course title refers to the challenge of understanding white identity and non-white identity across the globe,” the university’s statement read. “All UW-Madison students are welcome in courses like this, which is not designed to offend individuals or single out an ethnic group.”

The university seemed to overlook, however, the course’s own online description when it insisted that “The Problem of Whiteness” course was not designed to “single out an ethnic group.” In fact, the university was so brazen as to insist that the course “will benefit students who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of race issues” because it constitutes “a challenge and response to racism of all kinds.”

The course’s online description states that it seeks to help students explore “what it really means to be white,” as well as to “understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy.”

So “The Problem of Whiteness” course at the UW-Madison appears to actually promote a strain of “racist” labeling by assuming a person’s natural “whiteness” automatically contributes to “white supremacy”?

“If, the course is ‘not designed to offend individuals or single out an ethnic group,’ what exactly is it designed to do?” Fonte asked. “My question is: Why are taxpayers of Wisconsin paying for this anti-American (and, let us be clear) racist propaganda?”

The course readings include such enlightening materials as: “Look, a White!” by George Yancy and “White Lies Matter: Race, Crime, and the Politics of Fear in America” by Tim Wise.

When assistant professor Damon Sajnani, who will be teaching the course, spoke with The College Fix, he said that “whites rarely or never question what it is to be white.”

“So you go through life taking it for granted without ever questioning or critically interrogating it,” Sajnani said. “The problem of racism is the problem of whites being racist towards blacks.”

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Wisconsin State Rep. Dave Murphy (R-Greenville) blasted the class’s professor and argued that the taxpayers’ money should not be spent funding such a course.

“The state has a lot of different priorities when it comes to funding things,” Murphy said, according to a Wednesday report in the Wisconsin State Journal. “Is funding a course that’s about ‘The Problem of Whiteness’ … a high priority? I’ve got a feeling it’s not.”

“If UW-Madison stands with this professor, I don’t know how the university can expect the taxpayers to stand with UW-Madison,” Murphy added.

Sajnani also requires the reading of his own work, “Rachel/Racial Theory: Reverse Passing in the Curious Case of Rachel Dolezal,” in which he argues that “race is an ideological structure created for the purpose of global European domination. It is designed to be fixed and permanent; to reify the contingent relations of colonial subjugation into immutable identities.”

Sajnani came under fire Tuesday for his Black Lives Matter sympathies when Murphy drew attention to his Twitter feed. Apparently on July 7, the night that a BLM sympathizer shot and killed five Dallas police officers, Sajnani tweeted a link to a song called “Officer Down” and wrote, “Watching CNN, this is the song I am currently enjoying in my head.”

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That same night, he also tweeted, “Is the uprising finally starting? Is this style of protest gonna go viral?”

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“We have freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean there’s freedom from consequences,” Murphy said of the professor’s incredibly controversial tweets.

But as of today, “The Problem of Whiteness” course is still set to be taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — and any white students taking the class must prepare to be “enlightened” about their inherent racism and contributions to white supremacy.

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