WASHINGTON – A Minnesota-based non-profit seeks to make it clear through a new video that it’s a privilege to be white.
The privilege isn’t just that white people don’t get stared at when they walk into a room, followed by security in a mall or pulled over for driving in the wrong neighborhood.
It’s also a privilege because society was set up for white people, according to UnfairCampaign.org.
The organization posted the video earlier this month to get at the root of the its mission, and what it see is a systematic racial problem nationwide.
“Challenging the white monoculture and its systems and institutions, and the privileges it creates for whites, is a necessary step in eliminating racism,” according to its website. “Building a multi-cultural community that is fair and just for everyone requires us to do this work.”
The goal of the Deluth-based organization is to overcome the abyss between racial lines in the Midwest town with a 90 percent white population. But the UnfairCampaign says its message applies throughout the nation.
It employs elements of works by Wellesley College Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director Peggy McIntosh, who has written about the “White Privilege” principle.
A willingness to ask questions and face the answers, and to be uncomfortable and stay focused are among the approaches UnfairCampaign asks of participants. Learn more here.
Its efforts have been endorsed by the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services in Deluth.
“We can do everything right by recruiting and hiring people of color and by creating an inclusive, supportive work environment, but if the larger Duluth community does not have this same commitment to inclusiveness, we will not be able to retain the staff we hire,” wrote Director Ann Busche in a statement.
But not everyone is convinced.
“Message to the white folks – I’m Japanese born and raised, and know this is 100 percent bull(expletive),” writes TheMistWalkar on UnfairCampaign’s YouTube page. “Americans may fall for this crap, but rest assured, not all of us are brainwashed half- wits.”
Other viewers rated this response as the top comment on the page.
UnfairCampaign’s efforts come amid a cultural shift in the U.S. Affluent black Americans moving out of urban areas is creating a widening income gap between white and inncer-city blacks who remain behind, according to a December analysis of 2011 census numbers.
“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”
“We remain in a dangerous period where those appealing to anti-immigration elements are fueling a divisiveness and hostility that might take decades to overcome,” Harrison told the Associated Press.