By Danette Clark
The 15th annual White Privilege Conference kicked off this week in Madison, Wisconsin.
The conference was founded in 1999 by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. to examine “challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offer solutions… to work toward a more equitable world”, and is attended annually by more than 1,500 students, educators, and activists.
Built on the premise that “the U.S. was started by white people, for white people”, the conference boasts a long list of radical partner organizations, including Code Pink, The Social Justice Training Institute, and Hip Hop Congress, whose co-founder, Shamako Noble, has collaborated on projects with Public Allies, an organization whose Chicago branch was first led by Michelle Obama.
But what exactly is ‘white privilege’?
According to some of the speakers and conference goers in this video, ‘white privilege’ is a “transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society,” and if you are white, it means “there is a whole part of you that you are not naming and you’re not understanding because whiteness is just normalized and it’s just there…”.
One poor woman in the video says she has to work really hard to keep it in her consciousness that she is white. Perhaps I’m missing the point, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial for people to keep in their consciousness a constant effort to show kindness and compassion to everyone, regardless of race or class?
How can we blur the lines of race and see all men as created equal while focusing on color, differences, and our own ‘whiteness’?
Educators in social justice schools and universities talk to students about race regularly, even incorporating it into their daily curriculum, regardless of course subject. Now, thanks to radical teacher training programs and Common Core recommended texts and other aligned resources, the white privilege guilt-trip is rapidly spreading.
In 2007, Seattle Public Schools came under scrutiny for using federal grant money to escort twenty high school students to Colorado to attend a White Privilege Conference. Seattle is just one of many school districts, funded by your tax dollars, promoting the conference to its students and teachers.
The State of Wisconsin is footing a large chunk of the bill for this year’s conference.
Unfortunately, Wisconsinites, this is the kind of garbage you’re paying for:
The 2007 White Privilege Conference invited The Coup to perform for attending youth on the last day of the conference.
The Coup is a radical hip hop group whose lyrics incite violence with songs like 5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO and Kill My Landlord.
Lyrics taken in part from The Coup’s 20,000 Gun Salute:
20,000 gun salute, get rowdy like you got a substitute
This slug’s for Newt – shut your mouth don’t pollute…
…. just how we gonna overthrow they bitch asses, give
whiplashes from the force as we make it tight, and ignite
the flames of takin over daily life, make it a right to have
food, threads and homestead.
Regarding their 2006 album, Pick a Bigger Weapon, Rolling Stone Magazine called it “the rare record that makes revolution sound like hot fun on a Saturday night.”
The Coup has released several award winning albums including Kill My Landlord, Steal this Album, and Genocide and Juice.
Steal this Album is a tribute to Abbie Hoffman’s book, Steal this Book. Abbie Hoffman, a radical 60s activist, was one of the “Chicago Seven” tried for conspiracy, inciting riot, and other crimes related to protests in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Co-founder of The Coup, Boots Riley, is a social justice activist from Oakland, California, who speaks publically about his admiration for the Black Panthers, the Chinese Revolution, and Saul Alinsky’s “radical organizing” techniques.
As covered by Michelle Malkin after the 9/11 attacks, Riley released an “album cover depicting himself partying in front of a doctored image of the World Trade Center being blown up”.
Boots Riley performed at Fresh Fest 2010, which was produced in collaboration with two organizations founded by Obama’s former green jobs czar, Van Jones.
Past speakers at White Privilege Conferences include Obama’s Department of Education appointee, Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, and Tim Wise, a white ‘anti-racism expert’ whom Rush Limbaugh says is ignorant about the founding of this country.
Lisa Arrastia — who recently co-edited with Bill Ayers, White Before We Got Here: Youth and the Hidden Curriculum of Whiteness — spoke at the 2011 conference, as did Rosa González, the Education Director of the Van Jones organization, Green for All.
Hundreds of youth are likely attending this year’s White Privilege Conference at the Monona Terrace Conference Center in Madison, WI, and I wonder how many parents really know what their kids are learning, and who they’re learning it from.