MSU Places "Everyday Feminism" White Privilege Guides
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Author: Sergei Kelley
“What’s the Deal with Privilege?” board in MSU’s Akers Hall assures privilege makes life “easier than others.” Several “White People Check Your Privilege” flyers were also placed in MSU’s Wells Hall.
Placed within Akers Hall, behind a locked glass case, the board includes a “Check Your Privilege” scorecard. Privileged identities include: white, male, Christian, and able-bodied. Definitions of privilege include, “unearned access to social power based on membership in a dominant social group.”
“If you don’t have to think about it, it’s a privilege,” the board reads. Materials on the board are attributed to University of San Francisco professors, Everyday Feminism, Feministastic.com, and feminist Peggy McIntosh.
Knowing your privilege is not something to be “a source of guilt,” states the display. It affirms it is “an opportunity to learn and be responsible so that we may work toward a more just and inclusive world.”
The board further clarifies, “you can be privileged and still have a difficult life.” In addition, people think having privilege can mean an easy life and “they feel personally attacked when people point out their privilege.”
“To them it feels as if someone is saying they haven’t worked hard or endured any difficulties,” reads the display.
Conversely, within the display is a flyer titled “Privilege is the Other Side of Oppression,” and asks the reader to “consider the ways in which you are oppressed.” Labeled are “disenfranchised” social groups such as a person who is gender non-conforming, “person of color,” or a woman.
Written by Slan Ferguson via Everyday Feminism, privilege exists in people “society doesn’t disenfranchise.”
McIntosh’s “Unpacking Your Invisible Knapsack,” is featured in order to help check privilege. An array of metrics are included: race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation.
This bulletin was noticed by The Morning Watch at the same time “White People Check Your Privilege” flyers were spread across Wells Hall. The flyers showcase a self-check guide, a guide on how to address racism, and further states, “whatever privilege you have it is important to know how to acknowledge them.”
“Checking Your Privilege” self-score guide includes several questions: “Are you white? Are you male? Are you straight? Are you a documented citizen?”
Under “Tips for Talking About Racism,” one includes, “if you are white watch how many times you say ‘I’ and ‘me.’”
“Bodily Racist” refers to “perceiving certain racialized bodies as more animal-like and violent than others.”
MSU freshman business student Ryan Nick told The Morning Watch, when students react “they should take a moment to think about whether this ‘white privilege’ claim is true or not...they should also consider whether their university should be advertising one-sided political content.”
Another student, Jeff Drake told The Morning Watch, “Students at Michigan State should not be surprised that those in power on this campus are pushing far left ideologies that divide us based on race, sex, background, etc. Leftist viewpoints are coddled and reassured by professors and peers, leaving them vulnerable and uninformed upon entering the real world.”
Drake is a senior majoring in finance.
The Morning Watch reached out to other students but did not receive comment in time for publication.
Photos obtained by The Morning Watch.
Contributor: Sergei Kelley