UW-Madison Reintroduces ‘Problem of Whiteness’ Course for Spring 2018

UW Madison

The University of Wisconsin, Madison is reintroducing a controversial course that asks students to question their “whiteness” and explain how it’s a problem.

In the coming spring, students at the publicly-funded university can select a course titled “The Problem of Whiteness” as part of the African Cultural Studies program, which teaches students to “understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to dismantle white supremacy.”

The course ignited a national debate on whether it was “OK” to be white when it first debuted in the spring of 2017. It prompted Republican lawmakers to call for the course to be investigated and scrapped, one of who highlighted tweets from the professor in charge of the course, Damon Sajnani, who is white.

According to the College Fix, the class in spring may reference these reactions, as its professor created a montage of headlines criticizing the course as part of its new cover sheet.

The legislator showed that the professor “condones violence against law enforcement and compares white voters to the KKK.”

In one of the tweets, Sajnani took a screenshot of the 2016 fatal police shooting in Dallas, and wrote “Is the uprising finally starting? Is this style of protest gonna go viral?,” following it up with a celebration about how he was listening to the hip-hop song about killing police officers. 

“Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive – students said they found it valuable to examine majority cultures and how power imbalances are created, sustained, and challenged in societies around the world,” the spokesperson told the College Fix.

The upcoming class will “break away from the standard US-centric frame” and look at whiteness through a broader, global lens.

“We will come together with our socially ascribed identities of Black, white, mixed and other and, with the problem properly in its place we will ask ourselves and our allies, what are we going to do with it,” states the online description.

Source: The College Fix.

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