News & Politics

College Students Wear White Pins to Remind Themselves of 'White Privilege'

Participants in the 32nd annual Kingdom Day Parade. (Photo by Ronen Tivony) (Sipa via AP Images)

Elizabethtown College Democrats are showing racial solidarity with a rather unique invention. Members are walking around campus wearing white pins that are in the shape of a puzzle piece.

The significance of the puzzle piece is lost on the rest of us, but the goal, according to the students, is to make kids more “introspective” about race.

The College Fix:

“Discussions about race are often perceived as being only open to people of color, but I think it is just as important for white people to partake in conversations about race,” Aileen Ida, president of the College Democrats, told The College Fix via email.

Ida said white people are continually allowing for a societal system of oppression to occur unless they work against it. The white puzzle piece pin represents racial struggles of all sorts.

“No matter how accepting someone is, that doesn’t stop them from being part of a system based on centuries of inequality,” she said, adding the campaign transcends politics.

In other words, even if you grovel before the racialists, it’s not enough. Expressions of solidarity are inadequate. You must wear this white badge of shame because, well, oppression.

I still don’t know why the pin is in the shape of a puzzle piece.

Asked if all white students are privileged, Ida responded “yes,” but clarified that she doesn’t think all whites are socioeconomically privileged. Ida declined to cite specific examples of white privilege.

She also clarified that it’s not just white students who can wear the pins, that students of all races should take part to start a campuswide discussion that crosses racial divides.

Yet, she notes most people of color already have to live with racism while white people don’t.

“I believe that this [inherent white privilege] can be seen in the day-to-day life of people of color versus the day-to-day life of white people,” Ida said. “Most people of color don’t have a choice but to consider how their race affects their life on a daily basis, this is not true for most white people.”

I’ve got some bad news for Ms. Ida. Most black people do not think of racism on a “daily basis.” In fact, many black people in America do not have daily contact with whites and even if they do, the idea that they are constantly thinking about how “oppressed” they are is ludicrous.

The idea of “white privilege” rests on the false assumption that there has been little or no progress in addressing problems of race in America. While there is no doubt that racism exists in pockets across America, the invention of black activists is that racism is ever present and resides in each white person’s subconscious so that everything they do or think is motivated by an unconscious (or conscious) desire to oppress people of color.

Why anyone with two brain cells working buys into this nonsense is beyond me. Even if its true that all whites are subconsciously racist, what do the activists want? Should all white people see a shrink? Since simply proclaiming one’s solidarity with racial activists isn’t nearly enough, you have to wonder what would satisfy the activists who demand more apologies and more groveling from those who seek to pander to their agenda.

Every time I hear a black activist mention as a matter of course that they are “oppressed,” all I can think of are the activists around the world whose cause is besmirched by that sort of casual usage of a loaded term. There really are people in the world who are oppressed — so much so that when they stand up and scream it from the mountain, they are invariably arrested and thrown in jail or summarily shot.

That is oppression. Here in the United States, if you say you’re oppressed, you’re more than likely to be invited on radio and TV programs, feted by liberal groups, and showered with praise by the media. You maybe even end up lecturing at an Ivy League school.

If the kids want to wear a white pin in the shape of a puzzle piece (why a puzzle piece?), let them. They are only catering to the false consciousness of black activists.