Making the rounds at San Diego State University is a new quiz giving students in a sociology class a chance to earn extra credit by rating their level of "white privilege."
This "White Privilege Checklist" offered by Professor Dae Elliott includes a list of 20 questions that demonstrate how “racial privilege is one form of privilege.” The often ridiculous questions go as far as to ask students about the prevalence of bandages that match a certain skin tone in the market place, along with questions about having the "privilege" of being late to important meetings. Some samples:
I can choose blemish cover or bandages in flesh color and have them more or less match my skin.
I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.
The quiz finishes by urging students to be aware of other privileges like “gender, sexual orientation, class, and religion.” Once complete, students then add up their scores to determine their level of privilege; the higher the score, the whiter the privilege.
Extra credit comes only after students ask a set of follow-up questions from the professor such as: “Were you surprised by your score, or did it confirm what you already knew? Why is privilege normally invisible and what does it feel like to make it visible? Do you think this exercise is different for white students than for students of color? For black students than for Asian, Indian, Latino/a students, or other students of color?”
Speaking with The College Fix, Professor Elliott said she only wanted to highlight "invisible" injustices.
“Only through processes that allow us to share intersubjectively, weigh all of our perspectives according to amount of shareable empirical evidence can we approximate an objective understanding of our society,” she said. “It may never be perfect, in fact, I am sure we will always be improving but it is a better response if we are truly seekers of what is truth, what is reality. In a society that values fairness, our injustices that are institutionalized are often made invisible.”
She added that her questions ask "students to step out of their subjectivity, extend their understanding and begin to be a conscious part of understanding and hence gaining more power and agency to effect change.”
San Diego State University College Republicans President Brandon Jones blasted the quiz as just "another attempt by the Left, and Professor Elliot, to divide America."
“The Left’s political goal is to ensure that minorities in America perpetuate that their primary problem is white racism. This only furthers the portrayal of minorities in America as victims and does nothing to help contribute to their advancement in society,” Jones told The College Fix.