‘Privilege’ lesson teaches white students not to sing Rihanna

By Cheryl Chumley

Rihanna
Rihanna

Students in one human relations theory class at the University of Oklahoma said they were told that if they were white, they had no business singing along with pop star Rihanna’s songs.

“I was told as a white woman it’s insulting and a microaggression for me to cover or sing a Rihanna song because I’m not from Barbados,” one student said to Todd Starnes with Fox News. “I was literally told to go sing the Star-Spangled Banner.”

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The student said the lesson plan had to do with “privilege” afforded one race over another and the “microaggression” that can result.

The student, who requested anonymity, also said those in the class were asked to fill out a 100-item checklist to see how much “microaggression” they may have. And among the determinations on the checklist: Heterosexual white males with jobs who go to church each Sunday and vacation in Cavo are “very privileged,” Fox News found.

Other determinations: “[If] a stranger has never asked to touch my hair, or asked if it is real [then I’m privileged].”

The student went on, Fox News reported: “They teach you that if you are not part of the minority you cannot be discriminated against. A black person cannot be racist to a white person. A female cannot be sexist towards a man because men are the majority.”

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The checklist included, in part, these statements: “I am white. I have never been told I would ‘burn in hell’ for my sexual orientation. I still identify as the gender I was born in. I work in a salaried job. I have never done my taxes myself. I have had an unpaid internship. I don’t know what ‘Sallie Mae’ is. I have frequent flier miles. I spend Spring Breaks abroad. My parents are heterosexual. I can afford a therapist.”

Answering in the affirmative to those questions, and others, were perceived as signs of “privilege,” according to the directions on the checklist.

Students were also told to determine whether any of 32 different scenarios ought to be labeled as simple conversations or displays of microaggressions. Microaggressive statements included: “That’s so gay. ” “I need a new gay.” “They have gay marriage, so they should be happy now.” “I think true marriage is between a man and woman because that’s what the Bible says, but I respect everyone’s choices.”

The last question in particular triggered a massive classroom discussion, the student said to Fox News.

“The professor said if [your opinion] hurts others, you should question those views, specifically the Bible,” the student said. “The professor said we should question the Bible and question where those views came from.”

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