Lawmaker Calls 'Problem Of Whiteness' Class At Public University 'Garbage'By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
A lawmaker has expressed his outrage over a certain class at the University of Wisconsin. "The Problem of Whiteness" is a course that will be taught by Damon Sajnani next semester.
The Washington Post reported that students enrolled in the course will be discussing the problems caused by white people every Wednesday next semester. The course is intended to explore the experiences of white people and the privileges they benefit from.
"The Problem of Whiteness" will talk about "what it really means to be white." It is focused on understanding how a race, specifically "whiteness," is socially constructed and experienced in order to dismantle white supremacy.
Students enrolled in the course will also be learning how white people perpetuate institutional racism, whether consciously or unconsciously. The controversial class has catapulted the school right in the middle of a debate on whether government-funded educational institutions should talk about current issues or leave them be.
It will be taught in the African Studies Department of the University of Wisconsin. It was noted that only 2 percent of the student population are black while over 75 are white.
The course has been met with outrage. One of its most vocal opponents is David Murphy, a Wisconsin lawmaker, who called the class "garbage." He can't believe that it will be funded by taxpayers' money.
Murphy explained that he is outraged over the underlying premise that white people are racist. He also urged the school to discontinue the class or risk the removal of government funding.
Speaking to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Scott Walker revealed that he will not be cutting the funding to the University of Wisconsin System. There is a possibility, though, that he will try to reduce the tuition fees.
He also rejected Murphy's proposal of withholding funding from the school if it does not discontinue the controversial course. Walker noted that the budget's focus should be on overall performance and not on individual classes.