Ohio State Class Teaches Students to Detect and Respond to Microaggressions, White Privilege

Amanda Tidwell, The College Fix, January 25, 2017

A class to be offered this spring at Ohio State University is an identity politics-based course that in large part is focused on teaching students how to detect microaggressions and white privilege.

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“Crossing Identity Boundaries” aims to expand students’ “self-awareness” and help them develop “dialogue skills.”

Taking the course, offered through the Department of Educational Studies, is one way students can fulfill the university’s mandatory diversity requirement, and many sections are offered throughout the school year.

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Part of the homework includes taking two “implicit bias tests,” and writing journals on prompts such as “power/privilege in your life” or calling on Christians to write about what it might feel like to be Muslim, or males on what it’s like to be female, and “reflecting on how this new identity would have impacted your day.”

One big part of the class is a microaggressions group presentation and reflective paper.

The assignment, according to a syllabus, calls on students to “find at least 12 examples of microaggressions using at least 3 different types of social media (e.g., Yik Yak, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest). Explain who the target of the microaggression is and why your group believes it is an example of a negative remark. Provide an example of how you might respond to such a comment.”

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Meanwhile, required reading assignments include: “Waking up White: What it means to accept your legacy, for better and worse,” “The Arab woman and I,” and “Memoirs of a gay fraternity brother.”

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