College President Wants All Whites to Acknowledge Their ‘Privilege’

Elizabeth M. Economou, LifeZette, February 14, 2018

In a polarizing opinion piece entitled “White Privilege Diminishes Our Humanity: 10 Commitments for Meaningful Change,” Stephen V. Sundborg, the president of Seattle University in Washington State — and now an apparent social justice warrior — calls on white people in this country to acknowledge their “privilege.”

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Seattle University is a private Jesuit college. This action seems to perpetuate a narrative of victimization and also indirectly demonizes law enforcement — themes that have become cliché in academia.

A Jesuit priest, Sundborg published his op-ed in The Seattle Times on Sunday, a few days ahead of the start of Lent on Wednesday, February 14 — also Valentine’s Day — as recognized by Catholics worldwide. {snip}

His opinion piece appears based on unsubstantiated claims, such as, “More than half of all Americans who apply for jobs get them not only because of their qualifications but also because of who they know and their networks. Whites must go out of their way not just for nondiscriminating hiring practices, but to be those persons in companies and part of that network that give blacks in practice equal access to jobs.”

And this: “The most segregated morning in America is Sunday morning, when whites and blacks are more apart in their church communities than at any other time of the week.”

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Still, perhaps most troubling is Sundborg’s support for Black Lives Matter — which maintains that police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today. Yet Sundborg does not address the problems of absent fathers, drugs, violent crime, or corrupt politicians in inner cities across America, including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, and even Philadelphia.

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Sandborg insisted, “Whites must show up and be present and protest with blacks in demonstrations such as Black Lives Matter — because black lives have not mattered to whites as much as have white lives.”

He also wrote: “Whites should accept black athletes taking the occasion of the national anthem to make visible the injustices they face often daily, even as those players honor those who have fought for our freedom.”

Sundborg might consider recognizing what Mac Donald already has. As she noted in her book, “When the cops back off, blacks pay the greatest price. That truth would have come as no surprise to the legions of inner-city residents who fervently support the police and whose voices are almost never heard in the media.”

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What’s clear, though, is that Sundborg, who earns in excess of $300,000 annually as a university president, risks alienating a lot of people — as comments on his Seattle Times opinion piece indicate.

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Here are a few of his explicit 10 “Commitments for White America,” as quoted from his op ed:

Reread the true American history, including all the black heroes who built our country and suffered terribly …

Make compensation or reparation in practical ways by providing young black people strong mentors in school, extra financial assistance to attend college and better advice to know how to succeed within education.

Every white person needs to visit a prison or a jail to know firsthand the black persons who undeservedly and disproportionately are there, and the conditions they live in …

He also says, “All whites must ask themselves, how many black friends do I have? {snip}.”

[Stephen Sundborg’s op-ed “White privilege diminishes our humanity: 10 Commitments for meaningful change” can be read here.]

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