“Privilege walking” Providence teachers is like an identity politics perp walk.
At school last week, the faculty was asked to “opt-in” to take a “privilege walk”. Needless to say, I opted-out.
I’d rather spend my professional hours on lesson plans for children who want to become better writers, I am not interested in advancing some weird construct of “social justice”. These people are using schools, teachers and children to advance their political agenda and it must end!
If you’re curious what the moral atrocity that is a “privilege walk” looks like, many people have proudly posted videos of samples, such as the one from a North Carolina high school used for the featured image of this post.
In summary, the participants stand in a line. Then the person conducting the exercise shouts out life experiences for which the participants either step forward or step back. Did either of your parents go to college? Step forward. Are your parents separated or divorced? Step back. Naturally, many questions hover around racial, ethnic, and sexual identity groups. (“Step forward if you’re a white male.”
At the end, the ostensibly most privileged participants are at the front, and the ostensibly most oppressed are at the back.
Let’s dispense with rationalizations: We all know that the purpose is to flip social norms. Beyond questions that stack the deck for identity groups, if you and your family have made healthy decisions, that is “privilege,” and you are therefore marked as the undeserving beneficiary of “white supremacy.”
We know this to be true because institutions, particularly public schools, would never undertake such an exercise if the purpose were to convey to the people at the back that they should follow the example of the people at the front.
The travesty of such events in public schools in the United States of America is that the proportion is simply blown up. The questions should be: Do you live in the 21st Century? Do you live in the United States of America? Are your rights protected by a legally enforceable written Constitution? Do you expect to eat on a regular schedule this week? Do you have access to running water and electricity? Do you have the free time to participate in exercises of vanity like “privilege walks”?
Answering “yes” to those questions alone ought to put everybody in a unified line of gratitude and shared concern not to do anything that might undermine those true privileges for future generations.