Authored by Jezzamine Wolk via Campus Reform,

President  Donald Trump recently instructed federal agencies to end training related to “White Privilege” or “Critical Race Theory,” calling them “anti-American propaganda.” 

“These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce,” Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought wrote in a memo to federal employees, according to Fox News.

Meanwhile, colleges across the country are seeing a growing trend of racial sensitivity classes and trainings, and Campus Reform has rounded up some of the most extreme examples.

1. Workshop on “deconstructing whiteness” for white-identifying students

Columbia University hosted a five-week “deconstructing whiteness” lecture series for white-identified students in July. The goal was to “engage in exploration of their white identities and build community and accountability around deconstructing whiteness and white privilege to facilitate the development of an antiracist lens.” In an email reportedly sent to students, the university’s law school said the workshop “will not be a support group for white students. Nor will it be comfortable or easy.”

2. Mandatory reading on race for cadets at military academy

In the West Point Military Academy’s “Behavioral Science and Leadership” seminar, cadets are required to read “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction.”  The school website said the school’s leadership course is an “introduction to the concepts of race, gender, and sexuality in the American political system” with a focus on the “inherent inequalities found.”

3. Mandatory anti-racism course for all first-year students

All freshmen at the University of Pittsburgh will be required to take the one-credit course. One goal outlined in the syllabus is to provide an overview of the Reconstruction Amendments and “the agenda of Radical Republicans.” Other lessons included focusing on challenging a student’s past education in regards to American history and “ritual practices that teach anti-Black and pro-White sentiment…”

4. Course on Christianity’s role in racial hierarchy

Houghton College in Houghton, New York announced a course to “explore the complex role of American Protestant Christianity in the construction of historic and contemporary notions of race and U.S. systems of racial hierarchy.” In the course to be launched in spring 2021, students will be asked to “interrogate the role of race and faith in the formation of your values…” One of the course outcomes is to be able to assemble a framework and vocabulary that “connects theories about race, racism, white supremacy, theology, resistance and anti-racism to justice-seeking liberatory movements and praxes for social transformation.”

5. Workshop on “white supremacy and music”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted various weekly online workshops to “explore the ways that white supremacy manifests in our lives, our communities, and our work” at the School of Music. The workshop description stated that it was intended for “students who hold white privilege” but all students were welcome. Participants were required to read the book Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.

6. Course on whiteness and violence

A University of Arizona course is set to explore “the various sources of white power and privilege.” The six sessions are designed for people who are interested in “unpacking the ways we are constantly bombarded with messages that uphold white superiority and racial hierarchy” and “how racial violence works in conjunction with other forms of structural racism.”

7. “Interrogating whiteness” course

In this three-credit course at American University in Washington, D.C., students will develop “strategies for antiracist engagements.” Students will examine “the social, legal, and media constructions of white racial identities in relation to issues of racial justice.”

8. Course on “racial capitalism”

The course at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts focuses on “cultural politics, political geographies, and historical development of racial capitalism.” According to the school’s website, the course will do this “through and against a history of racial capitalism that privileges the U.S. nation-state in particular.”

9. “White supremacy in the age of Trump” course

A course at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts is “an entry-level overview of the white supremacist movement in the U.S.” Some mandatory readings include, “Trump Uses Right-Wing Populism to Unite Divergent Groups” and “Make America White Again?”

10. “Is God a white supremacist?” course

This one-credit course at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania will “address religious theories justifying racial domination.” In particular, the class will highlight and discuss practices foundational to the process of “whiteness-making.”

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