UW-Madison Stands By Their “Problem Of Whiteness” Course

Bucky Badger, with no fucks left to give.
(Black) Bucky Badger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with no fucks left to give.

*I have never been prouder to be an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Starting next semester, students in Damon Sajnani’s class, “The Problem Of Whiteness,” will discuss the problems caused by white people.  The course’s published description is a hoot.

“Have you ever wondered what it really means to be white?” the description reads.  “If you’re like most people, the answer is probably ‘no.’  But here is your chance!  Critical Whiteness Studies aims to understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy.”

The course explores how white people “consciously and unconsciously perpetuate institutional racism.”

Now hear me:  the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public university.  Only 2% of their current student body identifies as African American and more than 75% are white.  (That, sadly, hasn’t changed in the decades since I was there.)  And they are hosting a class on the problems caused by white folks.  I love it.  

UW-Madison's Bascom Hill. White folks as far as the eye can see!
UW-Madison’s Bascom Hill with white folks walking to class.

David Murphy, a Wisconsin state assemblyman, doesn’t agree with me.  He expressed “outrage” that taxpayers “are expected to pay for this garbage.”

“I support academic freedom and free speech,” Murphy said.  “Free speech also means the public has the right to be critical of their public university.”

Murphy also takes issue with the course’s instructor and his vocal public opinions.

The nerve!  A black man speaking his mind!  What’s the world coming to!  

“Even more troubling,” Murphy said, “the course is taught be a self-described ‘international radical’ professor whose views are a slap in the face to the taxpayers.”   He included copies of some of Sajnani’s tweets in his news release.

One addresses a CNN breaking story about police officers being shot in Dallas.  “Is the uprising finally starting? Is this style of protest gonna go viral?” he asks.

Sajnani hasn’t returned messages seeking comment from either the Chicago Tribune or EURthisnthat.  When and if he does, you know I’ll give you an update!  And in the interim, I’m looking into whether I can take the UW-Madison course online!   (I always thought the school’s mascot, Bucky Badger, looked black.  Look at him in his little sweater, with no fucks left to give!) 

The blog was written by freelancer Michael P Coleman.  Connect with him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP 

 

 

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