A community college in Portland, Oregon (Oregon’s’ largest) is declaring April “Whiteness History Month.” Faculty and Staff think it’s a great, innovative way to teach about race and racism. Unlike Black History Month, the project is not intended to a celebratory endeavor. Rather, it’s an effort to change the campus climate in a way that critically examines white privilege and racial power structures.
“The Project seeks to challenge the master narrative of race and racism through an exploration of the social construction of whiteness,” the PCC website says. “Challenging the master narrative of traditional curriculum is a strategy within higher education that promotes multicultural education and equity.”
The college began accepting proposals for presentations, lectures and other events in October, but on Monday — which was also Martin Luther King Jr. Day — it suddenly became a viral topic.
The subcommittee is looking to create events that address questions like: “Who benefits from the consequences of whiteness? Who loses from whiteness? How?” or “In what ways does whiteness emerge from a legacy of imperialism, conquest, colonialism and the American enterprise?”
Supporters are praising the school for its unique approach to understanding racial identity. Others are in disagreement with the school on the stance that Whiteness History Month is a politically correct version of Whiteness Shaming Month. Where do you stand?