I Wish I was a Minority

clip_image002Have you heard remarks like these in your classroom? Maybe during a discussion on race, a white student notes that if only she were in the minority, then she would have more scholarships available to her. Or a heterosexual student wants to talk about the perks of being gay. Or a Christian student thinks it would be so cool to wear a hijab. It’s hard to know what to do in these moments, but it is often clear that students (and teachers) with privilege have a difficult time identifying the many advantages of being privileged and the painful complexity of disadvantages faced by students in the minority.

This article, I Wish I Were Black, is written by Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a professor at the University of Iowa’s College of Law. She describes her experiences as they relate to the Supreme Court’s recently decided affirmative-action case. Onwuachi-Willig states that: “it is heartbreaking to think that our world and our lives have become so racially segregated that many white students applying to college possess so little understanding of what it substantively means, regardless of socioeconomic status, to live the life of a black person in the United States.”

Take a look at her article and consider her invitation to “imagine what more our minority peers could have done if they had had white privilege and access.”

When you take a look at her article you may also notice that there is heated debate in the comments below. These discussions say a lot about the state of race in the US and higher education. Feel free to add your own comments below.