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White Racism

Flyers advertising a new course to be introduced next semester has caused conversation controversy to emerge among students.

The course in question, titled “White Racism” (SYA 3930) will be offered as a special topics course to all students beginning next spring.

Dr. Ted Thornhill, Assistant Professor of Sociology, will be teaching the course in what is described as the interrogation of the concept of race ideologies and policies that “have operated for hundreds of years to maintain white racial domination over those racialized as non-white.”

The course and title has caused controversy among students around campus, with some arguing that the class should be renamed.

Marketing and Economics major Max Ortengren said he understands what the class covers, and understands that the class is important to some students’ degrees, but thinks the issue lies in the name.

“It brings a biased implication that only white people tend to be racist,” Ortengren said. “That’s not the fact.” Ortengren originally posted about the course on a Facebook post that garnered about 99 comments, with mixed reception.

“I have no problem with the class. In fact, I understand how important that class is,” Ortengren said. “We do need to look into history, because how can we avoid things from happening in the future if we don’t look at what happened in the past? I’m just saying what if we renamed the class?

In a poll of about 30 students, 23 students were in favor of FGCU offering the spring course, six disagreed and one was impartial.

Of the 23 students who agreed with the course, 10 believed the name of the course should be changed.

Suggestions like “racism” or “institutional racism” were among the name change proposals.

“Racism is based on the individual aspect and it’s not just white people that are capable of it. African- Americans, Latinos – we’re all capable of it,” Ortengren said. “So, I think by just the labeling ‘white racism’ has an inherent bias viewpoint to it.”

Click here to view Thornhill’s full statement

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6 Comments

  1. “It brings a biased implication that only white people tend to be racist.” Okay, but … they do.

  2. Great logic by the student–I guess that means classes on “Native American history” imply that only Native Americans have a history, and classes on French cooking imply that only French people cook. Maybe, just maybe, he should try sitting in on the class

  3. It is a sad day that this kind of identity politics bullpuckey has made its way to FGCU. It’s a scourge that teaches people but one thing: How to be perpetual victims. Such a thing is detrimental to all exposed to it. Not to mention the implication from the course title that all white people are racist, which is, in and of itself, racist.

  4. Great Logic by whoever was posting as “person.” I guess you overlooked that white racism has a negative connotation to it, however classes such as “Native American History,” or “French Cooking” don’t have any negative connotations to the name.

  5. Didn’t forget, but wasn’t relevant. I’ll try to simplify this for you: The initial assertion was that a class entitled “white racism” implies that only white racism exists. Under such logic, a Native History class would imply that Native history is the only one that exists.

    But, let’s look at your new assertion: “White racism” has a negative connotation and thus shouldn’t be taught. Certainly racism has a negative connotation, but by that logic I guess we better cancel that class “The Holocaust” as well. Again, logic fallacies abound.

  6. Sucks to see that identitarianism has started to take over. I’m not surprised to see this coming out of the Sociology program, but I wish I was.

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