How many of you have heard that a program proposed at the University of Minnesota would result in required examinations of teacher candidates on "white privilege" as well as "remedial re-education" for those who hold the "wrong" views? The term "remedial re-education" carries with it the stench of Communism. Why would I say such a thing? Because it's true.
1. After the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese men, from former officers in the armed forces, to religious leaders, to employees of the Americans or the old government, were rounded up in reeducation camps to "learn about the ways of the new government." They were never tried or convicted of any crime. Many South Vietnamese men chose to flee on boats, but others had established lives in Vietnam, so did not flee but entered these camps in hopes of quickly reconciling with the new government and continuing their lives. The Hanoi regime defended the reeducation camps by placing the "war criminal" label on the prisoners. A 1981 memorandum of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Amnesty International claimed that all those in the reeducation camps were guilty of acts of national treason as defined in Article 3 of the 30 October 1967 Law on Counter-revolutionary Crimes (enacted for the government of North Vietnam, now imposing its will on South Vietnam) which specifies punishment of 20 years to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
2. Re-education Camp is a favorite phrase of Communist nations, and is a euphemism for "concentration camp" or "political gulag".
Interestingly, Minnesota State Representative Michelle Bachman said on Minnesota radio station KTLK-AM (podcast) recently (in reference to The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, a proposed expansion of the AmeriCorps program that Obama has since signed into law):
Of course, the socialist-"progressive" leftists have dubbed Ms Bachman a "right wingnut", for daring to verbalize the obvious. Personally, I believe the extended Americorps concept smacks of Hilter's Jugend - his "Youth Corps" - and the fascism Hitler instilled therein. Young minds were indoctrinated to believe in his way, and only his way. They were trained to spy and inform upon friends, family and neighbors should their attitudes or words indicate deviation from the governmentally approved (Nazi) doctrine. They were especially observant of the inferior ethnic deviants (Jews) who could potentially pollute the gene poll of the "Master Race".
"It’s under the guise of — quote — volunteerism. But it’s not volunteers at all. It’s paying people to do work on behalf of government. I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."
"Recruiting and training a Youth Brigade"... how about that? If you have been paying attention during the last several decades, you are undoubtedly aware that the halls of academia - especially the "institutes of higher learning" - have long been a bastion of left wing thought and indoctrination, and those ideologies have naturally trickled down into our primary and secondary government-supported public educational system. After all, the new teachers have been well indoctrinated at those colleges and universities. It is therefore no surprise that the University of Minnesota is considering requiring examinations of teacher candidates on "white privilege" as well as "remedial re-education", and re-educating those who may disagree with the views of the University. A discussion of "white privilege" comes at the end of this post.
Indoctrinate the younger generations if you wish to impose your personal will upon the country - they don't know enough to challenge you. Besides, it's so much easier than trying to re-educate an older and wiser generation.
Rather than get sidetracked on peripheral information, I chose to devote this section to a distracting subject. Inasmuch as I am not a product of one of those institutions, I cannot personally comment on the concept of "white privilege", but I can supply a definition of the term - courtesy of Kendall Clark, (a man who seems to have some race issues of his own):
1. a. A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities.
b. A special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc.
2. A privileged position; the possession of an advantage white persons enjoy over non–white persons.
3. a. The special right or immunity attaching to white persons as a social relation; prerogative.
b. display of white privilege, a social expression of a white person or persons demanding to be treated as a member or members of the socially privileged class.
4. a. To invest white persons with a privilege or privileges; to grant to white persons a particular right or immunity; to benefit or favor specially white persons; to invest white persons with special honorable distinctions.
b. To avail oneself of a privilege owing to one as a white person.
5. To authorize or license of white person or persons what is forbidden or wrong for non–whites; to justify, excuse.
If I were defining "white privilege", I would probably have defined it as "wealthy white privilege", or at the very least, "moneyed white privilege". You know the old saying, "Money talks...". Being a white, middle-aged (if I live to be 132 years old) male, from a working-class background I am unaware of any particular "privilege" that simply being Caucasian has bestowed upon me. But I am of an age that I can remember the beginnings of the civil rights movement in the United States. Rosa Parks, Julian Bond, George C. Wallace, Selma Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, et al. -these were the names in the news at that time. I am also certain that there were many hundreds of "unsung heroes" during that time. Young people who sacrificed their lives in the furtherance of civil rights, and older people who simply disappeared from the face of the Earth.
6. To give to white persons special freedom or immunity from some liability or burden to which non–white persons are subject; to exempt.
However, the only "privilege" I can remember having access to simply for being "white", was not suffering the many social indignities that were visited upon many people of color. I did have to ride in the back of the bus. I did not have to learn the "survival shuffle". I did not have to be off the streets - or out of town - by a certain time... other than that prescribed by my parents.
I did have to use a separate restroom, a separate drinking fountain, and attend separate schools from "colored" people. I did see the signs proclaiming "Colored Only" on restrooms, at drinking fountains, and in public waiting rooms. I did not see these things as particular "privileges" for whites, but more as an indignity for colored people. It was the living explanation of the term "equal but separate", and I never really questioned why - it was just "the way things were" at that point in time. A child's mind doesn't normally dwell on things like social inequity. Had I asked "Why?", and gotten an answer from anybody - including the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan or Huey Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party - my child's curiosity would have been satisfied, and I would have returned to riding my bicycle, or shooting marbles, or whatever other child-like activity I was involved in prior to my inquiry. The vast majority of children are as apolitical as they are asexual! It's the unfettered "pursuit of happiness" (or, sad though it may be - in some cases, it is the avoidance of unhappiness) that occupies the waking hours of a child.
I am not responsible for the social conditions that existed when I was a child, but I am a product of those times. Having looked into my family's history to the early 1730's I feel safe in saying that neither I nor any of my forebears have owned, or been involved in the buying or selling of, slaves. I am aware that several of my ancestors shared the prevalent prejudices of the citizens of the southern states, even into the 1950s - which is nothing to really brag about, but it is philosophically superior to believing that any human being has a right to own another human being as if he/she were nothing more than livestock or a tool. There is no such thing as human property.
I cannot say with any certainty that I have been afforded any true "privilege" based on my lack of skin color. On the other hand, I can say with great certainty that until the early 1960s, people of color - not just black Americans - were, to a very large degree, denied their dignity and any sense of social or legal justice in the southern United States.
But, does denying something to one group of people truly instill "privilege" upon those with the power to impose and enforce that denial? For some time as a child, I thought black people were "privileged". After all, they had their very own special drinking fountains, bathrooms and schools!