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Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies hosts ‘conversation with white students’ on racism

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Students listen to a presentation on race put on by professors in the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Credit: Gracie Fleisher | Lantern Reporter

Students listen to a presentation on race put on by professors in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Credit: Gracie Fleisher | Lantern Reporter

On Tuesday afternoon, Ohio State’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies hosted a discussion titled “Racism 101,” aimed to open up conversation amongst white students about racism.

While the majority of white individuals do not consider themselves racist or condone racism, Shannon Winnubst, professor and chair of WGSS, said it remains a deeply rooted issue in the United States, as it has from the country’s very beginning.

“As white people, we are complicent in racism if we are not actively challenging it,”  said Jennifer Suchland, joint faculty member in WGSS as well as Slavic and Eastern European studies. “This dialogue is for the majority of students who don’t actively think of themselves as racists, but yet don’t have the tools, language or understanding … in terms of really combatting racism in society.”

The discussion opened quickly to the floor with the question, “Has racism changed?”

Both Winnubst and Suchland, the discussion leaders, encouraged students to discuss the visibility of racism, proactive, educated ways to talk about it with minorities and also spent time trying to define the concept of racism.

Over the course of the hour and a half, the leaders moved through the discussion to talk further about racism in relation to government policies.

“Racist systems in the U.S. will never overturn, will never neutralize unless white people challenge the contemporaries of racism,” Winnubst said. “Living in such a systemically racist society, we need to think differently about what we can do to change this.”

While the discussion remained peaceful throughout a few individuals did challenge the leaders, specifically about how much racism is tied into economic and government system.

Brittney Francis, a doctoral student in the College of Public Health, expressed concern over some of the disagreements expressed.

“I feel like the understanding is lacking especially in situations when it comes to people of color in prisons, single mothers, the wealth gap, education, decision making and how that relates to systemic racism,” Francis said. “I think the event is powerful, I just think it’s disheartening to know we’re still having these conversations on the baseline of understanding and not necessarily moving forward.”

Both Winnubst and Suchland expressed interest in ultimately continuing the dialogue in the future, saying that this was merely the beginning.

“It has never been and it is not good enough to think, ‘I am not a racist.’ We need to think about how we move from ‘I’m not a racist’ to anti-racist,” Winnubst said.

9 comments

  1. More virtue signaling and self-flagellating from the progressive “good white people” crowd.

  2. I case you haven’t noticed whites aren’t the ones committing hate crimes at OSU. Maybe you ought to try enlightening people who have a marked penchant for violence instead of pawning everything off on whitey.

  3. Why do SJWs insist they have a monopoly on the “tools, language [and] understanding” to fight racism? Especially since their “identity politics” appear to exacerbate racial division, rather than improve it.

  4. Hey Social Justice Warriors, would you care to explain why oppression of ethnic minorities, religious minorities and LGBTQ people is so much worse in non-white non-Western countries than it is in white majority Western countries?

    No?

    Yeah…..didn’t think so!

  5. Pretty much, these elitists are saying only white people are racist, which is racist.

    Why would any white American parent continue to send their kids to these Anti-white Racist institutions, where they target your white kids for reprogramming? If your white child doesn’t see he’s born a racist, these Anti-white Racist elitists will reprogram them to believe it’s true.

    We need to shut these Anti-white Racist institutions down, since, majority tax payers are white, and we shouldn’t be financing abuse of our white kids.

  6. “It has never been and it is not good enough to think, ‘I am not a racist.’ We need to think about how we move from ‘I’m not a racist’ to anti-racist.”

    Just like Senator McCarthy in the 1960’s moved from ‘not a Communist’ to ‘anti-Communist.’

    Don’t you see how this mindset sets the stage for witch-hunts and wanton persecution?

    Of course you do; I should’ve gleaned that from your title: Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

    Not just a path toward a useless degree; but a path toward Marxist indoctrination.

  7. Roger Barriteau - Lecturer OSU Black Studies Dept 1973-78

    What is the OSU African American and African Studies Extension Center and what is the OSU African American and African Studies Department doing in these times and for the larger community of students, staff and faculty on or associated with OSU that is like what the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies are doing?

  8. Roger Barriteau - Lecturer OSU Black Studies Dept 1973-78

    I posted my question about what the OSU AAAS Department is doing on FB and I received this reply-
    ” The screening of 13th with Michelle Alexader event was certainly a powerful contribution from the AAAS department!” – Wonderful!

  9. Susette d'Oppressed

    I write this because of deep caring and sympathy for the women’s studies at OSU…

    The Graduates of OSU’s African American and African Studies Extension Center may wish to learn this useful term for their wonderful careers after college:

    “I’m a graduate from OSU’s African Studies department and would you like French fries with your order?”

    I care deeply and have sympathy for all. Remember sympathy? It’s between sh*t and syphilis in the dictionary.

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