Off the Record

Greta: A course name like Notre Dame's 'White Privilege' does nothing to heal the racial divide

'Off the Record,' 12/11/14: Notre Dame is offering its students a 'White Privilege Seminar,' but the class will not unite anyone with its name. #WhitePrivilege

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a minute. Next semester, the University of Notre Dame is offering a course they named the "White Privilege Seminar." That's a terrible name for a course. With a name like that, right out of the gate, you divide people.

Why not "Race Relations in America"? That's not explosive. Face it, Notre Dame's course name, "White Privilege," points fingers and creates victims. It is code for all whites have a leg up. And that's simply just not true.

There are many poor whites, unemployed whites, whites who have lots of problems. White Americans down and out, with no hope. Just like there are many black Americans, unemployed, with lots of problems, down and out. And likewise, with no hope. There are also middle class blacks and middle class whites who have lots of problems, too.

Now, it's no secret I'm white. I also have privilege. But I know a lot of blacks that are right there with me with that privilege. But that's not the point of this "Off the Record." The point is this. Notre Dame and other universities that use terms like "White Privilege" are not going to heal the divides - past divides, present divides, or future divides. Course names actually set the tone for the semester and blaming something is a lousy way to start.

So Notre Dame should stand up, set a different tone, pick a course name different message, one that inspires students to join together. And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.