The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) has joined an ad campaign aimed at reducing racial injustice by saying that it is "unfair" to be white and that white people are not simply lucky, but privileged.
The video ad for the "Un-fair" campaign consists entirely of Caucasians and features slogans such as "Society was set up for us" written in black marker across their faces, as they talk about how they are not looked at with suspicion or treated differently because of the color of their skin.
The campaign features a number of other efforts, such as a billboards and lectures at the university.
"You give me better jobs, better pay, better treatment, and a better chance -- all because of the color of my skin," reads one poster, and all others are also focused around the idea that it is simply the color of one's skin that grants people privileges, or creates disadvantages in society.
The lectures on white privilege will last one semester, and include a presentation by Tim Wise, the author of Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, which examines cultural and racial bias in America.
"A most recent effort is UMD's partnership with other Duluth community organizations to support and provide leadership to the Un-Fair Campaign, a major anti-racism effort focusing on the role white people can play in addressing racial disparities," wrote university Chancellor Lendley Black, who is white.
"Developed in Duluth, the Un-Fair Campaign strives to raise awareness about white privilege in our community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnership that result in fundamental, systemic change towards racial justice. UMD is sponsoring a variety of activities as part of the campaign," he further explained.
The campaign has attracted its fair share of criticism, however, with some respondents to the university webpage noting that the "Un-Fair" campaign was itself biased because it makes the assumption that all white people are privileged because of their skin color.
"Actually, it's unfair to be black because they can all play basketball, they have natural rhythm and can dance and sing, but unfortunately they all have criminal tendencies. See how that works? It's called bigotry and prejudice, assuming all members of a racial group share the same characteristics. Like there are no poor or underprivileged white people?" wrote commenter "babygiraffe".
"Actually, today it's probably an advantage to claim minority status when applying for a job or college admission. Just as Elizabeth Warren. It's so advantageous NOT to be white, people are lying about it," the user added.
Another commenter, "datruth," suggested that minorities were in fact privileged when it comes to corporate employment.
"This is utter nonsense. As someone who has worked in corporate America for 25 years major corporations are always looking for QUALIFIED minorities to hire. Fact is a qualified minority will get preference over a similarly qualified white person in most cases," the reader wrote.
"The reality is the inner city predominantly black and Hispanic public schools is where you will find real racism. Low expectations, lack of discipline, refusal to remove problem student (lawyers), inability to fire incompetent teachers and NO COMPETITION results in unprepared graduates," he added.