Home / Spring 2016 / 2016-02-04 / “Whiteness” History Month better than it appears

“Whiteness” History Month better than it appears

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/SPECTATOR

Written by Miles Brown, Staff Writer

As an African American male reading a proposed project from Portland Community College called “Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences and Change” disgusts and confuses me.

Portland Community College is one of the largest post-secondary institutions in Oregon, serving around 90,000 full-time and part-time students. After finding out exactly what the project is I relax and begin to understand exactly why this project was created.

The Whiteness History month is a multidisciplinary, district wide education process examining race and racism through exploration of the construction of whiteness, its organs and heritage. The project is scheduled to be enacted in April 2016. The project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solution to community issues and social problems that stem from racism.

Although the purpose and mission for the project is progressive in a sense, the name of the project takes all attention away from its mission. Using the term “Whiteness” makes the project seem less serious. Not only is it improper, but upon examining the article I found the name “Whiteness History Month” to be a knock off of Black History Month.

The project wants to improve campus climate, student veterans/success and aims to teach and improve the community. In order to fully or effectively accomplish these goals a month of history on the culture of both white and black people in society is not enough. A school semester or a permanent organization/committee that can carry out these goals may have been a better way to advocate for change. The project aims to explain whiteness and how it is socially constructed. My initial impression of the project was proven wrong and I  learned something new. However I believe a different name for the project would strengthen its credibility and allow others to understand its message.

I am happy there are colleges that have taken steps to improve race relations in the community and hopefully more ideas like this will continue to help create less racism.

Final:

As an African American male reading a proposed project from Portland Community College called “Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences and Change” disgusts and confuses me.

Portland Community College is one of the largest post-secondary institutions in Oregon, serving around 90,000 full-time and part-time students. After finding out exactly what the project is I relax and begin to understand exactly why this project was created.

The Whiteness History month is a multidisciplinary, district wide education process examining race and racism through exploration of the construction of whiteness, its organs and heritage. The project is scheduled to be enacted in April 2016. The project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solution to community issues and social problems that stem from racism.

Although the purpose and mission for the project is progressive in a sense, the name of the project takes all attention away from its mission. Using the term “Whiteness” makes the project seem less serious. Not only is it improper, but upon examining the article I found the name “Whiteness History Month” to be a knock off of Black History Month.

The project wants to improve campus climate, student veterans/success and aims to teach and improve the community. In order to fully or effectively accomplish these goals a month of history on the culture of both white and black people in society is not enough. A school semester or a permanent organization/committee that can carry out these goals may have been a better way to advocate for change. The project aims to explain whiteness and how it is socially constructed. My initial impression of the project was proven wrong and I  learned something new. However I believe a different name for the project would strengthen its credibility and allow others to understand its message.

I am happy there are colleges that have taken steps to improve race relations in the community and hopefully more ideas like this will continue to help create less racism.

 

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