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Minnesota University Student Leaders Asked to Recognize Their ‘Privilege’

Counter protesters hold up fists and signs during a march to the 'Free Speech Rally' on Boston Common on August 19, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Thousands of demonstrators and counter-protestors are expected at Boston Common where the Boston Free Speech Rally is being held. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
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Student leaders at Minnesota State University Moorhead are asked to attend training sessions that aim to help them recognize their privilege.

All student leaders at Minnesota State University Moorhead are asked to attend two 90-minute training sessions that will help their recognize their privileges. According to university materials, the sessions focus on issues of race, oppression, prejudice, and “microaggressions.”

The university’s Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer Donna Brown explained in a comment to The College Fix that the sessions are not mandatory.

“These two sessions are part of a series of training sessions offered to student leaders before the start of Fall classes,” Brown said in her comment. “A student may opt out of any individual session, including these two. … The sessions are open to any student who wishes to participate, so some may choose to attend.”

One of the sessions, which is called “Social Justice 101,” focuses on radical leftist concepts like intersectionality and “microaggressions.” The description for the session explains that it will help them gain a better perspective on the role that privilege plays in our world.

90-minute interactive presentation introduces students to core concepts of critical social justice, including identity, privilege and oppression, intersectionality and microaggressions. The second half provides tools and scenarios to help students learn to become better listeners and navigate difficult dialogues in day-to-day interactions. Students will gain a more nuanced understanding of how identity shapes our experiences and the role each of us can play in creating more inclusive communities.

In March, the University of California published a list of unacceptable “microaggressions.” The list said that calling America a “land of opportunity” is a racist microaggression that could offend certain minority groups.

It is also a microaggression to say that “the most qualified person should get the job” or to express doubts about the effectiveness of Affirmative Action programs, the website claims. Moreover, to say that “America is the land of opportunity” propagates the “myth of meritocracy,” as do statements such as “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”

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