When Portland Community College decided to declare April 2016 “Whiteness History Month,” the news did not go over well.
The month is described as “a multidisciplinary, district-wide, educational project examining race and racism through an exploration of the construction of Whiteness, its origins and heritage.” But as Jezebel reports, critics have taken issue with the project, arguing that its name centers White people and its arc bends toward reassuring them that indictments of the racist system don’t extend to calling out their perpetuation of it. Still others are concerned that it is about hating White people or celebrating their legacy.
In response, the organizers—Cascade Diversity Council’s Campus Climate Sub-committee—created the explainer video above to address what Whiteness History Month is…and isn’t. In the process the Oregon-based students provide an interesting treatise on the concepts of Whiteness and racism, and what they hope to accomplish with this project.
Watch and tell us what you think.