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Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center

Student-Led Activities

Think Tank: Ignorance is Bliss: The Phenomenon of White Privilege

By Amy Song '16

Professor Franklin led a stimulating discussion on white privilege, prejudice and racism. He put on a video to start off the discussion. Two test subjects are sent to settle in St. Louis. Glen, a black man, is constantly ignored, disadvantaged and monitored, while Greg, a white man, is catered to. In one instance, when Glen is browsing in a CD shop, the salesman follows him around to monitor him. Professor Franklin pointed out: “It isn’t the question of blaming the white person for following him, but the question of why he followed Glen.” He believes white Americans, whether intentionally or unintentionally, benefit from racism; some are guilty of actively committing it, while others are guilty of omission. What we need is a call to action – to “consider it, be aware of it, and try to find ways" to solve it.