PHILADELPHIA – Thursday marked the start of “The 17th Annual White Privilege Conference” and this year’s theme is “Let Freedom Ring, Re-Imagining Equality & Social Justice in the United States.”
The annual event is aimed at promoting the theory of White Privilege – that American society is hopelessly stacked against minorities and the only way to fix the system is for white people to acknowledge their immense “privilege” and repent.
“Our vision is to build a community committed to dismantling white privilege, white supremacy and oppression, every day, everywhere,” wrote Eddie Moore Jr., founder and president of “The Privilege Institute,” which organizes the event.
“WPC fosters an environment where every participant can engage deeply, and then through our Accountability program, bring what they have learned back to their own community so that their WPC experience impacts their lives, employment, and community all year long.”
The 2016 theme and Philadelphia location are designed to highlight the main reasons why the White Privilege Institute, and its like-minded attendees at the conference, hate America the most.
“Throughout the history of the United States, ‘liberty’ and ‘justice’ have been espoused values, which have only ever applied to a very small minority of people,” according to a letter to conference participants. “The Constitution supported the enslavement of Africans; the U.S. government orchestrated the decimation of Native American nations; until 1952 Congress prohibited Asians and Latinos from naturalizing as U.S. citizens because they were not White; the Bill of Rights did not apply to persons who were not White, male and Christian.”
The letter also offered a few questions for attendees to ponder during the conference, among them: “What would it look like to have reparations for all injustices committed in the U.S. and for the broken promises of liberty and justice for all?” and “How has Christianity shaped life in the U.S. to the exclusion and oppression of other religions?”
Metro reports 2,500 teachers, school administrators and counselors will attend the conference — the largest attendance to date.
The conference is championed by a radical sect of educators from the organization Rethinking Schools, which promotes the concepts of white privilege and the conference itself to teachers across the country. In 2014, EAGnews attended the White Privilege Conference in Madison, Wisconsin to record some of the sessions.
“The master’s house has a black face, but it’s still the master’s house,” one professor told her audience in 2014. “(Obama) works for the master of the system of white privilege.”
“And then there are the little white families who live in the little white zones in little white gated communities and send their kids to little white academies,” activist Leonard Zeskind explained at the time.
The 2016 conference features a wide variety workshops and caucus groups for adults and students that focus on race, racism, perceived white privilege and black oppression, and other “racial justice” topics.
Student workshops include “Racial Literacy Reflections: Youth Buffering Rejection through a Racial Trauma Magazine,” “I’m a good person! Isn’t That Enough?” “Nativism 101,” “Hip Hop and White Privilege,” “White Privilege and Implicit Bias: Dealing with Unconscious Stereotypes and Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” and others.
The event, which runs today through Sunday, also features breakout sessions like the “4th Annual Black Male Think Tank” and “Institutes” on specific social justice topics, such as “The National Constitution Center: An Exploration of the White Racial Frame,” “White Women: Internalized Sexism and White Superiority,” and “White Followership – Centering People of Color and Building Effective White Practices for Racial Justice & Systemic Change.”
This year’s race-based conference also branches into new territory with discussions about gay and transgender rights, as well as Islam.
The workshop “’But I’m an Ally!’: LGBTQ Youth, Inersectionality & White Privilege,” for example, “help youth-serving professional unpack how white privilege and white supremacy limit our ability to be effective allies to LGBTQ youth, in particular, LGBTQ youth of color,” the conference program explains.
The workshop “White American Islamophobia,” meanwhile, explains how “bigoted views of white conservatives like Bill O’Reilly and white liberals such as Bill Maher unveil how Islamophobia is not a partisan issue.”
It also aims to “clear up misinformation about Islam and Muslims and the socio-political implications of White American Xenophobia,” according to the program.