By Victor Ochieng
Appalachian State University is currently caught in controversy after posters were seen asking white students to “check their privilege.”
The said posters are calling for white, male, able-bodied, Christian or cisgender to be conscious of the priviledge they’re enjoying, with the board posted in the Plemmons Student Union building. That board has been up and running since last semester as controversy continues to simmer about whether that should be allowed to continue.
Several conservatives aren’t happy with the board, which they argue singles out members of a specific religion and is also leaning on some political viewpoint in a public area.
There are, however, others who are in agreement with the board’s message, but argue that the message isn’t properly presented.
“The content of the board is not inclusive, which is what an RA should be,” said one dorm resident who had seen the board. “I have a hard time believing that I should learn at [3 a.m.] on my way to the bathroom. I agree with what [creator Reggie Gravely] is getting across, but not how he’s doing it.”
This isn’t the first of its kind to be displayed at the university. Last year, some students displayed a board at the East Hall dormitory denouncing students drawn from some specific demographics groups.
The current board borrows features from another campaign at the University of San Francisco, whose intention was to bring attention to some privileges enjoyed by some members of society which they inherently acquire at birth.
Unfortunately, the campaign didn’t work to unite the students as might have been intended, only working to cause divisions between different student groups.
The idea of privilege is more of a collectivist idea that assumes that all members of a given community are either better than others regardless of their actual position in the society. It’s such concepts that see some students get lower admission standards based on the color of their skin as opposed to the kind of social background they come from.
The privilege theory is what entrenches the saying that “everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
It also promotes a mentality where a group that’s perceived to be at the lowest ebb of the society gets some undue advantages even when they don’t deserve it.