Let the Deprogramming Begin

M. Catherine Evans

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction suggests its white AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteers working with students in racially diverse schools wear white wristbands to remind themselves of their privileged status.

According to CNSNews the header on DPI's web page reads "Power and Privilege." The taxpayer funded department offers hints on how white people can examine their personal prejudices and eventually "learn..how to undo" inherent biases.

DPI also links to several different websites and blogs with names like "Racialicious." One linked document urges volunteers to reflect on their racist ways by taking a personal inventory.  

How do I ignore privilege? What am I doing today to undo my privilege? How do I fool myself into thinking I am powerless?

Then it lists a few exercises: 

-- Set aside sections of the day to critically examine how privilege is working.
-- Put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege.
-- Make a daily list of the ways privilege played out, and steps taken or not taken to address privilege.
-- Find a person of color who is willing to hold you accountable for addressing privilege.

 Is this China's Cultural Revolution meets black nationalism?

Stokely Carmichael, one of Michelle Obama's favorite people, once said, "America cannot condemn herself for her criminal acts against black America. So black people have done it-you stand condemned." Carmichael didn't believe "snotty white kids" could ever be made to repent on their own. 

Chairman Mao, on the other hand held "self-criticism" to be an effective vehicle for re-education of the bourgeosie. He believed the "oppressor" could be rehabilitated through indoctrination. All incorrect tendencies had to be expunged through self-condemnation. In turn, comrades would no longer be filled with the shame and guilt associated with "bourgeois thoughts" freeing them to become loyal followers of the Party.

Mao said, "Self-criticism is imperative and wrong tendencies must be squarely faced and consientiously corrected."

Interestingly, DPI quotes Gloria Steinem on the "Power and Privilege" site echoing Mao's call "not to learn, but to unlearn."

Government-funded programs like AmeriCorps VISTA have been around for awhile but in the age of Obama another requirement has been added. Now it appears white volunteers have to be deprogrammed.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report


The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction suggests its white AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteers working with students in racially diverse schools wear white wristbands to remind themselves of their privileged status.

According to CNSNews the header on DPI's web page reads "Power and Privilege." The taxpayer funded department offers hints on how white people can examine their personal prejudices and eventually "learn..how to undo" inherent biases.

DPI also links to several different websites and blogs with names like "Racialicious." One linked document urges volunteers to reflect on their racist ways by taking a personal inventory.  

How do I ignore privilege? What am I doing today to undo my privilege? How do I fool myself into thinking I am powerless?

Then it lists a few exercises: 

-- Set aside sections of the day to critically examine how privilege is working.
-- Put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege.
-- Make a daily list of the ways privilege played out, and steps taken or not taken to address privilege.
-- Find a person of color who is willing to hold you accountable for addressing privilege.

 Is this China's Cultural Revolution meets black nationalism?

Stokely Carmichael, one of Michelle Obama's favorite people, once said, "America cannot condemn herself for her criminal acts against black America. So black people have done it-you stand condemned." Carmichael didn't believe "snotty white kids" could ever be made to repent on their own. 

Chairman Mao, on the other hand held "self-criticism" to be an effective vehicle for re-education of the bourgeosie. He believed the "oppressor" could be rehabilitated through indoctrination. All incorrect tendencies had to be expunged through self-condemnation. In turn, comrades would no longer be filled with the shame and guilt associated with "bourgeois thoughts" freeing them to become loyal followers of the Party.

Mao said, "Self-criticism is imperative and wrong tendencies must be squarely faced and consientiously corrected."

Interestingly, DPI quotes Gloria Steinem on the "Power and Privilege" site echoing Mao's call "not to learn, but to unlearn."

Government-funded programs like AmeriCorps VISTA have been around for awhile but in the age of Obama another requirement has been added. Now it appears white volunteers have to be deprogrammed.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report