Saturday I attended the first ever White Privilege conference hosted by Carleton College with 36 other Carleton students. The conference specifically focused on how racism should not be defined by specific actions and words of people but rather by various acts, thoughts, and prejudices. In other words seeing racism on a continuum in which people are either more/less racist on the scale, because we are all informed by one prejudice or another. It also helped everyone to realize that racism is caused by a variety of societal structures that were put in place long before we were born, so when an act of racism is done it is neither helpful nor fair to insist the person, institution etc. that is the perpetrator is inherently bad, but rather informed by racist logic. Seeing things holistically rather than individually allows us as a community to address the problem at the root rather than shying away and avoiding it all together.
Though Carleton is an amazing place it isn’t exempt from the problems that plague the rest of world, but there is a difference between Carleton and the world around us. Carleton recognizes issues and then leaves it to students to take the initiative and find ways to resolve said issues. So many of the students who attended the conference decided to band together and start The Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC). The organization hopes to bring awareness about race issues to both the Carleton Community and the other communities at large. What I truly enjoy about Carleton students is that they do not deal with the issues by ignoring them, instead they band together to create projects that will appropriately help in resolving them.