A group of students at Iowa State University recently compared "white privilege" to a "virus" and a "disease" that should be treated by a "doctor."
In a letter published by the Iowa State Daily April 12, Leaders United for a Change wrote that there is a "sickness spreading at Iowa State" and asked readers to see a doctor if they had these symptoms: "You can get your hair cut wherever you want; You can walk into the supermarket and find your favorite foods; You can see yourself positively portrayed in the media; You can speak your native tongue without getting looks or comments from other people."
The students added: "If you have symptoms like those described above, you may want to be checked for white privilege. White privilege is like a virus. Carriers are often unaware of their infection for decades while spreading their disease to everyone they come in contact with. White privilege also spreads in ways we wouldn’t expect, namely, through the media."
"There have been two letters to the editor within the past month complaining about their whiteness being compromised, whether that be through scholarship opportunities for minorities, or through being 'forced' to be 'politically correct' (also known as being conscientious and respectful by most sensible people)."
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The students then slammed a previous article about disability scholarships being "different from race or faith-based scholarships."
Later in the letter, the students said, "White people have spent decades building wealth while many of our ancestors were blocked from buying property, owning homes and building businesses. As a result, white families have double the wealth on average than families of color, meaning we often have less financial support from our families."
Campus Reform notes that the students warned that the First Amendment should not be used to spread "blatantly wrong rhetoric."
The group also wrote on its Facebook page, Latinos Unidos for Change, on the same day: "The Daily has the right to publish any opinion pieces that the editorial staff deems fit. Several pieces spark a lot of controversial [dialog] and they display the institutionalized white supremacy that Iowa State University holds. Most recently, there was a piece about Iowa State being 'too politically correct', but not too long before that, there was an opinion piece making an argument against race-based scholarships."
"Both of these pieces (and many before them) use a lot of privileged reasoning behind the arguments of the authors. So this is our letter to the editor, pointing out the privilege behind those opinion pieces."