A video (below) shown as part of a high school presentation is accused of sparking tension, controversy and “white guilt.”
The student body at Glen Allen High School in Henrico, Virginia, viewed an animated video during an assembly for Black History Month.
The video entitled, "Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race," shows black and white men and women competing in a race through American history. The black runners are not allowed to start the race until the year 1964, after which they face various obstacles such as the school-to-prison pipeline, racial profiling, underemployment and poor schooling.
During the entire race, the white athletes are able to accumulate wealth to pass on through generations. Toward the end, the white man receives extra assistance and ultimately wins the race.
The video has sparked much discussion from residents of various ethnic backgrounds, some of whom believed the video was offensive and divisive.
“A lot of people thought it was offensive to white people and made them feel bad about being privileged,” student Kenny Manning told WRIC. “Others thought that it was good to get the information out there. There is oppression going on in the world, and it that needs to be looked at with a magnifying glass, I guess.”
"They are sitting there watching a video that is dividing them up from a racial standpoint,” said Don Blake, a student’s grandparent. “It's a White guilt kind of video. I think somebody should be held accountable for this."
"Y'all are privileged,” read a tweet, reported WWBT. “Get the [expletive] over it.”
The comments on the video are similarly mixed, as some YouTube users accuse others of being “very short sighted.”
“Thanks for providing such a telling insight into these issues,” wrote Aleshia Hayes. “Sadly, self serving bias will prevent many people from understanding these truths, even in the light of the clarity you provided.”
“I don't know if I should find solace or despair in the unified amount of Black & White folks equally missing the point of this video,” wrote one YouTuber.
The school issued a statement explaining the video was part of a discussion about “American history and racial discourse,” and that feedback was welcome both inside and outside the classroom.