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Ohio State University Health Sciences Course Requires Students to Engage with “White Privilege Knapsack”

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A health sciences program offered at Ohio State University requires those who enroll in the course to participate in a series of discussions and assignments on gender and race, including one that asks students to address their privileges if they are white, heterosexual or able. -body.

The course – titled Individual Differences in Patient/Client Populations – is offered by the university’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and is a recipient of the school’s Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) grant, which “provides grants to instructors who want to transform their courses.” using open and affordable materials.

The documents regarding the fall 2023 online course, which were reviewed by Fox News Digital, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Do No Harm, a group of doctors, professionals health professionals, medical students, patients and policy makers who aim to “protect health care from a radical, divisive and discriminatory ideology”.

One of these required class assignments, which was described in FOIA-obtained documents related to the course, is called “Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” and requires students to complete a series of “activities.” about their “privilege”.

Three “activities” were listed on the document for students to choose from – the “White Privilege Backpack”, the “Heterosexual Privilege Backpack” and the “Able-bodied Privilege Backpack” – although students had the possibility of replacing them with heterosexual privilege and able-bodied people privilege activities for another more recent backpack topic proposed by other scholars and activists.

A health sciences program offered at Ohio State University requires those who enroll in the course to participate in a series of discussions and assignments on gender and race.
AFP via Getty Images

The mission stems from a 1989 essay titled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” written by feminist scholar and anti-racist activist Peggy McIntosh.

The course materials included a series of extracts from McIntosh’s work.

Such statements from the work that attempted to prove the existence of white privilege appeared in the course handout, including one that stated: “Whiteness has protected me from many types of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was subtly led to visit, in my turn. , about people of color.

One discussion asked students to talk about their privileges if they were white, heterosexual, or able-bodied.
AFP via Getty Images

Regarding the assignment, students were asked to write a reflection and “consider how this differs or does not differ from how you defined your relative privilege before, what you can do with the level of privilege you have , how things would be different. if you had more privileges, etc.

While the “White Privilege Knapsack” activity required an OSU login to view, the “Heterosexual Privilege Knapsack” activity was made available with no login required. Divided into two categories titled “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” the privileged activity explained to students that if you are a heterosexual person, you “don’t have to worry about people harassing or assaulting you.”

In addition to the backpack activities, students were also required to watch a documentary titled “White People” and discuss their thoughts on the film.

According to the handout, students were asked to address “whiteness” and describe what “the term ‘white’ meant to them.” Students were also asked to explain how they “navigate race” in their daily lives and why “the statement ‘Black lives matter’ triggers some white Americans.”

Students were also asked to read “Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race,” which included the idea that “race is a modern idea, race has no genetic basis, and race does not is not biological, but racism is real.”

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, president of Do No Harm, told Fox News Digital that the course reinforces a narrative seen at many U.S. universities that “indoctrinate students.”

“The Ohio State University Health Sciences program curriculum highlights a broader trend found at many universities across the country: the adoption of political and divisive ideologies aimed at indoctrinating students ” Goldfarb said. “They theorize that interactions between groups should be viewed through the lens of critical race theory and the oppressor/oppressed dyad. This is pure identity politics that can only lead to divisions and hostility between groups.”

For this assignment, students were asked to write a reflection and “consider how this differs or does not differ from how you defined your relative privilege before, what you can do with the level of privilege you have, how things would be different if you had more privileges, etc.
AFP via Getty Images

“Rather than engaging in polarizing debates that deviate from the core values ​​of health care, universities should prioritize equipping future health care providers with essential skills, knowledge and empathetic understanding to provide the best possible care,” Goldfarb added.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Ben Johnson, a university spokesperson, said: “Ohio State believes in academic freedom and freedom of expression, including the free exchange of ideas between students and teachers. The university seeks to foster and maintain a campus environment where all viewpoints are welcome and respected.

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