We all know America's campuses are loaded with Ward Churchill clones, lefty individuals and whole departments. But have you stopped to think that's even true in conservative Colorado Springs? Here's an example of your tax dollars at work at UCCS. The Knapsack Institute will run again this summer as it has for the past decade. It was inspired, the website says, by a 1988 paper on "White Privilege and Male Privilege," authored by Peggy McIntosh of Wellesley College, where she confesses:
"I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant' to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compass, emergency gear, and blank checks."
The UCCS web page continues as follows. You'll be glad to learn that having built their beachhead of soft-Marxist guilt and reeducation in higher ed, the Knapsackers now intend to clear down through the school grades to kindergarten, with forays into the oppression-ridden world of nonprofit organizations as well. But hear it in their own words:
The Knapsack Institute is offered every summer at UCCS, and can also be brought to your campus or institution. While K-12 teachers and non-profit staff members have participated in the UCCS KI, and are welcome to continue to do so, we are in the process of developing a KI specifically for each of these populations, to be offered during 2009. These institutes will address the same issues detailed below, but focus specifically on the K-12 and non-profit contexts. If you or your organization is interested in participating in one of these new programs, or in bringing a KI to your organization, please contact Dena Samuels (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In this Institute we will discuss the concept of unpacking our "invisible weightless knapsacks" of privilege, and in so doing, we hope to provide you with a knapsack full of useful tools to use as you begin (or continue) to teach the concepts of privilege and oppression in your classrooms. The Knapsack Institute welcomes ALL faculty committed to improving their teaching around issues of privilege and oppression.