NYC college offers Abolition of Whiteness course

NEW YORK (CHASING NEWS) -- Hunter College is offering a course next fall called The Abolition of Whiteness. The course will examine whiteness, white supremacy and violence.

The class will be taught by Jennifer Gaboury, associate director of the school's Women and Gender Studies Program.

According to her bio on the Hunter College website, her work is related to issues of masculinities, feminisms, and politics; she is currently working on a project related to race and sex segregation in public bathroom facilities. 

"As a white person the best thing I can do with this kind of issue is educate myself," said Hunter College student Jessica Creason.

But is the class potentially divisive or is it a way to challenge young people to think freely? There was a spirited discussion in the Chasing News studio.

"Is it how to abolish whiteness? Is it a racist class?" host Bill Spadea asked.

"Our infrastructure is built on everything Western that comes from Europe," chaser Ashley Johnson explained. "There is the notion that you and I are not the same, and it's understanding what role that has played in society. You don't see me like you see your cousin.

"When you first see me, you see me as a black woman," Johnson told Spadea.

"How do you know I see you as a black woman first?" Spadea asked.

University of Penn professor Chad Dion Lassiter, a national expert on race relations and president of Black Men At Penn, joined the discussion.

"We've always had 'whiteness courses' at Penn," Lassiter said. "We need courses like this. They shouldn't be rooted in making whites feel bad. They should definitely be rooted in talking about the intersectionality of white privilege.

But does white privilege even exist?

"I don't think so," Spadea said.