A professor at Penn State University recently made an “average white” student stand up in front of a 700-person lecture hall and explained that he has an inherent “benefit” over any black student, regardless of his behavior.
Dr. Sam Richards, a popular sociology professor at the Pennsylvania school, was attempting to demonstrate the effects of systemic racism last month when he executed the unusual classroom illustration.
“I just take the average white guy in class, whoever it is, it doesn’t really matter,” Richards said as he approached a section of students.
“Dude, this guy here. Stand up, bro. What’s your name, bro?” the professor then asked telling a student named Russell to stand up and face the class.
“Look at Russell, right here, it doesn’t matter what he does,” Richards continued. “If I match him up with a black guy in class, or a brown guy, even … who’s just like him, has the same GPA, looks like him, walks like him, talks like him, acts in a similar way, has been involved in the same groups on campus, takes the same leadership positions, whatever it is … and we send them into the same jobs … Russell has a benefit of having white skin.”
Only moments earlier, the professor brought a black student and a white student up in front of class before point-blank asking the white student what he thinks about his privilege.
“Bro, how does it feel knowing that [when] push comes to shove your skin’s kind of nice?” Richards asked the student, putting him on the spot.
“I don’t know, it makes me feel sad,” the student answered.
The nonprofit group that posted clips of the lecture on Twitter, Mythinformed MKE, noted that “critical race theory pedagogy divides people and assigns worth based solely on race” and that while this lecture was given to a college class, similar teaching has entered into elementary school curricula.
The full lecture, which took place on June 30, can be viewed on YouTube.
Richards, who often discusses race relations at the university, is well known for his unorthodox teaching style. His classroom antics have resulted in a WPSU-Penn State television production known as “You Can’t Say That.”
Based on clips used in the show’s trailer, Richards is well accustomed to espousing controversial views in outlandish ways. The ones highlighted in this article are only the tip of the iceberg.
In an interview last year with Onward State, Richards alleged that “people are not getting all the stories of people who are really peacefully assembling and just getting the s**t beat out of them by the police for no reason whatsoever.”
“If that happens once it’s a problem, but it’s happening again and again. It should be disturbing to people,” he added.