A Pennsylvania State professor singled out an “average white guy” in a lecture and used him as an example of how his skin color benefits him over any Black student, even if they have comparable backgrounds and resumes.
SOC119: Race and Ethnic Relations Professor Sam Richards, who teaches the 700-student, pulled students up before the class on June 30 to discuss white privilege.
“I just take the average White guy in class, whoever it is, it doesn’t matter,” sociology professor Sam Richards says in a video filmed in a packed lecture hall last month.
“Dude, this guy here. Stand up, bro. What’s your name, bro?” the professor says to one White male student in the class named Russell.
The student, Russell, stood up to face the class.
Penn State Professor pulls an “average white student” from the lecture audience and explains that he has an inherent benefit over a black student because he is white.
Critical Race Theory pedagogy teaches the same lessons to k-12 students. This is why it does not belong in k-12. pic.twitter.com/duIYlB0Jdu
— Mythinformed MKE (@MythinformedMKE) July 12, 2021
“Look at Russell, right here, it doesn’t matter what he does,” Richards continues in the video. “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 similarly, 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.”
In another class on March 4, Richards attacked two white students as “oppressors” while discussing the Critical Race Theory training taking place at Coca-Cola. The company made headlines after it was revealed that they had instructed their employees to “be less white.”
Richards, according to Campus Reform, asked the class for thoughts on a Coca-Cola slide which read, “To be less white is to be less oppressive, is less arrogant, be less certain, be less defensive, be less ignorant, be more humble, listen, believe, break with the party, break with white solidarity.”
“I think, you know, it’s more or less just recognizing the advantages you have in life,” James, a student, responded. “Whatever that may be, and not thinking yourself superior because of that.”
The professor was pleased with that answer, then turned to another student, Brian, and asked, “What White people would find that offensive?”
“Conservatives, I guess,” Brain responded.
“What would they find offensive about it?”
CR reports that out of “canceled” concerns, Brian hesitated to answer
“White people have been like, ‘we’re oppressors, we’re arrogant, we’re confident or certain, defensive — and dumb,” Richards replied. “White people are dumb. That’s a message: White people are dumb. That is a key message right there.”
The professor then asked Brian, “Who have you oppressed today?”
“I haven’t oppressed anyone today,” said Brian.
“You’re breathing. Have you left your house today?” replied Richards?
“Yes,” Brian said.
“Okay, so you may have oppressed somebody,” Richards concluded.
Here’s a report from Fox News about the response of Penn State about the video:
“Professor Richards purposefully teaches in a manner designed to promote discussion across a spectrum of opinions. His class is a popular elective, in which each semester hundreds (~800) of students join, bringing their varied perspectives.”
“The class is quite balanced with individuals from different ethnic, gender, and political backgrounds. Richards and his course colleagues take time to discuss opinions from many perspectives — from liberal to conservative — and the classroom conversation is framed thoughtfully; this is supported in post-course surveys among students who have taken the class.”
The Pennsylvania school also noted that “often on social media short snippets are taken out of a longer lecture/class discussion, and at times taken out of context.”