Services available for white men blind to own privilege
Ithaca, NY – The world can be a frightening place, full of violent crime, unequal pay and racial tension, all things that do not directly impact cisgender white men. That is quite a lot of responsibility to have on one’s shoulders. But there may be a solution to all that inexplicable feeling of guilt kicking around in the minds of white male America.
Next month a new organization will open their doors for those having a hard time grasping the true depth of their own societal privilege. They call themselves Weinheimer’s Organization for Killing Egos – or W.O.K.E for short, and their mission statement is simple: “To ease the pain of white guilt” through “awareness-building exercises,” as well as “discussion-based seminars” on what to do when presented with one’s own privilege.
Evan Weinheimer said he once tragically lamented the fact that he, like roughly 33 percent of the United States, is able to walk alone at night without the fear of being harassed by other predominantly cis white men, but that after the exercises and mindfulness tactics that he came up with, he can once again sleep comfortably at night.
“I had to learn [to say to] myself, ‘it’s okay because it’s not your fault,’” Weinheimer said. “But that can sometimes be the hardest part.”
The classes don’t officially begin until Dec. 5, but people, of really only one proverbial shape and size, are already pre-registering for sessions at W.O.K.E. in order to seek treatment for their privilege-induced sadness. At the end of the three-week course, participants are given their certificate of white innocence, ready to face the world, believing in their hearts it’s just not their fault.
One local, who chose to stay anonymous, said he is looking forward to finally being able to look women in the eye.
“I can’t wait to earn my certification. I just want to be able to shake a woman’s hand and smile, confident that the fact she statistically makes less money than I do across the board has nothing to do with me.”
Weinheimer said he was careful to create a diverse curriculum that would “satisfy everyone’s needs.” This means the courses will not be a general intermixing of issues, but rather each issue will be properly addressed in individual courses. Examples include “Women’s Rights: Why We Have It Hard Too,” and “Race Issues: How To Be An Embattled Leader.”
“We don’t want to leave anyone out,” Weinheimer said. “It’s important to keep inclusion in mind.”