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The Multicultural Resource Center at Amherst College welcomes the discussion of ‘Unpacking Whiteness’

(photo courtesy of the Amherst College facebook page)

Available in Chinese.

The Multicultural Resource Center at Amherst College was full of students and community members eager to participate in the “Unpacking Whiteness” discussion Tuesday night with Amherst College juniors Tacia Díaz and Julia Pfatteicher.

Event was to explore and discuss many topics: what whiteness is, when people first realize they are white and what strategies should they adopt to move forward.

Pfatteicher, the event’s outreach coordinator, had the idea of a program centered around whiteness since she was a freshman. She felt that, “Colored or oppressed people go through the pressure and emotional labor to educate historically marginalized people.” Pfatteicher wanted people to feel comfortable to speak about what it means to be white.

“My sister wasn’t white, and I had to realize she had a different experience than me,” Díaz said, explaining that she is the only white person in her family.

“Whiteness is always something that was there, but never talked about,” Pfatteicher said. She noted the Amherst Uprising, where Amherst students voiced their opinions on racism and prejudice.

“There was a whole other experience I was ignorant of, and privileged of,” Pfatteicher said.

“Whiteness is the norm, and it is invisible,” Alyssa Snyder, an Amherst College sociology junior, said. “Talking to white people about whiteness at Amherst is nonexistent.”

Attendees discussed the difference between being white and the privilege of being white. Some people felt white privilege is known to dictate and mediate race interactions, and set everyday norms.

“It’s important to talk about the complexities of whiteness. It’s messy, but we need the opportunity to flesh it out,” Díaz said.

Participants in the discussion also shared the importance of educating themselves and how whiteness can be used to further racial justice.

“Are students going to leave this event, pat themselves on the back and say, ‘I did my white duty of the week?’ Or are they going to continue this conversation and continue to educate themselves?” Snyder said.

Saárah Murphy can be reached at



4 Responses to “The Multicultural Resource Center at Amherst College welcomes the discussion of ‘Unpacking Whiteness’”
  1. NITZAKHON says:

    Martin Luther King, Jr, is spinning in his grave so fast we could power the country. Even has his noble words, “I have a dream that one day my little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Leftists judge by the color of their skin.

    No wonder he was a Republican.

  2. Robbins Mitchell says:

    One observes that the people doing all this “unpacking” will do so while continuing to speak my King’s English….the “whitest” language extant today….how droll

  3. Seruzawa says:

    Another racist quisling screed from a brainwashed self-hater. Stalin would be proud at how well the descendants of his agents have ruined “higher” education.

  4. Ed Cutting, Ed.D says:

    One word: Rwanda.

    Three more: Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    Sorta flies in the face of all of this political theory, doesn’t it?

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