WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) — When the city sponsored a scholar essay contest on the subject of white privilege, it was meant to impress dialogue on this rich, overwhelmingly white group on Connecticut’s Gold Coast.
It did, together with no small quantity of shock.
Contest organizers have been stunned by the response from some who say the query wrongly suggests race performs into the great life loved in Westport.
Residents like Bari Reiner, seventy two, say the query is offensive as a result of the city welcomes anyone who can afford to reside right here.
“It’s an open city,” Reiner stated. “There are not any barricades right here. No one says when you’re black or no matter, you’ll be able to’t transfer right here.”
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The competition , placed on by the city’s variety council, asks college students to explain the influence white privilege has had on their lives, utilizing a time period that refers usually to benefits conferred routinely to whites, and to not minorities. The idea has moved into the mainstream because the nation has mentioned race extra brazenly.
The chairman of the range council, Harold Bailey Jr., stated that along with the chatter on the town, individuals as distant as Singapore have weighed in on-line.
“There’s much more controversy round it than many people anticipated,” stated Bailey, a retired IBM vice chairman who’s black. “Simply the very fact it says ‘white’ and ‘privilege,’ for some those that’s all they should see, and hastily we’re race-baiting or making an attempt to get individuals to really feel responsible. That’s under no circumstances what it’s about.”
Like different New York Metropolis suburbs on the Connecticut shoreline, Westport ranks among the many nation’s wealthiest locations. Its median household revenue tops $one hundred fifty,000, and it’s house to the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. As of the 2010 census, its 26,000 residents have been additionally ninety three % white.
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The city has a liberal streak that some attribute to its vibrant arts group, and it voted by greater than 2 to 1 for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump. It additionally has not been resistant to episodes of racism. Dozens of scholars on the public Staples Excessive Faculty have been disciplined for circulating racially offensive memes in a personal Fb group uncovered in November.
The range council, TEAM Westport, was created greater than a decade in the past to extend variety and make the city extra welcoming. The winner of the…