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Virginia college training video labels straight, white, Christian males as ‘oppressors’


A training video for student employees at James Madison University portrays people who are male, straight, cisgender, or Christian as ‘oppressors’. 

These so-called dominant ‘oppressors’ are considered a threat to submissive groups of different races, genders, sexualities and religions, according to the video.

Fox News reports that the video was mandated by JMU staff and shown to students that were in charge of working for first-year student orientations. 

The training being provided to these students was meant to teach them about social justice and inclusion. 

Students were warned via email after training was completed to not share the material they learned.

A training video was shown to student employees to educate them about social justice and inclusion 

 A statement released by JMU said: ‘The training was held to help ensure that every student guide for freshmen orientation had the tools and understanding to work with incoming students, who might have a different background than their own.

‘At JMU, we strive to create an inclusive and welcoming community for all students. We also seek feedback on the training to constantly work on improving how we communicate and train student staff members.’

In the video, staff coordinators Jessica Weed and Jennifer Iwerks discussed topics relating to oppression and privilege.

To begin, oppression was defined in the presentation as ‘the systematic subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for the social, economic and political benefit of the more powerful social group.’ 

Systematic subjugation is when a group of individuals hold more power and privilege than others.

These powerful individuals were seen as oppressor groups in the workshop that seem to set perceptions of the world for themselves as well as for other target groups. 

The concepts taught in the JMU video are similar to the ideas of the Critical Race Theory (CRT) that explores the relationship between race and U.S. law

The concepts taught in the JMU video are similar to the ideas of the Critical Race Theory (CRT) that explores the relationship between race and U.S. law

In turn, these target groups accept these perceptions and apply them to their lives as well as their method of thinking and acting.   

This privilege was defined as ‘unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group at the expense of targeted groups.’

 ‘It also said members of both the oppressor and target groups are “socialized to play their roles as normal and correct.’

The privileged were considered to be ‘male, cisgender, heterosexual, heteroromantic, Christian, White, Western European, American, upper to middle class, thin/athletic build, able-bodied, or ages 30s to early 50s.’ 

The oppressed in turn were identified as ‘Black, Asian, Latinx, non-Western European, LGBTQ+, homoromantic, Muslim, Jewish, working class, overweight, or disabled, among others.’   

These teachings relate to a concept formally known as critical race theory designed to examine the relationship between race and US law.

Teacher Monice Gill of Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia told Fox News that CRT was being implemented into the education system

Teacher Monice Gill of Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia told Fox News that CRT was being implemented into the education system 

JMU is not the only institution to be teaching these values to their students as other schools have received criticism for implementing it into the education system.

In another Fox interview, teacher Monica Gill of Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia stated that critical race theory was also being implemented by their education system.

Gill said that she witnessed students of color excluding white students from conversations because of their race.

‘No child should be excluded from a discussion because of their race’, Gill said. 

 The idea of concept of critical race theory became a nationwide debate during the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred last year.

 The theory has received criticism for it’s views on race and defining privilege and oppression based on the color of someone’s skin. 

However, the theory has also been supported by other for it’s way in which the relationship between race and American politics, culture, and law can be further explored and built upon.  



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