(Note: this is paraphrased from a conversation–this is not a direct quote of writing). Bruce King, the Assistant to the President for Insitutional Diversity, says:
There is legitimacy to this students’ concern. We live in a historical moment where some people are waking up and being forced to think about issues they have never been confronted with before. Comfort zones are changing, and new voices are being heard. As a result, for the first time, many white men are becoming conscious of the fact that they are white men. This particular student has probably never walked into a room and wondered where to go–he has always had a spot at the table where he knows his place, his race, his gender, and his power will not be questioned. This particular student probably feels uncomfortable with being called to understand his own identity (perhaps for the first time) and to understand how it fits in with the identities of others. It is not an issue of safety so much as an issue of needing to articulate what it means to be a white male in this world today. It can be scary to confront one’s own privilege, power, and place, but ultimately that is what the world is calling this student to do today.