A College Dormitory R.A. posts a bulletin board reminding students to check their privilege. Fox News defends a victim of the manufactured controversy.

April 2, 2015

Fox News has figured out that they can no longer be on the wrong side of history with respect to Mike Pence's anti-LGBT, pro-fundamentalist, Christian law. So what do they do? They try to distract their semi-hypnotized audience with another case of white, Christian persecution. Laura Littler, a student at Appalachian State University, saw a bulletin board in her dormitory hall which made her feel

"shameful for my heritage, my upbringing and my life choices, and it just concerned me that it was in a dorm."

Cue in the violins, because Laura felt uncomfortable having to check her privilege for the first time because a dorm R.A. decided to join a national social campaign.

Three professors at the University of San Francisco (USF) are claiming that if you are white, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian, or male, you must “check your privilege,” as part of a campus-wide social marketing campaign that began last week.

The controversial bulletin board

"If you can expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christian Privilege," according to the new campaign, which defines privilege as “unearned access to social power based on membership in a dominant social group.”

Fox News interviewed the junior commercial photography major about the reaction she received once she posted the pictures of the board on her Facebook page. Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked if she felt intimidated, which she's never asked a black man after a police officer pointed a gun at him for no good reason. This is just a bulletin board designed to make people more introspective on issues of discrimination. Of course Littler replied yes she was intimidated. She tells Hasselbeck that the severely conservative group, Campus Reform, reached out to her and made this into a big deal, much to her dismay.

“A residential hall is the last place to push an agenda,” Littler told Campus Reform. “When I come home, I want to feel accepted, not outcasted for something I can't help. I can't help that I'm Caucasian. Will they be happy if I change the color of my skin so I don't have my ‘white privilege’ anymore? I want to be comfortable in my own skin. You can't preach equality if you aren't willing to let a people group feel accepted as they are.”

According to Mike Herbert, a sophomore communication major who lives on the hall, coming back to school after Spring Break to see the bulletin board only added to the already contentious relationship between students on the hall and the RA, who took over only a few months prior.

“It was like a slap in the face,” Herbert told Campus Reform in an exclusive phone interview Monday afternoon. “Although a lot of us have similar views as he does, we feel like it’s a giant middle finger to us.”

Herbert said one flier on the bulletin board told students who didn’t understand “what was wrong with [them]” to come to the RA’s dorm room so that he could “enlighten” them.

This is the tasty red meat the right wing craves. How dare anyone suggest a student put themselves in the shoes of another person who is perhaps gay, black, cisgendered, female or, heaven forbid, Muslim. You aren't trying to increase tolerance, as far as Campus Reform or Fox News is concerned, you are just trying to make white people feel badly about themselves.

They mentioned, several times, that this went viral. Of course they assigned no blame to Campus Reform for their role in all this. This scrutiny was a heck of a lot less cruel than the comments a LGBT student must endure. Littler continues,

"I read that because I was white, I had never experienced oppression before, so I deserved the cyber bullying that I received and it really hurt at first."

Ultimately, she figured out that these people don't know her and are "welcome to talk to her in person." She didn't seem half as troubled as Elisabeth appeared.

Hasselbeck asks if the school is planning to take the board down. Littler explained that she didn't mean to start a war on the board by posting the pictures and the presentation of the board was more concerning to her than the materials. She never intended for this to create such a controversy and wants everyone to come together and resolve all of our differences peacefully. But Fox and other right wingers don't want to drop this at all.

This media blitz is the construct of conservative outlets like Campus Reform, Fox News, The Daily Caller and Young Cons who will continue to exploit this student to manufacture a controversy. They all deny white privilege exists, much like man-made climate change, and will play the victim card as long as possible.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.