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'White Racism' class to be taught at Florida Gulf Coast University

Posted at 7:52 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 08:06:36-05

FORT MYERS, Fla., - A new class is coming to Florida Gulf Coast University and it's raising eyebrows.

The class is called ‘White Racism’ and will be offered in the Spring.

 “I thought the name was a little dramatic,” student Jamar Arrindell said. “It's been a growing topic of conversation."

The topic took center stage at an open forum Thursday night titled “Race, Immigration and White Supremacy in the Post-Obama era.”

“I saw the flyer for the event and had to come,” said Vanessa Fernandez, a former FGCU student. "I think it's important for us to talk through it so we can understand each other's sides”

Dr. Ted Thornhill, a sociology professor, will be teaching the course.

"I understand why some people might be uncomfortable by the title," he said. "But in order to move the conversation forward people have to get comfortable with getting uncomfortable." 

Thornhill said the new course wasn’t developed in response to racially charged messages found around campus last fall, but to give students a broad idea of the history of racism, white supremacy and how to challenge racism in today’s society.

 “Silence is not the answer," he said. "Conversation, knowledge, education is the answer and that's what I'm hoping to provide students with the opportunity to gain.”

The course was expanded from 35 to 50 students due to high demand, and it’s currently at capacity.