The Un-Fair Campaign is an organization that isn’t afraid to speak about White privilege and educate others on racism. Launched this past January in Duluth, Minn., the University of Wisconsin Duluth-Superior‘s organization, along with 16 other partners, was formed to educate White people in the community and encourage a dialogue to foster racial justice.

But their methods haven’t been received too well.

A number of billboards were set up in the community, such as the one below:


Several blogs, conservative ones of course, have called the ads “racially charged”.

“You can’t open a discussion on race and hope to see it move in a positive direction when you raise the topic by stereotyping an entire race. It spreads animosity and hate, teaches a new generation to point fingers and [focuses] on the color of our skin instead of the idea that we’re all human”, said Duluth resident, Phil Pierson.

Un-Fair’s mission is clearly defined on their website:

Our community is proud, resilient, strong and filled with disparities.  Duluth School District data for 2010 shows that 80% of white students graduate in four years compared to 34% of Native American students and 25% of African-American students. 2010 census data for Duluth shows that 18% of whites live in poverty compared to 67% of Blacks and 56% of Native Americans.

Recent data from St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services shows that a person living in one specific area of Duluth can expect to live 11 years longer than a person living in another specific area of Duluth. These statistics should be of concern to every one of us.

Although they recognize the criticism, they don’t plan on backing down. UW-Superior said in a statement released last week that the school is “proud to host the diversity dialogues” but will also work to reshape the campaign to not alienate one particular group.

“We have an obligation to engage in difficult conversations about complex, even controversial social issues, with a goal of finding workable solutions,” the UW-Superior statement reads.


What do you think about the campaign? Do you think the Un-Fair Campaign is doing the right thing to make people realize White privilege is real and force people to truly acknowledge the racism that still exists in society?

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  • jen

    please go to defend your opinion because obviously this message in thread is getting lost in translation.
    go here to read these replies in messages from this article and you will know what I’m speaking of.

    • Breitbart is hot garbage so is the audience.

    • Soulfulindustry


      Why is it worth our time energy and effort to go into a space that is not POC friendly in hopes of educating more white folx about white privilege? White folx really need to do their own work on this on.

      There is only so much POC can do with an unwilling and surly audience. Imho the best teachers for this job are white because they can fully empathize with what working through white privilege entails on the daily basis.

      Many POC generally have enough crap thrown at them just going about their day to have the space, empathy or energy to be educating white folx about how inconsiderate they are.(well…most of ’em)

      Besides, why should we continue to put ourselves in emotional/psychological/psychic harms way for people who may not be invested enough to hear what we have to say….and…will be super nasty to boot.

      Now I do believe in having interracial dialogues… coalitions, potlucks and…stuff, but only with people who have proven to be actually invested in moving forward together and willing to do the work. I don’t believe in engaging random surly folx who are too scared or angry to hear what I have to say.

    • jen

      what is the point of a campaign if it doesn’t reach an audience. Then why even campaign and waste your breath on those that already believe whatever you have to say.
      by staying on this forum and replying to other people all you are doing is preaching to the choir.

  • I’m no graphic designer, but it seems like these ads are not put together very well. I had a hard time reading the text, even after I clicked through and made it bigger. I think most people are not going to take the time to read all the words (especially on a billboard–that’s dangerous!)

    I also think it’s interesting that the biggest words are, “I’m white. And that’s unfair.” Is that really the main idea that they’re trying to get across?

    The conversation about white privilege is a worthwhile conversation to have, but it is important that white people don’t get stuck in white guilt. Democrats have just as many racial issues as republicans–there’s a reason that black people have made such little progress in the last several hundred years–under Presidents of both parties.

    • “Democrats have just as many racial issues as republicans”

      that is simply NOT true…

    • Whut? You don’t believe that white democrats are just this group of completely enlightened people when it comes to race, do you?

      There may be more overt racists that identify as republican, but just because racism is subtle doesn’t make it any better.

    • “There may be more overt racists that identify as republican”

      like i said…

    • Democrats don’t have as many racial issues as Republican. But the Democratic party is not without Racism. For instance many of the measures the President took to not alienate white voters and “Conservative to moderate Democrats” could be considered treading lightly out of fear of them going to “the other side” which many of them did any way. This is why there were murmurs of discontent among African Americans regarding his policies toward poverty. Second, people have left the Democratic party or will not even pursue political ambitions within the party out of concern over the limited potential for advancement. In fact, I predict that due to the pandering to Latin Americans and the appeasing of “conservative” Democrats African American Democrats will see little to no advancement opportunity whatsoever in the party and neither will black issues.

    • balderdash..the democratic party is not perfect but opportunities exist and there will be ambitious black people to take advantage of them.

  • Let me begin by saying that privileged classes tend to deny their privilege (mostly out of failure to recognize it) then fell as though their rights are being infringed upon once there is an attempt at achieving any semblance of equality. (i.e. when their privilege is treated). “We’ve heard “take our country back” repeatedly and the rhetoric of the Republican Base and the Tea Party is a testament to this. When I teak Race and Ethnicity or Intro to Sociology to my students I often give them this document as an assignment. The mixed responses from my students are always memorable. Enjoty.

  • K

    Let’s say a white person sees these ads and acknowledges that they are privileged. Then what? How does that lessen the discrimination felt by non-whites? The underlying subtext of this campaign is that once whites acknowledge their white privilege they will have some emotional reaction to it and therefore lessen the discrimination they dole out to non-whites. This is a hard sell to me. I believe most American whites are indifferent to the plight of “others”, black, Latino or otherwise. American culture is individualistic. American whites are worried about their mortgages, their IRA’s, their kids’ education, their businesses, etc. They aren’t worried about whether non-whites are getting treated fairly. That’s what this campaign misses. If ensuring that every person living in America receives fair treatment ranked high on most white people’s priority lists this campaign may have been effective in educating them on privilege that they would then want to eradicate. I believe the opposite is true. I believe a white person in Duluth seeing these ads would say “yeah, I’m white and privileged. And what?” That’s just my take.

  • lex

    duhhh, we are obviously living in a white supremacist society,the make and inforce the laws!!!!!