`White Privilege' Essay Contest Ruffles Upscale Coastal Town

A student essay on the topic of white privilege is stirring controversy in the wealthy  Connecticut shoreline town of Westport.

Contest organizers have been surprised by the reaction from some who say the question wrongly suggests race plays into the good life enjoyed in Westport.

One resident, 72-year-old Bari Reiner, says the question is offensive because the town welcomes anybody who can afford to live there.

The contest put on by the town's diversity council and open to high schoolers asks students to describe the impact white privilege has had on their lives.

The prompt reads “In 1,000 words or less, describe how you understand the term ‘white privilege’. To what extent do you think this privilege exists? What impact do you think it has had in your life—whatever your racial or ethnic identity—and in our society more broadly?"

The chairman of the diversity council is Harold Bailey Jr. He says that there has been more controversy than organizers expected in town and that people as far away as Singapore have weighed in online.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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