Student employees at James Madison University in Virginia are receiving training to recognize that people identifying as male, straight, cisgender or Christian are "oppressors" engaging in the "systematic subjugation" of other social groups, Fox News reports.
The training was part of work for incoming orientation, Fox News reported, citing documents it had obtained from the training sessions that included social justice and inclusion.
According to a training video required to be viewed by student staff and hosted by coordinators Jessica Weed and Jennifer Iwerks, oppression is described as "the systematic subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for the social, economic and political benefit of the more powerful social group."
The video says an "oppressor" group is one with power to define reality for themselves as well as others. As a result, the "target" groups "take in and internalize the negative messages about them and end up cooperating with the oppressors (thinking and acting like them)."
Privilege is defined as the "unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group at the expense of targeted groups." The oppressor and target groups' members are "socialized to play their roles as normal and correct."
Among the races and nationalities listed as "privileged" or "agents" are those identifying as male, cisgender, heterosexual, heteroromantic, Christian, white, Western European, American, upper to middle class, thin/athletic build, able-bodied or ages 30s to early 50s.
The "oppressed" or "target" groups include those identifying as Black, Asian, Latinx, non-Western European, LGBTQ+, homoromantic, Muslim, Jewish, working class, overweight or disabled.
Once the training was complete the student employees received an email telling them not to ''share these materials with others."
"The training was held to help ensure that every student guide for freshman orientation had the tools and understanding to work with incoming students, who might have a different background than their own," a JMU spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. "At JMU, we strive to create an inclusive and welcoming community for all students. We also seek feedback on the training to constantly work on improving how we communicate [with] and train student staff members."
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