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But let’s be clear: The problem with conservatives like Hasselback isn’t really about this particular class; it’s about the broader notion that America’s white citizens are shrinking in population and being overtaken by Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians. Racial diversity has never been a concept that conservatives openly embrace because they are ruled by fear; fear of social change; fear of the unknown; fear of anything that is different from their sheltered collective experiences.

Here’s how Arizona State University defended its decision to offer the class:

This course uses literature and rhetoric to look at how stories shape people’s understandings and experiences of race. It encourages students to examine how people talk about — or avoid talking about — race in the contemporary United States. This is an interdisciplinary course, so students will draw on history, literature, speeches and cultural changes — from scholarly texts to humor. The class is designed to empower students to confront the difficult and often thorny issues that surround us today and reach thoughtful conclusions rather than display gut reactions. A university is an academic environment where we discuss and debate a wide array of viewpoints.

Eighteen students are enrolled in the class offered every Monday and Wednesday and half the class is empty. Sadly, Bebout said he’s been inundated with hateful emails after the Fox News segment but he remains committed to teaching the class to those students who have signed up.

“We need to have these difficult conversations,” Nolan Cabrera, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, told reporters. “He (Bebout) is doing exactly what a university professor is supposed to be doing in provoking and engaging difficult discussions and trying to foster critical thinking in his students.”

I hope the class on race and “whiteness” fills up. Conservatives like Hasselback can’t stop the racial demographic shift that is sweeping the country no matter how often they shout it down on Fox News. Here’s a thought: Deal with it.

What do you think?

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