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The trouble with 'racial awareness' on campus

The trouble with 'racial awareness' on campus

When I was at university in London in the early 1990s, Michael Jackson's mega-hit “Black or White” was forever blaring in the student bar. As we drank our flat beers, we'd sing along: “It don't matter if you're black or white.” On American campuses, that statement might now be perceived as a so-called microaggression.

Recently I visited USC and UC Irvine. The students I met saw themselves and their classmates as colors more than characters. They obsessed over the historical baggage their pigmentation allegedly brought with it.

“As a white man” — that's how one USC student started almost every...