A diversity chief at Johns Hopkins Medicine sent a “monthly diversity digest” email to staff with a letter that declared all white people, Christians, and men as “privileged.”
Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, chief diversity officer for the hospital system, also included “heterosexuals” and English speakers in the “privileged” category in her missive to all staff.
Under a section titled “Diversity is the word of the Month,” Golden defined privilege as “a set of unearned benefits given to people who are in a specific social group” that operates on “personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels.”
She provided a list of privileged social groups, which included: white people, able-bodied people, heterosexuals, cisgender people, males, Christians, Middle or owning class people, middle-aged people and English-speaking people.
“Privilege is characteristically invisible to people who have it. People in dominant groups often believe they have earned the privileges they enjoy or that everyone could have access to these privileges if only they worked to earn them,” she added in the letter.
The “monthly diversity digest” letter was provided to and posted on the X account “End Wokeness.”
The diversity statement was blasted on social media by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who tweeted “This must end!” Musk also happens to be white, cisgender, English-speaking and the richest man on the planet.
Embattled former president Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also condemned the decision, posting “The rot and racism in higher education goes so much further Harvard, MIT, and Penn (my alma mater) it has taken over virtually every institution and needs to end now.”
Golden retracted her definition of privilege and issued an apology to staff this morning after the backlash.
“The newsletter included a definition of the word privilege which, upon reflection, I deeply regret,” she wrote in a memo, obtained by The Daily Mail. “The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal.
“In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect,” she continued. “I retract and disavow the definition I shared and I am sorry.”
The Post has reached out to Johns Hopkins Medicine for comment.