Universities' failures have been manifold. They assume authority and responsibility then fail to deliver the remedies they promise. Institutions that are supposed to act as storehouses of humanistic values seem to abandon those values and look with indifference on the destruction of the lives of their own students.
I, maybe more than most people, can completely understand why broke white folks get pissed when the word "privilege" is thrown around. As a child I was constantly discriminated against because of my poverty, and those wounds still run deep. But luckily my college education introduced me to a more nuanced concept of privilege: intersectionality.
Atheists in America face some measure of discrimination, and we want a way to talk about that discrimination so that it's taken seriously. But our approach thus far is setting us back, and may even be putting us in conflict with identity groups who could and ought to be alongside us in a struggle towards pluralistic understanding.
There is a phenomenon on the campus of DePauw University called "The DePauw Bubble." It is when you get caught up in all of the things that happen at DePauw that you forget about the "real world." Yet, there is another phenomenon on this campus that many people are not aware of -- I call it the Privilege Bubble.
While I applaud the intentions of the voluntourists of the world, I think it is important for them to remain grounded in reality. They need to be constantly cognizant of their privileged positions to be doing development work in the first place and the limitations of both their time commitments and outsider status.