In a bizarre display of cluelessness, one community college in Washington State decided to fight perceived racism on campus with a legitimate display of racism aimed at the school’s white faculty members.
In an invitation sent to all South Puget Sound Community College employees, a so-called “happy hour” touted a discussion of unity and diversity. The only problem in pursuing that noble goal, however, is the unequivocal denial of admission for any whites.
Included in the emailed flyer was the answer to anticipated question regarding whether Caucasians could attend the highly secretive shindig being held at an undisclosed location.
“No,” the invitation stated bluntly. “If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that.”
Obviously, the exclusionary meeting struck virtually everyone as ill-advised, especially given its stated purpose of discussing race relations. Fortunately, school administrators recognized the foolishness of hosting a segregated gathering and called it off.
“It was obviously a mistake,” said Dean of College Relations Kellie Purce Braseth.
She came to the same conclusion of almost any rational human, saying anyone “should be able to come – that just makes a richer conversation.”
The Diversity and Equity Center Program Coordinator, however, was not convinced. In a statement to local media, Karama Blackhorn revealed her opinion that “trying to explicitly talk about race … can be a really difficult conversation for a lot of people.”
By that, she apparently means white people. Of course, it makes it all the more difficult to discuss such issues if they are prohibited from joining in the conversation.
The Western Center for Journalism made several attempts to contact the event’s coordinators in an effort to gain more insight into the thought process behind the exclusionary meeting. As of this writing, no one behind the program has responded.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: The Library of Congress (Creative Commons)