A social justice movement took another step backwards this week with several college students proudly declaring that they were looking to room with people of color only.
“People of color are allowed to create safe POC only spaces,” an unidentified minority student said proudly when they were accused of racism. “It is not reverse racism or discriminatory, it is self-preservation.”
The Claremont Independent reported on the “POC only” safe-space movement Tuesday, where they highlighted a series of posts by students at Pitzer College.
Pitzer College is a private liberal arts college where some students are looking for non-white roommates, some of whom are members of the Pitzer Latino Student Union. Two of the college’s resident assistants defended this notion as well.
This movement was initiated and encouraged by a female Latina student, who asked on Facebook that anyone looking for a roommate at the college should contact her — but not any white people. The roommate invitation, she made clear, was “POC only,” saying, “I don’t want to live with any white folks.”
The post was called out for its clear racism, but a female member of the Pitzer Latino Student Union employed at the college argued that minorities are “allowed” to exclude white people as a means of “self-preservation.”
She also wrote:
“People of color are allowed to create safe POC only spaces. It is not reverse racism or discriminatory, it is self-preservation. Reverse racism isn’t a thing.”
Another Women’s Studies major at Pitzer added, “We don’t want to have to tiptoe around fragile white feelings in a space where we just want to relax and be comfortable. I could live with white people, but I would be far more comfortable living with other POC.”
That was mild compared to the can of worms that it eventually opened.
Elliot Dordick of The Claremont Independent notes that two resident assistants eventually got into the debate to defend anti-white safe spaces.
One of the resident assistants, a black Student Union member, wrote, “White people have caused so much trauma on these campuses … why in the world would I want to live with that? Bring that into my home? A place that is supposed to be safe for me?”
Another resident assistant at Pitzer, an Africana Studies major, blamed white people for creating a toxic environment that requires minorities to protect themselves — and here’s the hatred that spewed:
“White people always mad when they don’t feel included but at the end of the day y’all are damaging as f–k and if a POC feels they need to protect themselves from that toxic environment THEY CAN! Quick to try to jump on a POC but you won’t call your friends out when they’re being racist as f–k. I’m not responding to NO comments and NOPE I don’t wanna have a dialogue.”
Amazing that he would say that when the Black Lives Matter movement was initially started so that we could open up a dialogue and have a conversation about racial divide — instead of bottling up feelings that will inevitably result in violence.
Dordick provides an excerpt from Pitzer College’s Intercultural Understanding statement that proves particularly ironic:
“Intercultural Understanding enables Pitzer students to comprehend issues and events from cultural lenses beyond their own. [Pitzer College] supports the thoughtful exchange of ideas to increase understanding and awareness, and to work across difference without intimidation. We have the right to be heard and the responsibility to listen. Communication, even at its most vigorous, should be respectful and without intent to harm.”
This is the equivalent of adding drops to an already full bucket — eventually it will tip. This racism will only get worse if they’re not more open and accepting.
Pitzer College’s president needs to take a larger role in controlling this issue.