Black student groups across most of North America are giving schools lists of demands that include “safe spaces” where only students of color may congregate.
Some of the groups are asking for segregation without calling it segregation.
Professor James Huffman, Dean Emeritus at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon, made an interesting observation on the societal change regarding segregation in today’s culture:
Do students of color hang out together because they feel disrespected and discriminated against—because they are excluded? Or is it a matter of choice rooted in racial pride, perceived cultural difference, and a desire to preserve and protect that difference from the dominant white culture? While the protesters would surely assert their right to racial self-segregation for reasons of pride, solidarity and culture, they do not hesitate to claim that disrespect and discrimination by other students and school officials prevent their full and equal participation in the university. To be clear, no one is claiming that students of color are being denied access to higher education—the sort of discrimination James Meredith experienced a half century ago at the University of Mississippi. Rather, today’s discrimination is said to take the form of “micro-aggressions”—subtle actions and loaded language that slowly eat away at self-confidence and the sense of belonging.
There are 76 groups which have listed their demands for college administrators. Some of the demands are the same, and some of the demands differ, but all want some pretty unreasonable things.
While a few of the demands are somewhat reasonable, here are some of the more “original” demands:
Black Liberation Collective (Multiple Colleges)
WE DEMAND free tuition for Black and indigenous students.
President Martin must issue a statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latin@ racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism. Also include that marginalized communities and their allies should feel safe at Amherst College.
Place all undocumented students in the domestic/U.S.A. applicant pool, not the international admissions pool. If not placed in the domestic pool, the admissions office shall release a statement explaining the processes taken in admissions for undocumented students.
We demand an opportunity to educate and be educated about America’s historical treatment and marginalization of groups of color through race/ethnicity requirements throughout all schools and colleges within the university.
Rebranding the Afrikan Diaspora Floor with Residential Life. Black students lack spaces where they feel safe and comfortable. The Afrikan Diaspora floor is a way for us to connect more to other Black students, the Afrikan Student Union, and the Afro-Am department. The floor should be branded as a safe space for all Black students.
Basically, the demands are stating: pay for it, apologize, categorize people, tell people about how evil America is, and segregate.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought, non-violently, to end segregated portions of society and equality regardless of race.
Do these groups realize that some of the things they are demanding take society back 50 years and completely negate the changes Dr. King fought for?