17 Feb 2020 UVA to Blame for Racial Intolerance
Of all the places where racial intolerance could rear its ugly head, did it have to happen again in Charlottesville, Virginia?
In the same city where protests over race and the public display of historic statues of Confederate leaders led to violence and death, how could students at the University of Virginia think that it is alright to encourage racial separatism?
UVA officials were compelled to clarify that the new Multicultural Student Center (MSC) on the campus was meant to be “inclusive” after the Young America’s Foundation posted a video of a black student making a “public service announcement” in the center that essentially told white students that they were not welcome:
If y’all didn’t know, this is MSC. And, frankly, there are just too many white people in here – and this is a space for people of color. So just be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up because it does make some of us [persons of color] uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here.
She added that “there are very few spaces for us,” and white students allegedly have “the whole [rest of the] university” for themselves.
Horace said that the University of Virginia must shoulder the blame for this racial incident because its efforts to adhere to radical racial politics run afoul of both of the law and goals of racial equality:
She was saying exactly what she thought the university was telling her – that it’s OK to exclude people on the basis of race.
It was the university’s job to make sure that, when people come to UVA, they understand that the institution does not discriminate on the basis of race…
It’s simply not true that, when she was in high school, that she was told – yes, when you go off to college, there are going to be black spaces and white spaces. It is not true that the town that she lived in taught her this. It was the University of Virginia that left her with this impression, and I blame the University of Virginia for not making it clear not just to her, but to all students and not waiting until a video goes viral in order to clarify that that is the case.
In hammering the point home that segregated facilities are not to be tolerated, Horace emphasized: “There can’t be facilities built on the campus with taxpayer dollars that are just for certain groups based on their gender or based on race.”
When asked during the interview if the University of Virginia deserved the benefit of the doubt – and assuming that good intentions were simply misinterpreted – Horace said:
If you want to have a place where people learn to be more tolerant, one of the key aims of such a place is supposed to be explaining everyone can come here and everyone is going to be tolerated.
It apparently is the case that, not just this center, but the university communicated that there are places that are preferred for some racial groups over other racial groups. And that is – in fact – not a marketing problem, not a language problem but a fundamental rejection of what our country stands for.
Every American is welcome regardless of their racial group. And as long as UVA is a taxpayer-funded institution, it not only must adhere to that – it ought to be championing that.