I don’t think most white people understand that America is a default white space. I don’t think they get that traditional America is white America. That virtually all of the nation’s long-standing institutions—the justice system, corporate America, the housing market in well-resourced neighborhoods, financing and, of course, academia—are institutions that are geared toward whiteness. Looking for default white spaces in America is like looking for a needle in a haystack that’s actually made up of needles.
So, sometimes people of color need their own spaces to get away from America. And by “America,” I mean white people.
Right now there are a lot of white people losing their fragile minds over the University of California, Berkeley students of color carving out a space for themselves to “avoid white violence” and, well, whiteness in general if we’re keeping it real.
From the New York Post:
The five-story, 30-room “Person of Color Theme House” near the school requires students to declare their race when signing in and to announce when they’re bringing white guests in to the building, according to house rules leaked on Reddit.com.
“Many POC moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests,” the rules declare. “White guests are not allowed in common spaces.”
The building, which houses up to 56 students a few blocks from the university, also urges students to avoid bringing family members that “express bigotry,” according to the College Fix.
“Queer, Black, and Indigenous members should not have to avoid common spaces because of homophobic or racist parents/family members,” the rules state.
The building was set up by the Berkeley Student Cooperative to bring affordable “housing to low-income, first generation, immigrant and marginalized students of color” in the Bay Area.
Adam Ratliff, Assistant Director of Media Relations and Critical Communications for the university, told The Post the “co-op housing is not run by the university” and is actually “operated by a private landlord, and it is not the role of the campus to comment on what private landlords are ‘allowed’ to do.” And if white people had done the five minutes of research it would have taken to see that the school itself is not banning white people from anything, they wouldn’t be up and down social media acting like reverse Jim Crow is happening at Berkeley.
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