With cameras rolling, a black student complained about “too many white people” in her “safe space” on the college campus. Needless to say, it backfired.
A student at the University of Virginia was captured on video making a “public service announcement,” during which she complained that “too many white people” were using the campus’s new Multicultural Student Center (MSC). The 30-second clip was later shared to Twitter by a conservative youth group called Young America’s Foundation (YAF), where it garnered a lot of attention.
“Leftists at the University of Virginia are dictating who is and who isn’t allowed in the new Multicultural Student Center. ‘Frankly there is just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color,'” the group captioned the video, using a quote from the girl who’s seen making the PSA. “This kind of racist intolerance is NOT multicultural,” YAF added. The clip quickly went viral with millions of views.
Leftists at the University of Virginia are dictating who is and who isn’t allowed in the new Multicultural Student Center.
“Frankly there is just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color.”
This kind of racist intolerance is NOT multicultural. pic.twitter.com/XkefKqfqLA
— YAF (@yaf) February 12, 2020
“Excuse me! Public service announcement! Excuse me!” the unnamed student shouts as she stands before the room. “If y’all didn’t know, this is a MSC, and frankly, there are just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color,” she declares. “So, just be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up because it does make some of us POCs uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here.”
By “POCs”, she’s referring to persons of color, and she makes it clear that she believes the Multicultural Student Center (MSC) is for them, specifically. “It’s only been open for four days,” she adds, referring to the MSC. “And, frankly, there’s a whole university for a lot of y’all to be at and there’s very few spaces for us,” she continues with “y’all” referring to the white students and “us” meaning persons of color.
“So, keep that in mind. Thank you,” she concludes as she takes her seat, receiving a brief round of applause and cheers from at least one supporter as she proudly smiles from ear to ear. Unfortunately for her, not everyone on Twitter was as receptive to her message. Instead of being praised, her attempt to exclude white students from the MSC at UVA received some pretty harsh reactions.
While there were those who voiced their support, many other Twitter users accused the student of racism and mocked the trend of “safe spaces” for purportedly oppressed identity groups on college campuses and elsewhere. “Once upon a time racial segregation was Apartheid in South Africa or Jim Crow’s America,” tweeted British education reformer Katharine Birbalsingh. “In 2020, it is the average campus at a US university. I thought we had made progress. Seems not.”
“Hey, @UVa, this is what a ‘multicultural center’ causes. More race-based thinking and segregating. One of many reasons I have not contributed to UVa in 20 years (which of course means not on the most-favored list),” Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, tweeted. But, it wasn’t just Twitter users who thought the PSA was dead wrong. Thankfully, the University of Virginia did too.
According to the UVA student newspaper, just prior to the viral video, the school had opened four new student centers to accommodate the campus’s growing “diversity.” The Multicultural Student Center was relocated along with the LGBTQ Center, and the Latinx Student Center and Interfaith Center were opened for the first time, The Cavalier Daily reported. But, according to a statement from UVA, the student in the video was incorrect in her assumptions because the student centers are open to “all members of the University community.”
“In order to foster the diversity of experience and ideas that make UVA a great and good place to study and work, these centers are open to all members of the University community,” the statement issued from the university, following the backlash of the video, read in part. “They complement existing student-focused spaces such as the 1515 Building on the Corner, opened in March 2017, and Ern Commons in the Alderman Road residential area, opened in March 2012.”
In addition, Brian Coy, a spokesman for the school, told the Washington Examiner that the university needs “to build a community that is not just diverse, but also inclusive,” further tearing down the unnamed student’s misguided PSA. University President Jim Ryan agreed and echoed those sentiments: “As president, I believe deeply that we need to build a community that is not just diverse, but also inclusive.”
The Multicultural Student Center at UVA was intended to be a “student-centered, collaborative space that supports underrepresented and marginalized communities while cultivating the holistic empowerment of all students,” the university’s website reads, but obviously, not everyone sees it as a place for all students to come together and collaborate. Instead, they discriminate, all in the name of “diversity” and “inclusion.” Sadly, such misconceptions run rampant, where “multicultural” places become hotbeds of exclusion, division, and segregation.
Multicultural means just that: multiple cultures. By definition, it relates to several cultural or ethnic groups. In no way does it exclude any ethnicity, race, or culture. What’s more, you don’t end racism with racism. In the wise words of Morgan Freeman, we stop racism when we “stop talking about it” — stop talking about skin color and stop letting it be used to divide us into opposing groups on our college campuses and elsewhere in our world.