There is a new controversy at Claremont Colleges where a housing advertisement specifically barred white students from living in an off-campus house. Karé Ureña (PZ ’18) posted a housing offer for People of Color only and added “I don’t want to live with any white folks.” There has been a rising objection, particularly from conservative students, that there is a double standard on campuses and that, in this case, the school would never tolerate a student barred blacks or Hispanics from applying for housing. Indeed, off-campus housing at Tulane University was recently the scene of students tearing down a display viewed as racist without any sanction from the university. Some (even CNN commentators) insist that African-Americans or people of color cannot be racist by definition. For example, CNN Political commentator Marc Lamont Hill has maintained that black people lack the “institutional power” necessary to “deploy racism.”
The post at Claremont states that “POC [people of color] only” will be considered for this living opportunity. Various students supported the right to bar whites. For example, AJ León (PZ ’18), a member of the Pitzer Latino Student Union is quoted as saying that “This is directed to protect POC, not white people. Don’t see how this is racist at all…” So, if a white student says, he does not want to live with Hispanics, that would not be directed at Hispanics?
Sara Roschdi (PZ ’17), also Pitzer Latino Student Union member, insisted, “People of color are allowed to create safe POC only spaces. It is not reverse racism or discriminatory, it is self preservation.” Another Nina Lee, a Women’s Studies major, objected to those objecting: “We don’t want to have to tiptoe around fragile white feelings in a space where we just want to relax and be comfortable.”
Other comments in support of the exclusion are too profane to include in this column, but can be read here.
Claremont has not responded what it would do with white students who bar students of color from off-campus housing. However, the controversy should produce a response from the school on its policy on such racial discrimination in housing.
What do you think?
69 thoughts on “Claremont Colleges Face Controversy Over Housing Ad That Excludes White Students”
Warning severe sarcasm : Finally a black person gets it! We whites have been wanting segregation since the end of slavery.. First they wanted to ride our buses, then go to our schools, then live in our neighbor hoods. We whites never wanted their welfare collecting, crack smoking, gold chain selling people around us. “we feel uncomfortable” But they always insisted on living with us and sharing every thing. Now should we go back to the way it was. Or should you let white people live in your dam dorm??????
Just up the street the university provides 5 different affinity groups with some space in former faculty residents, very nice. The unobvious affinity group is Oceania, micronesians and polynesians.
Hmmm….only blonde Nordic women need apply.
Who’s the racist?
Mix the countries of residence, now who’s the racist?
Ruwanda ….was a racist war?? UN DECLARATION.
Who gets to define sociological terms?
In any case, I think everyone is racist. Proof? It only takes, at the most, two questions if answered honestly…assuming one is capable of recognizing and expressing themselves.
Everyone is prejudice (pre-judge) and it takes an act of will not to discriminate. Now I will say that a true sociopath is none of the above. There is no concern for or about the other.
Renegade, I’ll call you on this one: “In any case, I think everyone is racist. Proof? It only takes, at the most, two questions if answered honestly…assuming one is capable of recognizing and expressing themselves.
Everyone is prejudice (pre-judge) and it takes an act of will not to discriminate.”
Not everyone is prejudiced. I’d venture that most pre-adolescent children who haven’t been indoctrinated are not prejudiced. You have to be taught to hate and fear.
But as for the rest of us, because of the hate and fear, as you say, “it takes an act of will not to discriminate.”
Is there a moral here?
You said, “Racism, otoh, requires systemic, institutional power.”
SAYS WHO??? That is just your OPINION and somebody’s else’s OPINION, and guess what? Other people have opinions, too! Like me! And like people who write dictionaries!
People like YOU, like to define racism in such a way that it can’t be applied to black folks. Nice work if you can get it, and you are entitled to your OPINION. Other people, like me, don’t define it that way. Know why? Because just like good attributes are not restricted to one special race, neither are bad attributes.
Your definition is racisssst! because it denies black people their full place in the human race.
Bigotry knows no color or bounds. Racism, otoh, requires systemic, institutional power. PoC in this country do not have the power to racist.
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