Today we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King
I have great respect for the man and what he stood for. I also think it's a shame that politicians like to put words in his mouth after his tragic death. Oh, and I think his monument in DC really doesn't fit him.
Anyway - 3+ years ago (December, 2010), there was a huge stink at my alma mata, West Chester University.
Someone hung fliers for a proposed meeting of a "White Student Union" on campus. School responded by saying "there isn't a group", rather than discussing the root issue - that there are a host of groups on campus that are, by name, racially oriented.
Here's my letter to the editor, in its entirety.
To the Editor, Recently, all students were sent a communication by the “Campus Climate Intervention Team” regarding an apparent attempt on campus to form a “white student union” on campus. I do not live on campus, and the first time I became aware of this alleged group was from the University’s email stating that such a group did not exist. As a practicing Jew, I’m deeply concerned about the overt Aryan undertones in such a group, and I feel that I have as much as anyone else, if not more, to fear by a group that espouses “white power.” That being said, I also see the potential for discussion that the appearance of these posters on campus creates.
West Chester has a host of organizations that, by their very name, represent a selection of the university’s population by skin color. The obvious list includes the Black Student Union, as well as the Latino American Student Organization, The Black and Latino Greek Council, the Asian Student Association and Black Men United. I acknowledge that many things have changed in this country in the last 50 years, and that, yes, racism still exists.
My grandfather was present at Dr. King’s march on Washington, and he was arrested in the south in the sixties, as a white Catholic man from Massachusetts who felt he was morally responsible to help fight racism, and risked his life and livelihood to travel and support those in need. I think now, we do a disservice to those who fought in the civil rights battles if we gloss over this incident in the name of political correctness.
Embracing the potential for discussion that exists, I challenge that for the university to not allow such a group, in light of the other groups that already exist, is a morally incompatible position. I acknowledge that the school wants to promote diversity, however for this school to truly be “inclusive,” any group that exists to divide the student body by skin color alone does everyone a disservice.
Link to WCU's paper
Link to WCU's paper