Trolls Are Making White Student Union Pages on Facebook Because Diversity is Horrible and Scary
I was on my Facebook recently when I saw a bunch of my NYU classmates linking to this Facebook page. It was especially gross because NYU had recently hosted an all-University listening conversation about diversity and inclusiveness and this was clearly some butt-head’s reaction to an open dialogue.
It’s coming out now that this page was one of many white student unions that were popping up, made by racist trolls specifically at universities that are actively addressing issues of diversity and race. The Washington Post claims there are as many as 30 white student unions with university names that sprung up recently. The Daily Beast claimed it was a coordinated effort by 4chan and 8chan. However, in an interview with the The Tab, the NYU page creator claimed to be an NYU student from New Jersey, and continues to do so.
So how have schools reacted to these pages using their names? Universities like University of California Berkeley, Penn State, and NYU have publicly refuted the idea that any of these unions were affiliated with the University. NYU issued a statement yesterday denouncing the page, which led to the group’s name change from “NYU White Student Union” to “Union of White NYU Students.” Additionally, they’ve changed their logo from the NYU torch to a statue of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.
The problem with these pages, however, is that even if they are fake you can see a lot of comments on both NYU’s statement and on the page itself of genuine support. As an NYU student, I’ve heard lots of classmates, especially of European descent, lament the ways that they felt attacked or inconvenienced by this dialogue. This was especially true during the huge amount of #BlackLivesMatter protests in NYC and at the NYU library, when many unhappy students expressed their dissatisfaction via anonymous confession pages and apps. You don’t have to look far to see the same sentiments currently being thrown at Yale and Missouri.
However, it’s worth mentioning that NYU has safe spaces to talk about whiteness. The Center for Multicultural Education and Programs has tons of regular programs like Unpacking Whiteness and Intergroup Dialogue that deconstruct privilege and encourage frank and honest dialogue. This group simply wants to spout hate speech without having anyone correct them.
(via Huffington Post )
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