A college student group in Canada is offering CPR and first aid training for black students only.
A group called York United Black Student’s Alliance (YUBSA) is holding these classes at York University in Toronto as part of its “duty” to the black community. The students defended their move to train only black students, stating their actions are not racist.
The group’s reasoning behind this black-only class offering is due to York Universities’ “longstanding history of erasure of black bodies, black students, and black space on this campus.”
It stated the purpose of their organization is to “provide our black brothers and sisters the opportunity to access resources that may be unavailable to them otherwise.”
In a statement, YUBSA said:
“It has come to the attention of the York United Black Student’s Alliance that we have anti-black racism in our midst.
YUBSA recently began an initiative in which we saw the necessity and usefulness of offering CPR certifications to our community.
WE as a community service group were created in 1996 because of the lack of representation that the black students had at York University historically. York University since it’s inception has had a longstanding history of erasure of black bodies, black students, and black space on this campus.
Our willingness to carve out space on this campus is an ongoing DUTY of our service group. Our efforts to create more accessible means for our community members to access these programs is a RESPONSIBILITY that we the YUBSA executive have. WE are chosen to represent the interests of the black students at York from an anti-oppressive framework.”
The statement ended by asking people to keep their “anti-black racism in check” and to “do better.”
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@ all black students interested in CPR & emergency first aid training 💉 you can register for a training session on March 24th/25th
Only $30 pic.twitter.com/fnhPbBfvuF
— YUBSA (@YUBlackStudents) March 1, 2017
The group also addressed Twitter comments directed at them from outraged students, blaming “anti-black racism” for the uproar and claiming the group’s services are “catered towards black students for a reason.”
YUBSA explained that while learning CPR is something “anyone should be able to access,” their services are strictly for the black community and that this is not, in fact, racist.
According to MCRTV, the students issued another statement claiming “whites are not a marginalized group,” so they do not need their own spaces on campus.
YUBSA has stated that if anyone is offended by their efforts, they should file human rights complaints against them so that they can “collect the receipts of your anti-black racism that York continuously fails to acknowledge is ever present on this campus:”
“For white folks to claim that they need additional space with whiteness subsumed in the entirety of the Canadian context is idiotic.
The idea that some folks believe that white supremacy needs to be perpetuated by carving out even more space for white folks is redundant.
The fact that we as black students who are cognizant of this history of colonization and exploitation are faced with resistance for wanting to provide support for black community members, when other service groups and cultural student groups do this as well, is a testament to the significant anti-blackness that YUBSA and our black community members face every single day. Do better.
To the folks who claim they want to file complaints to human rights for prioritizing Black folks in our most recent endeavor. We encourage this. It saves us the trouble of having to collect the receipts of your anti-black racism that York continuously fails to acknowledge is ever present on this campus.”
Recently YUBSA has been catching a TON of flack and been the target of anti black comments because our services are for Black students
— YUBSA (@YUBlackStudents) March 5, 2017
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