Students at the Pitzer College in Claremont, California advertised for roomates on Facebook, but stated that “people of color only” will be considered.
Karé Ureña, who will graduate in 2018, posted the notice on Facebook, saying that she and two other students plan to live in an off-campus house, and non-white students in need of housing arrangements should reach out to her or the other two students.
The students said people of color need a “safe space” away from whites where they can “relax and be comfortable.” It’s not reverse-racism… it’s self-preservation, they claim.
Campus Reform has shared a screenshot of the original Facebook ad:
A campus newspaper, the Claremont Independent, reported the Facebook exchange that ensued:
Dalia Zada (PZ ’18) expressed concerns to the anti-white discrimination. “‘POC only?’ Maybe I’m missing something or misunderstanding your post, but how is that not a racist thing to say?”
“This is directed to protect POC, not white people. Don’t see how this is racist at all…” responded AJ León (PZ ’18). Sara Roschdi (PZ ’17), a Pitzer Latino Student Union member, stated, “People of color are allowed to create safe POC only spaces. It is not reverse racism or discriminatory, it is self-preservation.”
“We don’t want to have to tiptoe around fragile white feelings in a space where we just want to relax and be comfortable,” commented Nina Lee, a Women’s Studies major. “I could live with white people, but I would be far more comfortable living with other poc.”
“White people always mad when they don’t feel included but at the end of the day y’all are damaging asf [as f*ck] and if a POC feels they need to protect themselves from that toxic environment THEY CAN! Quick to try to jump on a POC but you won’t call your friends out when they’re being racist asf,” noted Terriyonna Smith (PZ ’18), an Africana Studies major and Resident Assistant (RA) for the 2016-2017 year. “I’m not responding to NO comments and NOPE I don’t wanna have a dialogue.” It is not clear whether or not this refusal of dialogue represents the approaches to conversation on racism with fellow students encouraged by professors of Africana Studies or the Residence Life staff at Pitzer College.
Another Resident Assistant and Black Student Union member, Jessica Saint-Fleur (PZ ’18) added to the thread of comments, “White people have cause [sic] so much mf [motherf*cking] trauma on these campuses … why in the world would I want to live with that? Bring that into my home? A place that is supposed to be safe for me?”
Last spring, Karé Ureña got homesick during her sophomore year at Pitzer. On April 3, 2016 she started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her flight home to see her family, saying “I desperately need to go Home.” According to the page, she raised $500 from 22 people.
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