White and straight students don’t qualify for “safe spaces,” according to one University of Minnesota group. They’re banning people who come from the two demographics, excluding them from their safe space events on campus.
“Tongues Untied” is a group that brings together people for events to discuss the “impact of sexuality, race and gender,” yet they seek to exclude “allies” that don’t meet certain criteria for sexuality, race or gender.
Organizers of events come from the school’s Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life. In describing the criteria for attendance on the school website, they write: “For our allies: we do appreciate your voices and commitment to dismantling racism and homophobia; however, please note that this is a space created for LGBTQIA and/or same-gender-loving people of color.”
On the group’s Facebook page, they make the same qualifications clear. They write: “If you identify as a queer and/or trans indigenous person or person of color, we welcome you to take part in our discussions.”
The group says it was created to connect students, staff, faculty, and the Twin Cities community. According to the site, they organize discussion groups to make it easier for students relate to one another. It is curious, then, that they exclude people that may seek to understand and support the people in their group.
During a June event, the group had a gathering that invited the University of Minnesota community. It was described as a “processing space,” organized to grieve the losses of what they called the “murders and injustices” of Nabra Hassanen, Charleena Lyles and Philando Castile.
The group said they would be providing “a space to come as you are.”
According to their qualifications for attendance, however, it seems the group only wants people to “come as you are” if “you” are not white or straight.
The university has not commented on the group’s radical exclusion. You can view the group’s promotional video here.
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