Should people be punted from parties if their pigment is paltry?
Such a question’s currently being publicly posed at a private liberal arts school in Pennsylvania.
A December 2nd op-ed at Swarthmore College boasts a titillating title: “Should We Be Kicking White People Out of Parties?”
Writer Sameer Halepoto notes that Caucasians are crowding soirees.
And when whites are out and about, others are put out:
Hosted by the Swarthmore Queer Union (SQU), Swarthmore African Student Association (SASA), Swarthmore ENLACE, and the Swarthmore African-American Student Society (SASS), the party at Paces the Saturday before Thanksgiving welcomed diversity more than most. After all, typical Swat parties include an outsized number of white students (many of whom are athletes), making it harder for marginalized groups to feel welcome. Four affinity clubs hosting the party meant that more queer and BIPOC were likely to attend.
Fortunately, “four affinity clubs hosting the party meant that more queer and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) were likely to attend.”
But things went awry — too many folks had shown up.
Those in charge chose to thin the herd.
Sameer recounts the occurrence:
As the number of students at the party swelled…the organizers decided to clean house over fears of overcrowding. Specifically, it was time to kick out the white people. What followed was a message blaring through the speakers from Google Translate that looped for several minutes on end — telling white students to leave.
“By the time the message stopped playing,” he relays, “the party’s racial demographics had shifted significantly.”
Indeed, “white students comprised a considerably smaller proportion of the remaining party-attendees.”
The message had been received loud and clear.
But don’t blame the organizers — according to the author, they “were in a lose-lose situation.”
The party may have intended to center marginalized groups on campus, and there are two main ways to achieve this. For one, students can create safe spaces that are occupied solely by the affinity groups. Alternatively, they can make a more concerted effort to include affinity groups (e.g. queer, Black, Latinx students, etc.) within settings occupied by non-marginalized people (i.e. white people).
Sameer calls the “lose-lose” component a “fair” defense for those in charge, but here’s something else that’s reportedly reasonable:
[I]t is fair to question whether telling white students to leave through a text-to-speech software loop is the optimal solution to creating a more inclusive party.
All of the above, it seems to me, is what happens when the following ideas reign supreme:
- People should be categorized according to the color of their skin.
- Identity groups must be segregated.
- Americans are either victims or oppressors, as determined by their group identity.
- “Comfort” and “safety” are threatened when groups mix.
None of those, I’d imagine, are compatible with a thriving society.
For many years after the Civil Rights movement, America moved toward colorblindness. To put it another way, the country considered unity a virtue.
Today, it appears, the complete opposite is heralded as morally just.
Morality gets a makeover.
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) February 18, 2021
In times past, we were all Americans — including those who possessed marginal traits.
“Marginal” has now transformed into “marginalized” — a word suggesting victimization’s occurred.
Justice, naturally, must be had.
The result, so far as I can tell, is aggrieved groups trying to hide from harm by depending upon a “safety” which doesn’t exist — shelter by way of being in the same room as others with a particular attribute.
I recently wrote about something of the sort:
We’re (being) told our actual “community” is comprised of strangers with the same skin color or sexual interests.
But that isn’t community. And that “community” will never have your back. They don’t know you, and you doing well can’t improve their own well-being.
The people who could be a support — those on the same street or in the same town — are, according to messages all around, our enemies due to…differences that never before broke America. …
As individuals and as a society, our durability has waned.
Swarthmore, of course, is only one school.
But the story represents a broader school of thought:
Might America become a melting pot once more?
If so, there’s a lot of defrosting to be done.
In the hot party of life, I believe, there’s room for everyone.
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