The execution might be a little awkward but the advertisement is clearly about trying to get white people to be better allies. It's not "come to our group and we'll let you use the N-word whenever you want!"
Meh, I can’t really condemn this since I don’t know enough about racism... but it seems far-fetched, doesnt it? This would be for people who check all of these boxes:
-They are unconfortable around minorities.
-They are aware of it, and want to fix it.
-They’d rather not be around minorities while fixing it.
I mean... err... okay. It isn’t impossible, but it is weird.
Or they're speaking to their audience in terms they'll understand? At face value, they've at least got the right intentions though it remains to be seen if this is the right cause of action. I guess it's supposed to be a mirror to similar groups that represent minorities. If those work well, maybe this could too?
I just hope this isn't or doesn't become a new-age white power group. That seems like a very serious danger.
There's too many whistles in the flyer to not disregard the possibility that this group was created for ulterior purposes opposite to what they say the group was meant for.
The counseling center said this
"We agree with the feedback that the flier was not clear enough in conveying the fact that the purpose of this group is to promote anti-racism and becoming a better ally," the counseling center said in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. "We didn't choose the right words for the flier, and we are going to incorporate the feedback we have received into a revision of it."
Reading the ad, it actually seems to have good intentions, and in an ideal scenario I'd support it.
But we're not, and execution is going to go one of two ways: white boys whinging about minorities, or white boys whinging that they can't whinge about minorities. Latter might at least be entertaining, but neither's gonna be productive.
I feel like the problem with this whole thing is that it's a place where white people who apparently have an irrational fear of people that look different than they do can go and talk to other white people on how to be less racist when they should just be talking and interacting with minorities instead. I don't know all the details about the group so I could be wrong and maybe it will entail talking to minorities.
They could've added something along the lines of "We would like to do better." or something to at least address those they're still alienating in the flyer even with their good intentions. Open it up to anyone while keeping their idea in tact.
I guess I get the idea in theory? Like, people who aren't racist by intent of their actions and want to become more race sensitive but are afraid they may say something offensive out of ignorance so this is like sensitivity training wheels?
But there's no way this isn't going to go the way they think because bad actors are going to muck it up.
If your entire cultural reality hinges on a 400-year delusion that you are biologically and morally superior to others based on nothing but skin color, even if you don't consciously agree with that sentiment, and you haven't had enough counteractive socialization to inherently understand that's not true, then yes, you're going to need actual training tools to break from that.
This is not about not being racist. It's about dealing with racial injustice and being an "ally."
As a white person, I read about white privilege and racial injustice and I try to understand the perspectives and experiences of people of color. But I'll admit that I don't talk much about race with my white friends. And I also don't always confront scenarios when I see white privilege unchecked. And when an older relative or inlaw makes a joke or comment that's racist, it's often easier to awkwardly change topics than to address it head-on. I'm trying to get better about that, but I can see how a group such as this could help foster discussion around these topics.
It’s ultimately up to white communities to fix the problems with racism found in those communities. The burden should not be placed on minority groups. At the same time, the best way to fix those problems involves listening to the people affected the most by them.
If it helps people learn to get away from their preconceptions I'm for it. College is the first time that a lot of people will interact with other races on the regular so teaching people that might come from less than ideal backgrounds regarding race might make sense. It's worth a shot.