UPDATE: The school has condemned the segregated training, stating it “should not have happened” and “will not in the future.”
According to an email obtained exclusively by Young America’s Foundation, University of Kentucky separated Resident Assistants into two training groups, “one for RAs who identify as Black, Indigenous, Person of Color and one for RAs who identify as White,” the email stated.
The trainings were prefaced with a presentation by Brandon Colbert of UK’s Bias Incident Support Services, who, according to the email, talked about “microaggressions and microinvalidations in the workplace and the harm that they cause.”
Students who attended the “White Accountability Space” were given a document before the training, highlighting a list of 41 “common racist behaviors and attitudes of white people.”
Some of the “racist behaviors” highlighted to white RAs include “believing they have ‘earned’ what they have, rather than acknowledge the extensive white privilege and unearned advantages they receive,” and “asking people of color to repeat what they have said.”
Colbert, who facilitated the initial presentation, has a strong leftist presence on Twitter, where he denounced the American Flag, National Anthem, and Independence Day all as being the stuff that makes [America] racist.”
The student who alerted YAF to this troubling training curriculum submitted a tip to YAF’s Campus Bias Tip Line. They wish to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution from the university. According to the tipster, white RAs were required to display the document on their computers and discuss which behaviors they were familiar with during breakout sessions on a Zoom call.
“We talked about how we could best support our minority colleagues and be more mindful of the microaggressions we commit against them every day by being white,” the tipster told YAF. “They wanted us to acknowledge our ‘extensive white privilege.’”
University of Kentucky responded to YAF’s inquiry, but did not offer any defense or explanation related to the segregated training required of residence life staff. “Our RAs trained by zoom together and also in break-out sessions around particular topics of interest,” Jay Blaton, university spokesman, said. “Further, a number of our students – and others in our campus community – have approached our counseling center about resources that can be provided to help on issues related to racial reconciliation.
“This action by the university to segregate RA training is abhorrent,” UK Young Americans for Freedom chairman Parker Bowman told YAF. “For a campus that prides itself on diversity, this is taking a step in the wrong direction. We should be talking to each other, not separating ourselves based on immutable characteristics.”
University of Kentucky is the same school which originally schemed to stall the creation of the YAF chapter. YAF filed a FOIA request and uncovered intentional delays by university employees who mocked the students trying to promote conservatism on campus. It seems that the school is once again, up to no good.
Are you facing liberal bias or discrimination on your campus? Submit a tip to YAF’s Campus Bias Tip Line.