By: Emma Schambach
Students at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte must be separated from classmates based on skin color and taught about the evils of their whiteness, according to the school. UNCC, like many schools, is obsessed with separating students based on their race and assigning blame for their alleged inherent privilege.
UNCC thinks it is crucial to create a “safe space for white students to assist in their understanding of ‘Whiteness.’” According to Alexandria Stands, a student reporter at UNCC for the Niner Times, an original post on the university events website said the spaces were “for white people.” These statements have been reframed, after backlash from students and national news, and now claim that the space is not for “white people” as originally intended, but rather for “all graduate and undergraduate students.”
After much restructuring, this “space” will take the form of two events in the Fall Semester of 2019, which the events page of UNCC describes in the following way: “Understanding the meaning and implications of white privilege and engaging in anti-racist practice is crucial in creating racial equity. This space is for all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte who are interested in engaging in conversations to assist in their understanding of how racism is perpetuated individually, culturally, and systemically.”
This description, while not as blatant as labeling this event as, “a space for white people” still perpetuates racial segregation and profiling. The ease at which leftists, particularly in academia throw around terms like “white privilege” and target students based on race, is frustrating and alarming.
UNCC made a mistake in creating an event which separates students based on race and fixates on race-based generalizations. By “othering” white students through programs which segregate and categorize students and their unique challenges and privileges based solely on the color of their skin the university is counteracting the community that students have built. By assuming that every white student is a proponent of racism and beneficiary of inherent “white privilege” downplays the thousands of students at UNCC who are active members of our community, celebrate diversity and, despite our “whiteness” find ourselves in significant financial distress or facing other hardships which categorically disprove the idea of overarching “white privilege.”
While I recognize the importance of students reflecting on their individual advantages, abilities, and opportunities, organizing privilege by race cheapens the narrative behind every student’s journey into higher education. We are all privileged to be students at UNCC, many people never get the chance to go to college, but I would hope that this privilege has been earned by each of us, in the words of MLK Jr., “not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.”
Emma Schambach is the Chairman of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Young Americans for Freedom Chapter