Authored By Kara Zupkus
February 22, 2021
An opinion columnist for American University’s student newspaper had some strong words about a proposal to bring students back to campus this spring, comparing the “large influx of predominantly affluent white students” to an “invasive species” as in “settler colonialism.”
“The large influx of predominantly affluent white students into D.C.’s ‘chocolate city,’ a term that refers to its large population of Black citizens, could evoke similar effects of settler colonialism and negatively impact the community,” freshman Kayla Kelly wrote in The Eagle. “Settler colonialism is a form of colonialism that replaces the original population with a new invasive species. The settler system takes over the space, resources and culture of the environment it encompasses, displacing the original population.”
1250 full-time students have been invited back to AU’s campus for a temporary residential housing experience, during the second half of the semester.
The writer also argues that these students moving to DC will “buy out stock at stores and malls,” limiting resources for black communities.
Kelly also serves as a senator in AU’s student government.
If the author had referred to any other race (or other protected characteristic) as an “invasive species,” The Eagle likely would not have published the piece, and the writer would likely be slammed as discriminatory and prejudiced. But, because this hateful rhetoric was portrayed in the name of “wokeism,” and “inclusivity,” Kayla Kelly gets a pass.
This is an absurd attempt to shame students who are fortunate to return to some semblance of normalcy–and have the opportunity to learn in our nation’s capital.