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Is WA Univ. right to create Black only housing for students?

Is WA Univ. right to create Black only housing for students?
WRITTEN BY
10/01/21
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JessiRae (Yes)

2021 is reeling from racial disparities around the country. The Black students of Western Washington University petitioned the college to provide housing exclusively for African Americans. The university agreed, and they're not alone. New York University, the University of Colorado, Stanford University, and Cornell University have all implemented the same.

Since the decision of Western Washington University, many are claiming separate housing based on race is reestablishing segregation. However, not only has the university explicitly denounced segregation, saying 'WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race' and 'no student is excluded from joining it,' but students have been pleading for a safe space within their community, citing racism as the driving force behind the petition. 

Black students are impacted by racial microaggressions present in current schooling models. Introducing Black dormitories creates an environment where students share camaraderie through cultural celebrations and injustices alike. Black students in predominantly white schools feel ostracized and are the target of hate crimes. Black grievances are well evidenced in self-help pieces, such as: 'The Survival Guide for Students of Color at Predominately White Schools.' WWU is adding Black programs for community building, learning resources, and mental wellbeing for Black excellence. The objective is to create a beacon for Black academia where African American students do not feel threatened, misunderstood, or rejected by their white peers, professors, and college officials.

45 percent of African American students graduate two years later than their peers. Many Black students must take remedial classes to catch up to their white counterparts, who statistically perform better in testing. Black dormitories address present-day issues including personal safety and racial injustice. Black students in environments where the Black community is respected and celebrated scored better on their tests.


Curtice (No)

Before becoming a Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall was one of the attorneys that successfully argued before the Supreme Court in 1952 and 1953 that it's previous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which upheld segregation, was wrong. The Plessy decision stated that separate accommodations were inherently equal, creating the long-standing “separate but equal” doctrine that lasted into the Civil Rights era. With 1954's Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Supreme Court ruled that separate was not equal, effectively overturning Plessy.

Now, with the Western Washington University creating separate student housing for Black students the institution seems to believe that not only are separate accommodations equal, they are preferable. And thus, the age of “neo-segregation” has begun. This is not only nonsense but continues the woeful march towards the Balkanization (or further division) of America by race at the hands of the Left-dominated intuitions, such as higher education.

Marshall argued that segregation greatly diminished students' self-esteem. WWU either believes that Marshall was incorrect, or it simply doesn't care, preferring to cave to the tide of racial division that has been sweeping this country for years. 

One has to wonder where things go from here. Should Hispanic or Asian students also have separate student housing accommodations? What about Muslim students? Do LBGTQ students need to have their own housing too? Shouldn't LBGTQ students be further subdivided for trans students and bi-sexual students to each have their safe spaces? And how soon before we see separate eating accomodations and drinking fountains on the University of Washington campus? This isn't a slippery slope, it is a cliff and the higher education bus is at risk of being driven right over the edge.

Fact Box

  • Western Washington University (WWU) has created separate on-campus Black Affinity Housing for students of color, saying residents, “are encouraged to participate in periodic community programming and dialogues intended to build community, promote learning, and support wellness centering the Black experience.”
  • WWU is a public college founded in 1893 with a student population of over 15,000 (as of fall 2021). 28.6% of the student body are students of color, and 57% are female. 
  • Critical Race Theory (CRT) was developed by university scholars in the mid-70s and teaches that institutions are “inherently racist,” that racial inequality stems from White superiority, and that “that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others,” and more.
  • Critics of CRT, such as Christopher Ruffo, James Lindsay, the Discovery Institute, and others, believe the theory in action perpetuates racism by encouraging segregation of students on campus due to race.
  • From 2001-2021, Gallup records a downward trend of race relations in the US starting in 2013. As of 2021, 34% of Blacks and 35% of Whites think race relations are somewhat good (same percentage for each say somewhat bad). In 2007, a high of 61% of Blacks and 64% of Whites said race relations were somewhat good.
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