Increasing cases of racial segregation in our campuses, have prompted universities to try ‘White Identity Retreats’ as a means to curb the situation.
As we know from the news, racism in any American university becomes an issue that demands immediate action. In view of this, some universities in the United States have come up with a solution, a program dubbed ‘White Identity Retreats,’ Daily Beats reports.
This new strategy seeks to explore various privileges available to a white person. The interaction will involve a more personal and systematic approach so that the participants will be able to easily identify with it. As the students are made aware of the different white privileges, they will also have a discussion on racial segregation.
Universities Try ‘White Identity Retreats’ To Combat Campus Racism: Several universities are experimenting with… https://t.co/6j8LwdXy2N
— Black Pittsburgh (@blckpittsburgh) October 10, 2016
The program aims at creating a platform for the students to get engaged in discussions concerning racism. As they acknowledge their privileges, they will as well learn to accept and accommodate people of other races too.
According to the Vermont University, the program is set to engage eager white students in the fight against racism. The university also stated that the program is voluntary and any student who would like to be part of it is welcome to join it.
On the other hand, some people have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the program. They have argued that such initiatives usually generate a negative response because people outside the racial group tend to see the entire idea as bias.
Universities Try ‘White Identity Retreats’ To Combat Campus Racism https://t.co/B8aKJLT7Rk IDEA, You take all Black culture, take HUMANITY.
— Cj (@CjdicksonII) October 10, 2016
A 2004 UCLA carried study concluded that the “membership in ethnically oriented student organizations actually increased the perception that ethnic groups are locked into zero-sum competition with one another and the feeling of victimization by virtue of one’s ethnicity.” The study was conducted within a four-year period.
A psychology lecturer at the Harvard University and a co-author of the UCLA study mentioned that usually, students who find themselves outside the race-based groups have a feeling of ‘increased sense of victimization.’ This, he said, causes additional tension in the relations between the groups.
At least the step is laudable, as it seeks to eliminate racial segregation in our educational institutions. Though, we should also consider that the students still inculcate their racist behavior from other sources. People are not born racists, they are taught to be them. So the real quest is to avert the situation, then there will be no need for anti-racist courses.