UCLA students make the case for segregation to combat 'Anti-Blackness'

Last week, The Daily Bruin, UCLA's student-run newspaper, carried a column that made the case for segregation.

The authors began by challenging MLK's dream of a colorblind society:

For many, Black students' desire to have a space designed to serve our unique needs seems antithetical to the celebration of multiculturalism and diversity. "Isn't that the opposite of what Dr. King fought for?" some may ask. To the uncritical thinker, creating spaces designed to serve one particular race of students may seem like an indication that we are making a backward slide away from the supposed racial progress that's taken place since the civil rights movement.

The authors alleged that racism is rampant in all educational institutes.

The pervasive nature of anti-Blackness in Black students' collegiate experiences creates unique obstacles for Black students and cultivates a campus racial climate in which Black students are unable to find reprieve from persistently dehumanizing experiences and the trivialization of our struggles.

The authors claim that racism in current times is covert:

[T]he anti-Blackness that defined the schooling experiences of Black students prior to federal desegregation has simply transformed to adapt to a new racial regime, shifting from overt discrimination to covert, colorblind discrimination.

The authors allege that questions such as "Do you go here?" or "Which sport do you play?" when asked to Black students imply racism since they "communicate[] to Black students that their peers do not believe they are capable of being admitted into UCLA on their own intellectual merits."

The authors conclude the following:

The creation of the BBRC (safe space for Black people) is certainly not the long-awaited solution to ending anti-Blackness at UCLA, its continued support is an obvious means of mitigating the suffering of Black students on campus by providing us with a pro-Black space in addition to creating a centralized location for Black students to seek community and campus resources vital to our retention.

To sum it up, the piece attempts to make the case that segregation in educational institutions is a justifiable method to confront racism.

When matters go completely awry, it is worth revisiting the fundamentals to understand how far we have trudged from our core values.

Educational institutions must always be forums where absolute freedom of expression is not just allowed, but welcomed and celebrated. 

This freedom must be applicable to issues that are considered taboo or impolite or problematic.  A student should feel empowered to express these ideas without fear of repercussions.  A climate of freedom should cause students to be eager to seek opposing perspectives.

Freedom of expression emanates from freedom of thought, and it is these thoughts that have led to progress. 

What is hateful to one may be compelling to another.  What is bigoted to one may be a fresh viewpoint to another.  What is obscene to one may be artful to another.  What is rude to one may be honest to another.  It is therefore essential that taste not be the criteria in imposing restrictions on ideas.

The great inventions, discoveries, and even the fine works of art and literature, which have changed our worlds forever, were possible because individuals had the freedom to express different ideas.

Students should be trained from a young age to engage in debates where they judge the merits and demerits of an idea dispassionately and objectively without getting personal.

A healthy debate that involves exposure to contrarian perspectives could be enlightening and life-changing.  It also could facilitate empathy.

How do students get exposed to new ideas?

Apart from one's facial features, what is unique to individuals is their perspective.  Quite often, people in the same family, even identical twins, have distinctly different perspectives.  Fresh ideas and perspectives also emanate from people in the individual's surroundings.  It is not just race or sex or other attributes that are rooted in one's gene pool, but also political persuasion, ideology, and the quality and education of peers and parents.

Human beings are creatures of habit.  This applies particularly to young people, who usually prefer to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.  It is hence incumbent on educational institutions to desegregate these individuals and have programs that facilitate healthy and frequent interactions. 

Let's consider the scenario where the students' demands are accepted and not only UCLA, but all educational institutes have safe spaces for black students.

Soon universities will be divided into a cluster of echo chambers based on race.  This will apply to teachers, as well, because the segregationists will claim that only teachers from the same race can empathize with that student's life experience and hence is qualified to educate them.  This segregationist thinking will apply to books and other information consumed — i.e., only material "approved" by segregationists will be allowed.  The other races will be vilified based on lies and stereotypes.

Soon other groups will demand their safe spaces.  There will also be demands for subgroups within any safe space.

The question remains: where does this quest for purity end?

The indoctrination performed during formative years usually leaves a lifelong impression on the mind.

When these brainwashed students are released back into society, they perceive people from other races as adversaries.  They struggle to interact or work with a person of another race.  They see racism in the most innocuous of remarks and actions.  They chose their place of work, residence, and friends based on race.  The hate passes from one generation to another. 

Race-baiting groups such as BLM are always willing to exploit divisions for pecuniary gains.  There will be violence, which will lead to a civil war.  Someday, a demand to divide a nation according to race will be made.

That simply cannot be allowed

The UCLA newspaper must not be faulted for carrying the article that demanded safe spaces for blacks.  The student-authors were merely exercising their right to express themselves.

Students are young, impressionable, and often not fully informed.  When abhorrent ideas such as segregation enter the minds of the gullible, the adults — i.e., teachers — must take charge.

The newspaper must invite other students to counter the assertions and claims made in the article.  There must be debates and discussions which should be moderated by teachers.  Teachers must apply the Socratic method to challenge students such that they voluntarily see the light that unity in diversity is the only way to prosper.

It is said that the surefire way to destroy a nation is to strike at its foundation.  The foundation of any nation is its educational institutions that shape young minds.

It is essential to save educational institutions to save the nation.

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