Whites Not Welcome
There’s a wee bit of controversy swirling around the University of Edinburgh in Scotland after a student group announced that white people would be banned at an anti-racism discussion. What better way to address embedded racism than to ban people from speaking based on the colour of their skin.
No word on whether die-hard Justin Trudeau fans in blackface would be welcome to hang out in the Weißfrei (white-free) safe space.
The conference was set up by a student group called Resisting Whiteness that says it is designed for QTPOC (queer and trans people of colour). Presumably sacred vows to resist whiteness are taken in secret ceremonies, and members are grouped according to their skin tone and queerness by an omniscient grandmaster.
The event in Edinburgh’s Pleasance Theater is intended to boost the voices of people of colour and thus conference organisers announced “we will therefore not be giving the microphone to white people during the Q&As, not because we don’t think white people have anything to offer to the discussion, but because we want to amplify the voices of people of colour.”
Curious whites can wait until after the panel discussion, or as the organiser put it:
“If you are a white person with a question, please share it with a member of the committee or our speakers after the panel discussion.”
White people with questions can also keep their mouth shut and their opinions to themselves, of course.
No word on whether a follow-up event would explore what it means to be a white person at a conference that doesn’t want to see your pale racist ghost-face and hear your pathetic white voice full of typical white questions.
Anti-racist campaigner Jane McColl seems to think white people do deserve a voice, however, and said that a conference like this “sets back the battle to achieve equality and fairness by decades, all because of the actions of a tiny group of extremists, whose perverse sense of logic has led them to belittle white people, not by who they are as individuals, by merely because of their skin colour.
“Imagine if this event was called ‘Resisting Blackness’, and non-white people were told they could not ask questions, nor access a room because they were the ‘wrong’ colour.” McColl added.
The university seems to agree with McColl and stepped in to “ensure the event is compliant with our values,” i.e. let whites ask questions and be in safe spaces they want to be safe in.
While it’s true that full equivalency is silly, considering white people haven’t had their voices shut out for years because they’re white, it’s also true that events like this do more to undo what the organisers are presumably working for than just being reasonable in the first place.