Last week, I experienced racial insensitivity at its finest. What began as a scroll through my Facebook Newsfeed quickly twisted into an episode of mockery and racial discrimination. The newsfeed contained an article published by DailyWire.com about an alleged “UCSB White Student Union” and the group’s recently published list of demands. These demands include calls for segregation in dorms, as well as expulsion and arrest for any person caught using offensive terms toward people of European descent. Astonished by the article, I shared the link on my Facebook page and added a few sentences to explain my feelings about the post.
I wanted to express my experience at UCSB as a Mexican-American student in my post in order to offer some insight for the Union. Mine was a deeply personal and an honest writing. Never did I imagine that my words would be subject to the ridicule and insensitivity that came next. The UCSB White Student Union blatantly stole my post and switched the races; they turned themselves into the victims.
When I questioned the discrepancy of the Union not wanting to be offended for their race yet being willing to mock my feelings about mine, one of their sympathizers said what I had written was stupid.
I was, and still am, at a loss for words on that one.
For a group that says it seeks fair treatment for students of all races, their alteration of my post was condescending and contradictory. Let me be clear about one thing: The UCSB White Student Union does not exist to advocate for the fair treatment of its members, as legitimate minority rights associations do. This organization solely exists to mock and belittle the struggles of minorities. Completely disregarding “white privilege” and the advantages that white Americans receive in this country, this organization seeks to illuminate the racial “elephant” that is still present today in America. The true objective of the UCSB White Student Union is to instill fear in our school’s students of color and to make us feel even more belittled, insignificant, and excluded than we already do, if possible.
The only thing worse than the creation of this group by anonymous persons is the fact that the university is still affiliated with it. Although the school has announced that there is no connection between the group and any UCSB student or affiliate, this group has now garnered support from alleged UCSB students. The longer this Facebook page and group exist, the longer students of color will feel unsafe and further excluded from the predominantly Caucasian community within UCSB. This is something that neither I, nor the minority students of UCSB will accept.
Although the university should not abridge the group’s First Amendment rights, I sincerely hope it won’t continue to allow this group to tarnish the school’s name. This group claims to only want fair treatment as a “minority” group, and I ask its members to come forward to express their feelings about facing discrimination. If this group exists only to express hate toward other races, then I ask its members to remove themselves from the community of UCSB, and I ask the university to assist in the removal. The group has the right to freedom of speech, but I ask that it remove “UCSB” from its talons. UCSB’s is a thriving and diverse community that values each and every one of its students; we intend to keep it that way.
If the university is going to sit back and allow malicious groups like this one to make offensive demands and tarnish the name of our school, the minorities of UCSB have a few demands of our own: We demand justice, and we demand it now.