An online “safe space” for students of color at Claremont College was shut down after anti-white and anti-male messages from the group were leaked to the student newspaper, the Claremont Independent.
The “5C Women of Color” group was a Facebook group designed as a “safe space” for “students and alumnae who identify as women of color” to band together for support in the face of Claremont’s climate of patriarchy and privilege. But the group of about 1,100 apparently had turned into a private burn book, where students would make fun of other students, faculty and even family members, most of whom were white and male. (The students didn’t have to actually be of color—it was enough for them to identify as women of color.)
One girl, for instance, dispensed logical and rational advice for dealing with the scourge of “white parents.”
Another member of the group complained about her family’s “white people voice,” which she said she could make fun of because, “like white people created #colonialism so i’m not mad.” Other members expressed concern over business and politics courses because they were dominated by “white men,” and one group member raised a “red flag” about a conservative professor (also, to her great dismay, a person of color).
Even other minorities did not escape the group’s wrath.
According to the Independent, the “safe space” Facebook group wasn’t universally beloved among the university’s students of color, with some students objecting to the “shaming, hostility and discrimination” that comes with cordoning off students by race or ethnicity.
But according to members, the group wasn’t shut down because of these objections. Rather, it’s gone because members were worried that more of the shaming, hostility and discrimination—er, “confidential conversations”—would leak.