"Reverse racism isn't a thing" to some minority students at Pitzer College, which would explain why rising junior Karé Ureña thought it would be acceptable to refuse to live with white people on campus. Ureña posted on Facebook that she and her roommates were looking for a fourth person, but specified "(POC only)," also adding that "I don’t want to live with any white folks," The Claremont Independent reported.
The ensuing Facebook debate became heated as students vehemently denied the post was discriminatory or racist.
"POC only?’ Maybe I’m missing something or misunderstanding your post, but how is that not a racist thing to say?" asked Dalia Zada.
Rising junior AJ León claimed that the comment wasn't racist because it was meant to "protect" people of color.
Sara Roschdi, a rising senior, said, "People of color are allowed to create safe POC only spaces. It is not reverse racism or discriminatory, it is self-preservation." She also claimed that, "Reverse racism isn’t a thing."
Women's Studies major Nina Lee made it all about the idea of a safe space. "We don’t want to have to tiptoe around fragile white feelings in a space where we just want to relax and be comfortable," she said. "I could live with white people, but I would be far more comfortable living with other POC."
One of the most intense responses came from rising junior Terriyonna Smith, who is a Resident Assistant at Pitzer. "White people always mad when they don’t feel included but at the end of the day y’all are damaging asf [as f*ck] and if a POC feels they need to protect themselves from that toxic environment THEY CAN! Quick to try to jump on a POC but you won’t call your friends out when they’re being racist asf,” she said. "I’m not responding to NO comments and NOPE I don’t wanna have a dialogue."
Another Resident Assistant, Jessica Saint-Fleur, joined in on her obscenity and comments against whites. "White people have cause [sic] so much mf [motherf*cking] trauma on these campuses … why in the world would I want to live with that? Bring that into my home? A place that is supposed to be safe for me?"
President Melvin L. Oliver sent a letter to the community denouncing the statement, though he did not specifically address the inappropriateness of the Resident Assistants.
Pitzer College is part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, where there has been an onslaught of problems due to overly sensitive students.