The University of Michigan Dearborn is undoing decades of civil rights work with the introduction of segregated spaces — including a whites-only café.
The whites-only café, dubbed the “Non-POC Café” is said to be “a space for students that do not identify as persons of colour to gather and discuss their experience as students on campus and as non-POC in the world.”
The racially segregated space, which is being hosted by the university’s Center for Social Justice & Inclusion, was unveiled this week. Students who intend to eat and drink at the whites-only café will have to RSVP for entry, where they will be among others of their own skin colour.
Without a hint of irony, the segregated space harkens back to the 1960s when black Americans fighting for civil rights were spit on and accosted in whites-only diners.
Segregated spaces are safe spaces, apparently
Contrary to some expectations that the space might be designed as a sociology project designed to teach a history lesson in what it was like to live in the United States during the Jim Crow era, the institution of segregated cafes is instead designed to function as separate “safe space” environments for both whites and non-whites in a separate, but equal manner.
The official page for the university’s “Non-POC Café” (which has since been removed) stated that students who want to partake in the initiative should “feel free to drop in and discuss your experiences as non-persons of colour and hopefully brainstorm solutions to common issues within the non-POC community.”
White students are therefore encouraged to have conversations, which will be facilitated by the university’s diversity center, about what it means to be white and not being “of colour.”
The page offered little indication as to whether certain topics — such as conversations on crime statistics and immigration—will be prohibited.
“The Cafe will be facilitated by a non-POC faculty/staff member to ensure that discussions are kept safe and respectful,” the university stated.
In addition to the whites-only space, the university will also be hosting a “BIPOC Café” for those with darker skin to once again “gather and to relate with one another and to discuss their experience as students on campus and as people of colour in the world.”
The cafés are not a permanent fixture on the university campus and will instead be hosted bi-monthly based on feedback and demand by students intending to learn about the privilege their reduced melanin levels supposedly entails.
No word on whether the space will bar the entry of Jessica Krug, the George Washington University professor who lied about being black.