Is U-M’s Students4Justice Demanding a Segregated Space on Campus?

Photo Credit: MLive

In response to racist and anti-Semitic emails sent to College of Engineering students last week, Students4Justice, a student organization at the University of Michigan, coordinated a sit-in at the Michigan Union on February 9. The sit-in sought to bring attention to the organization’s list of demands for the University, which criticizes the school’s “dedication to ‘defend’ the right to Freedom of Speech” and supposed lack of concern for student safety. Among the list of demands, Students4Justice called upon the University to express solidarity with students of color, streamline the bias incident report system and increase African-American enrollment.

One of Students4Justice’s  particularly astounding demands outlines a plan for the University to “create a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize, and do social justice work.” The author of the list of demands specifies that the space would be separate from the Trotter Multicultural Center, which the University plans to relocate to Central Campus with a price tag of ten million dollars, because the proposed space would be “solely dedicated to community organizing and social justice work specifically for people of color.”

The same organization that criticizes the University for failing to create “an environment that engages in diversity, equity and inclusion,” is calling upon the University to undermine these ideals by facilitating a sort of de facto segregation? One where space and resources are designated for students based solely on the color of their skin?

To advocate for the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion, while simultaneously calling upon the University to sanction these spaces on campus is both unprincipled and laughably regressive. The establishment of such a space is exclusionary and inequitable in its intent, and incompatible with the goals set forth by the University at its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan launch.

Students4Justice’s demand follows a nation-wide trend of university groups calling for racially assigned spaces on their campuses, with the most notable example of California State University, Los Angeles’s decision to establish separate dorm housing for black students. Proponents of self-segregation argue that these spaces allow marginalized students to share their experiences with students with similar backgrounds and therefore ease racial tensions on campus. However, current studies indicate that participation in racially designated organizations often fosters sentiments of zero-sum competition, where one ethnic group benefits at the expense of another. One particular study, conducted by Harvard social psychologist Jim Sidanius, found that membership in ethnically-oriented student groups heightened sentiments of victimization and hostility toward inter-group relationships.  

If Students4Justice genuinely wants to foster an inclusive and diverse campus, then it would be best to avoid propositions that seek to divide and separate students. The ugly history of racially designated public spaces should remain in our past—revisiting it would only fulfill the dreams of our most depraved members of society.

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About Cole Carnick

Cole is a junior at the University of Michigan. He can be contacted at carnick@umich.edu, or on Twitter @ColeCarnick.
  • The Gentle Grizzly

    Isn’t that victims violent?

  • The Gentle Grizzly

    “Oy!”

  • Jarka

    Segregation is good. As long as it is far left asking for it, right?

  • Linda Belanger-Moorhouse

    Sorry…Obviously even a higher education doesn’t improve the views we have of each race…
    A friend of mine says integration DOESN’T work… I’m NOT a redneck, but have now decided my friend is 150% right…Human Beings haven’t evolved enough to accept other cultures with open arms…
    YouTube…Refugees in Germany…refugees in Sweden… Thanks!

  • MrUniteUs1

    Why was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated?

    I believe “now” would be a better “now” if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had lived
    beyond his 39th year. Listen to his final words of his final speech, and let me
    know what you think.

    Final words of Dr. Kings Final Speech.

  • Risingabovethemasses

    Wtfffffff lol

  • NavyRet ✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

    If there was ever a time that MLK would say “WTF!”… it would be now.

  • James1754

    It appears to be politically correct to the a racist bigot as long as you are black and call it social justice.

  • Feje

    Stop funding public education and have all schools subject to the battles of the market. Problem fixed.

    These social engineering antics practiced by higher education persist since the doers know they can suck off the breast of Uncle Sam. Higher education does nothing to warrant welfare. End public education as we know it.

  • mshlafer

    Against the U’s “dedication to DEFEND free speech”? Quite apparently demanding a “no whites” space? A so-called “racially designated space”? Freaking amazing! Makes a mockery of the civil rights movement and all who worked so hard for desegregation, voting rights, equality, and so much more. What will be worse, arguably, is if the U caves in to all this.

  • matt10023

    Evidence please.

  • RastaHonky

    One of Students4Justice’s particularly astounding demands outlines a plan for the University to “create a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize, and do social justice work.”

    So a ghetto?

  • TimDetroit

    Hail to the Victims Valiant. Hail to the Oppressed Heroes.

  • Thomas F. Dixon

    The college in your day was about learning and achievement.

  • Thomas F. Dixon

    If they were to be satisfied they would lose their very powerful victim status.

  • Thomas F. Dixon

    What these spineless administrators don’t understand is that the “victims” will never be satisfied with any demand they give in to because the validity of their existence requires them to always be victims. They will continue to make more and more ridiculous demands in perpetuity. Americans are getting wise to this as evidenced by our recent election.

  • noname

    Wow…Martin Luther King Jr. is probably turning in his grave.

  • smokeybandit

    MLK continues to roll over in his grave watching today’s society.

  • mnc77024

    What is wrong with black people? First they demand integration, now they want segregation. I say give them their black area and let it decline like a ghetto. They cannot be satisfied. Period. I’ve had enough of them for several lifetimes.

  • James1754

    How is it “social justice” to demand places where people are prohibited to go unless they are of the correct race?

  • SB

    Hopefully they’ll just grow up.

  • MAA Oregon

    I’d like to contribute to that legal fund.

  • MAA Oregon

    I posted a comment on their FB (just an observation about the petition they have on Change.org and how it was very tough to read). The IMMEDIATELY DELETED my comment and blocked me from being able comment further. Nice….. these kids are going to grow up and create a massive race war.

  • L Raines

    MLK would be appalled to say the least – The Framers of the US Constitution shocked that after 240 years some of the citizens want to roll back the 1st Amendment…

    These kids need to read Animal Farm – George Orwell…

  • Wal Ford

    The Party of Jim Crow and the Hard Left continues to preach segregation and having the law treat people differently based upon skin-color.

    Those who advocate for freedom, individual empowerment and equality under the law are smeared as racist. George Orwell did not mean for his works to be prophetic.

  • Dan Peterson

    On the bright side, we can end our dependency on fossil fuel using the energy being generated by Dr King spinning in his grave.

  • matt10023

    Are they asking for segregation? Of course. Their reasons don’t change that. More important, the whole point of diversity in a university setting is to help people learn from each other. A racially Balkanized school doesn’t help much there.

  • Bob Parkman

    Usually, these sorts of emails are false-flags planted by the group that seeks to leverage them for their own benefit.

  • Some Guy

    Progressives being progressives.

    Their progressive hero, Woodrow Wilson, segregated the government and military 100 years ago and here we are with today’s progressives continuing to seek to segregate themselves and society.

    Nothing new under the sun.

  • MrReasonable

    Why, after 50 years of fighting segregation, do they now want segregation? Why would they want to roll back all the progress that has been made? Where do they get the idea that they have the right to “demand” anything? When I went to college, I would have never dreamed of “demanding” the university do things for me.

  • CopperheadCSA

    Rolled? He’s probably doing 1000 RPM.

  • John

    Let’s make a deal. You can have your “people of color only” spaces if we can have our “whites only” spaces. Deal?”

    Most whites would be more than fine with this arrangement.

  • Gabe1971

    Segregation and racism are fine, as long as you’re of the right ethnicity and your intentions are “social justice”.

  • DILKe

    Flat out RACISM. MLK has officially rolled in his grave. Academia needs a rude awakening to reality.

  • Tracksuit Al

    Modern day liberalism: regressive, illiberal, anti-free speech, and racist.

  • Retired vet
  • JonBishop

    Next up. “Look at how segregated we are, because of white people!”. As they sit in their “Black only” space that they demanded.

  • Stacie Clemons

    Federal and state laws against segregation and discrimination based on race. The college AND the SJW group are going to get the pants sued off of them. Someone is going to be laughing their way to the bank. And it’s going to be a “white” person.

  • CopperheadCSA

    The Democrats have always been champions of racial segregation. Why would they abandon their racist ideology now?