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Middlebury Student Bemoans Lack of Self-imposed Black Segregation

Middlebury Student Bemoans Lack of Self-imposed Black Segregation

Encourages blatant racism and segregation on college campuses

Writing in The Middlebury Campus, a black student bemoaned the lack of self-imposed black segregation and retreat into a “designated place of refuge”.

We could play, “Imagine if a White Student Wrote This”, but we all know how that would play out:

In the wake of Charles Murray’s visit last year, Middlebury students and faculty banded together to salvage race relations on campus. Concerted efforts were made by administrators and student-led cultural organizations to educate community members on inclusivity and white privilege. Unbeknownst to the well-meaning white people who attended these teach-ins and town halls, their crash courses in white supremacy were at the expense of the students and faculty of color who led the discussions. In trying to decolonize the campus of its white hegemonic norms, students of color de-prioritized their mental health. Cultural orgs ceased to be spaces of respite for people of color (POC) and transformed into highly-politicized forums with the sole purpose of combating racism. By the time I arrived at Middlebury in the fall of 2017, the solidarity among black students in particular was virtually nonexistent. The black students of Middlebury — while active participants in campus-wide events regarding race — had neglected to maintain their singular designated place of refuge: the Black Student Union (BSU).

Many attributed the defunct BSU to poor leadership. Others stopped attending meetings because they found asylum in groups such as Umoja and Alianza, which are ethnic, rather than race, specific. Hidden beneath the many known reasons that led to the demise of the BSU was a larger culprit that had yet to be acknowledged: white passivity.

White passivity is the perpetual complicity of white people who do not help to rectify their ancestors’ moral bankruptcy, but instead look to black people to dismantle institutional racism. White passivity is what leads black students to challenge racist sentiments in class when their white professors fail to. White passivity is what caused several black women to demand an apology for a student who had been racially profiled when the predominantly white administration failed to do so. Ultimately, it was white passivity that caused black students to neglect their community of the Black Student Union so that they could aid in the rebuilding of the larger Middlebury community.

The corrosive nature white passivity has on black communities can be seen throughout history. The mammy archetype which rose to prominence in the late nineteenth century characterizes black women as the nannies and homemakers of white families who were unwilling to care for themselves. “Mammy” was not afforded the luxury of taking care of her own children. She was not only willing, but eager to prioritize her white superior’s needs over her and her family’s. Somehow, amid all of the racial hostility, the black students of Middlebury became contemporary renditions of “mammy.” This new and evolved mammy archetype does not assist by breastfeeding white infants, but by coddling white adults whose fragility deters them from listening. “Mammy 2.0,” as I like to call her, is every student of color who has skipped meals, missed sleep or failed to turn in assignments because they were preoccupied explaining to their white peer why they “shouldn’t say the N-word even if its a song lyric.”

In January, a committee of other black students and I planned events with the primary objective of resurrecting the Black Student Union. We hosted a black professors panel, rented out the Marquis theater for a private screening of the Marvel film “Black Panther” and cooked a community dinner that fed about 50 students. At all of the aforementioned events, there was an unmistakable sense of camaraderie. Laughter filled the rooms, new friendships were forged and the black solidarity many of us believed to be extinct appeared to be alive and well. Nowhere to be found in the events’ crowds was “mammy,” eager to pacify, serve and sacrifice.

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Comments

a black student referred to white students as “mammies”

No, she(?) didn’t. She(?) referred to black students who neglect their own needs in order to raise white people’s consciousnesses as “mammies”, reprising the role of the nineteenth-century stereotype of the devoted Mammy taking care of her white charges.

Of course the big difference is that these modern “mammies” were neither asked to provide this dubious “service”, nor are they paid to do it. It’s entirely their choice, and if they suffer for their devotion to it, that’s entirely their choice too.

healthguyfsu | March 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Eventually, there will be enough complaints by the hustler crowd about what everyone of all races can and can’t do that you can be accused of some transgression for doing anything in any direction.

It reads like satire.

This is very interesting, in a bloody trainwreck sort of way. I’ve seen a few similar.

It’s tempting to write this feeble douche off as just a black snowflake (I hope it’s still officially permissible to write that). But I wonder how anyone would behave if he’d been told repeatedly since infancy that any difficulty he ever encounters—even the imaginary ones—is due to some pervasive malignant force. The perfect excuse for failure. It’s not my shortcoming; so there’s noting I can do about it. It’s them—it’s them, it’s always them, it always will be them. The idea that, well, whatever I tried (ordering lunch, hailing a taxi, buying a car, selling a novel, perfecting an invention, pursuing a career, whatever) didn’t work, so I’ll have to try harder, or try something else, or just hope for better luck next time … none of that will ever occur to such a person. The only way to succeed at anything is to defeat them. It becomes the lifelong goal of a life with no other objectives.

What a dismal way to exist. It’s all just illusion and poor attitude, but that doesn’t help much, when everybody is telling you otherwise.

What fashionable black racism is doing to blacks is simply inexcusable. Disgusting. One of the greatest crimes of human history.

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