Tuesday, August 27, 2013

White Student Unions: Confusing Pride with Hate

Pride: noun
 A high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

“Why is it when a white person says he is proud to be white he’s shunned as a racist?”

Ahh, yes.  This is the preferred feigned innocence commonly associated with this interrogative used by racists everywhere.  This time it was Patrick Sharp’s turn to comment.  Sharp just started the “White Student Union” (WSU) club on Georgia State University.
Racists have been hiding behind comments like this for years.  As direct racism and hatred becomes more unacceptable, justifications and qualifications for racial disdain have evolved and have been repackaged.  “White Pride” has replaced “White Power."  Erroneously equating itself to other minority organizations, WSU's not only are unequal but they completely miss the point.  As with most things forged in hatred, it lacks honesty.  It lacks education.  It lacks insight.  It lacks creativity.  It lacks introspection.  But most of all, it lacks common sense.  And, to be honest, it’s kind of insulting.  If you have hatred in your heart then say so.  Don’t be a punk and hide behind bullshit euphemisms. 

As we all know, this type of response is not new.  It’s pretty stale and reused.  When the NAACP started the United Negro College Fund in 1944, we heard “Why do they need their own fund?  Maybe we should start the White College Fund.”  Or, after Black Entertainment Television (BET) became popular we heard, “Why do they need their own television station?  Maybe we should start the White Entertainment Television network!”
Recently, we've seen WSU type organizations popping up on college campuses:

Earlier this year, a White organization started on the campus of Towson University in Maryland.  This organization was thrust into the spotlight after making provocative comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). 
When Sharp and others ask "why" it shows how extremely ignorant they are.  And how ignorant they think WE are.  Sharp's faux-pride isn't pride at all.  It has NOTHING to do with their OWN dignity or importance and EVERYTHING to do with the hatred of others.  And that's the difference.  Comparing the justification for a WSU to a BSU (or equivalent) is like comparing the violent, unconstitutional, woman raping, child killing and government corrupting history of the KKK to the non-violent, respectful, humble, and noble purpose of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  They're both groups of people but that's about where the likenesses stop.  SCLC has White members; aside from Dave Chappelle, I don't believe there are too many Black KKK members.  Do you know of any?

As we know, most Black organizations (Black Student Unions more specifically) weren't started out of the blue simply because Black students wanted to separate themselves from others.  Like scholarships and "Black television," BSU's were started because Blacks were PREVENTED from participating in student organizations on predominantly white campuses.  Why are there Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU's)?  Because state and local governments used law enforcement officers to literally keep Black men and women from attending the existing predominantly white schools.  Facing this harsh reality, Blacks had two choices: (A) not attend school at all, or (B) create their own schools.  Thus, these predominantly Black organizations and institutions were created out of necessity, NOT hate!  To that end, it is important to note that even at their inception, HCBU's have always allowed white students to attend.

Today, BSU's (Jewish, Gay and Lesbian, etc.) aren't about hating YOU.  They aren't about trying to limit White people.  They do not belittle or insult White people.  Quite the contrary, they are extremely inclusive, open, and positive.

Look, I support Sharp's right to freedom of speech, expression, and opinions.  But let's stop pretending that his WSU organization is based on the same foundation as the BSU's.  Sharp's group is founded on outward hatred and prejudice masquerading as "pride" while BSU's are truly based on pride.  BSU's are about education, and uplifting (often) ALL organizations and ALL people.  Sharp's WSU group is only concerned about the exclusion of others.
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