One of the stranger demands of various campus affiliates of Black Lives Matter was the call for “safe spaces.”
That is a euphemism for designated racially segregated areas.
In such zones, particular minority groups are reassured that no white students or faculty could enter — and thus by their mere presence supposedly remind them of institutionalized white bias.
Left unmentioned is the surreal college enforcement of such segregation. What will happen if a half-white student, or a Brazilian, Peruvian, or Syrian foreign student, wanders into a safe space designated for blacks?
Does the Dean of Diversity — presumably dressed in a sport coat with elbow patches rather than appearing as Lester Maddox with a bat — call security to expel the miscreants for their racist assumption that there should not be private areas set off by race? Does the dean have a handy color-coded wheel he can pull out to place next to the arm of the would-be intruder to verify whether the bounder is guilty of being white? Do courts go back to the 1940s racial zoning laws for legal precedents for sustaining racially separate safe spaces on public campuses? And in reaction, do so-called white students then mark off their own racially designated areas — perhaps permissible if called “unsafe spaces”?
The old idea of racial and ethnic healing through interaction, assimilation, integration, and intermarriage has become passé in the era of Obama. The president, after all, has given us everything from “typical white person” and Trayvon Martin as the son he never had to Rev. Wright’s venom and Eric Holder’s “my people.”
The notion that race is fixed and must override our character and behavior seems to be spreading even as America has become a fully diverse society in which, for example, many of the highest government positions — president, secretary of state, EPA director, energy secretary, attorney general, national security adviser, and director of NASA, to name a few — are currently or were recently held by people who are not white males.