What’s the best way to fight racism? Be racist yourself. That was the approach taken by a group of employees at South Puget Sound Community College who decided to hold a “happy hour” to “build support and community” for people of color. An invitation emailed by the “Staff, Faculty and Administrators of Color” went out to all 300 employees but made it clear that white employees were not invited.
Station KING notes that the email read:
If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that.
“It was obviously a mistake,” said SPSCC’s Dean of College Relations, Kellie Purce Braseth, giving a whole new meaning to whitewashing. That it was obviously not a mistake — that it was deliberately exclusionary — is clear from the language in the invitation.
Karama Blackhorn, program coordinator for the school’s Diversity and Equity Center, who helped author the invitation, said it could have been worded differently, but then in the next breath insists:
When trying to explicitly talk about race it can be a really difficult conversation for a lot of people.
The event has been canceled, but the attitude that led to tis creation no doubt remains.
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