the POC House was created to provide a “safe environment for people who identify as People of Color,” this includes a rule requiring tenants to warn each other before inviting a White guest.
The rules allegedly help POC members avoid White people.
In the event a White guest is invited, for example, the guest is “ “not allowed in common spaces.”… “Many POC members moved here to be able to avoid White violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring White guests,” the rules state.
In addition to White people, the rules also prohibit members from bringing “parents/family members that express bigotry” into the house. “Queer, Black, and Indigenous members should not have to avoid common spaces because of homophobic or racist parents/family members,” the rules state. The house is one of four themed houses operated by the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC), which provides “low-cost” housing for students.
To some progressives, excluding whites from spaces designated for minorities is a matter of “equity.” The Supreme Court has ruled that discriminating against whites can be illegal racial discrimination, even since its 1976 decision in McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co.
But some government officials became less willing to investigate instances of segregation that excludes whites, after Joe Biden took office and issued an executive order promoting racial “equity,” which some interpreted as allowing certain kinds of discrimination against whites. As the New York Post reported in 2021:
The US Department of Education suspended a decision that found racial “affinity groups” discriminated against students and staff…The findings — reached during the waning days of former President Trump’s time in office in early January — were in response to a complaint about a Chicago-area school district’s “racial equity” training programs and lesson plans….The 18-page “letter of finding” — drafted by federal DOE Office of Civil Rights enforcement director Carol Ashley — was triggered by a complaint filed by a former NYC arts teacher who now works in the Evanston-Skokie, Illinois. school district.
The DOE findings said the Evanston- Skokie School District violated civil rights law by:
— Separating administrators in a professional development training program in August, 2019 into two groups based on race — white and non-white.
— Offering various “racially exclusive affinity groups” that separated students, parents and community members by race.
— Implementing a disciplinary policy that included “explicit direction” to staffers to consider a student’s race when meting out discipline.
— Carried out a “Colorism Privilege Walk” that separated seventh and eight grade students into different groups based on race.
…The goal was for white students students to “learn more about white privilege, internalized dominance, microaggressions and how to act as an ally for students of color,” the lesson plan said.
…Ashely of the DOE concluded the school district “engaged in intentional race discrimination by coordinating and conducting racially exclusive affinity groups, which resulted in the separation of participants in district programs based on race in violation of the Title 6 regulation.”….But on January 22 … [the] case was … suspended due to President Biden’s new executive orders on equity to aid racial minorities and LGBT citizens….The head of the Evanston-Skokie school district confirmed that the Biden order put the discrimination case on ice….” Last month, the proceedings were suspended by OCR pending its reconsideration of the case in light of the Executive Orders on racial equity issued by President Biden,” said Evanston-Skokie Supt. Devon Horton said…A US Dept. of Ed spokesman, in a statement said, “…The Biden-Harris Administration has put equity at the heart of its agenda…”
Some other regional offices of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights continue to process discrimination complaints over the exclusion of whites from race-based affinity groups, though.