A taxpayer-funded junior college in Olympia, Washington, invited faculty and staff for a “happy hour” party, but whites were excluded.
Can you imagine the cries of “RACISM” if the reverse — an event for whites only — had happened?
Drew Mikkelsen reports for Seattle’s KING 5 News, March 11, 2014, that South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) in Olympia, Washington, sent out an invitation to a “happy hour” to only the “staff, faculty and administrators of color,” excluding whites.
The email invitation made it clear white people were not invited: “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.”
To ensure whites would not attend the happy hour, recipients of the invitation were asked to respond to the email in order to find out the time and location of the Happy Hour.
After news broke that white people were being excluded, the happy hour was cancelled.
SPSCC’s Dean of College Relations, Kellie Purce Braseth, said “It was obviously a mistake” and that the college believes the best way to celebrate and discuss diversity is to include everyone. “If you want to come you should be able to come, that just makes a richer conversation.”
Karama Blackhorn, program coordinator for the school’s Diversity and Equity Center who wrote the original invitation, said the invitation could have been worded differently. But she still defends the exclusion of whites, insisting that staff members of color would have a more honest discussion about race without white employees because “When trying to explicitly talk about race it can be a really difficult conversation for a lot of people. This space is not for white people; this space is for people of color.”
You can see and hear Blackhorn saying that in KING5’s new video. Click here.
Here’s contact info for South Puget Sound Community College:
Dr. Timothy Stokes, President (From his photo, left, Stokes appears to be “white,” which means the college president himself would have been excluded from the happy hour. LOL)
Address: President’s Office 25- 203E
South Puget Community College
2011 Mottman Road SW
Olympia, WA 98512-6292
Phone: (360) 596-5206
H/t FOTM’s Julia