White interest group perpetuates racism

Valeria Pizarro

All across the nation, while college campuses have been experiencing a rush in student protests about racism and equality, white student “unions” have been popping up on social media sites, including one at UT. The group, called the “White Student Union at UT Austin,” claims to “welcome all students of European descent and allies to engage in an open dialog about our shared interests.” While it has yet to be determined whether the “White Student Union at UT Austin” is a hoax, it is no joking matter.

The group, which has posts that are inherently racist in nature, must be monitored closely by the administration. The group’s very existence is harmful to a positive, healthy environment for all students.

This group has potential to create a hostile environment for minority students. In an article for The Odyssey, a member is quoted saying that, “Our goal is to mainstream the idea that it is ok to be white and to express that yes we have interests as white people and to be considered just another Union on campus.”

But these interests and concerns, at the expense of other ethnic groups’ interests, perpetuate racism, as is evident in several of the group’s Facebook posts. In one post, White Student Union at UT Austin laments that after the terror attacks, France will either have to fight back against Islamic influences or become more Islamic. In another post, the group supports the proposal to deport 11.3 million undocumented people and also makes use of a slur. In another post, the group criticized a teacher for structuring lesson plans around diverse history to uplift her black and brown students, which the group claimed demoralized white children.

Whether this group is making a hoax out of real problems or sincerely furthering harmful rhetoric, issues of racism and equality are not only important to students but also important to their quality of life.

While the group’s Facebook states that they aim to protect campus from “BLM [Black Lives Matter] terrorism,” data suggests that domestic terrorism and hate crimes are most often perpetrated by white Americans.

A recent study by The New America Foundation found that Americans are far more likely to die in attacks by right-wing groups in America than in attacks by Muslim extremists. Mass murders by white perpetrators and hate crimes continue to be issues predominantly affecting minorities. Out of 784 known hate groups in America, 507 are specifically founded around white interests. Finally, as NBC News reports, even though the number of incidents related to race and ethnicity has fallen consistently over time, these crimes continue to be perpetrated disproportionately against minorities.

As hubs for academics and rising generations, college campuses are breeding grounds for progress and change. As minorities continue to be targeted nationally, it is dangerous for a white interest group to exist, regardless of whether it is a hoax. The group’s existence encourages support for racism it seeks to perpetuate.

Pizarro is an English sophomore from El Paso. Follow her on Twitter @hermosx.