21st December 2016
This year’s University of California Students of Color Conference unproductively devolved into something of an “oppression Olympics” between different minority groups, prompting arguments between participants and ultimately leading to some canceled sessions at the annual event.
‘I’m more oppressed!’ ‘No, no, I’M more oppressed!’
” There are constructive things that we can do to prevent this happening in the future.”
Yeah, quit looking under every rock for a Victim Card to play. But I suppose that’s not an option for Students of Color.
The crux of the debate centered around the conference theme: “Fighting Anti-Blackness.” Apparently it was not communicated to students that the conference would have a particular theme this year. At the event, held at UC Irvine, students of different minority groups began arguing when it became known that the conference would focus almost exclusively on discrimination against the African American community.
‘I’m more oppressed! ‘No, no, I’M more oppressed!’
In one of the larger workshops, one of the students raised a question about why the only issues being discussed were those involving anti-blackness, prompting an African-American student to respond that black students are the most oppressed, to which a Muslim student made a comment about her people being bombed in the Middle East, according to Alvarez.
Hey, black people get bombed every day, usually on Controlled Substances. What is YOUR oppression compared to theirs? (African-American students might point out to Muslim students that they are also the people doing the bombing, but that might be in poor taste.)
“I am very unhappy about how this conference was ran.”
I am very unhappy that a student at UCLA apparently can’t write grammatical English. Students of Color might want to investigate how their being aggressively ignorant contributes to ‘anti-Blackness’.
Students of Color Conferences in years past have not chosen a particular theme, but have instead brought together many types of minority groups including Chicano/Latino, South Asian, African American, and Muslim students for the purpose of establishing dialogue and solidarity, Alvarez told The Fix.
Rather, the theme was ‘How can Students of Color leverage our Victimness into power and privilege?’ Everybody knew it, nobody had to say it.
The conference typically ends with a demonstration and protest in the community surrounding the school where it takes place, however Alvarez said that this year students felt conflicted about participating.
Most conferences have ‘break-out sessions’, this one apparently has ‘break-up sessions’.