Recently, White Student Unions have been popping up at different universities – apparently more than 30 universities now have one, including Georgia State University, NYU, UCLA, and the University of Missouri. The one at University of Illinois has been consistently challenged the Black Lives Matter movement, even going as far as to label the movement as ‘terrorism’.
But the thing about white student unions is that they’re completely and totally unnecessary and they are utterly wrong about the Black Lives Matter movement. As white people, we do not need a white student union because we are not oppressed or marginalized because of our race. Actually, it’s far from that because the entire United States is built on white supremacy and white privilege buys us a lot here.
What do u even discuss in a White Student Union? How not to season food? How to make our lips look bigger w/ makeup? How to oppress others?
— IsaJennie (@IsaJennie) November 22, 2015
Things like Black Student Unions, MEChA, and other similar student unions are so important because places like universities can be incredibly isolating for students of color. There are microaggressions and being on campuses as a person of color can be really really difficult. Having these student unions, clubs, and other safe spaces can be incredibly beneficial because they often offer a sanctuary from the world that constantly dehumanizing people of color and fill in the gaps that are lacking in society and on campuses.
what could you possibly need to establish a white student union for when college campuses & reality itself already exclusively cater to you
— mwiza (@COPACETlC) November 22, 2015
White Student Unions, on the other hand, can be a danger for many reasons. White privilege afford us so much within the United States, especially on college campuses. Our whiteness protects us, offers opportunities and safeties that aren’t there for people of color. We don’t need white student unions because the world we’ve created is there for us and we have so much power and position here. The point of clubs and unions like Black Student Unions and others is to provide spaces that we as white people don’t need because that same space is literally everywhere for us.