On August 24, State University of New York at Binghamton added a new Resident Advisor training called #StopWhitePeople2k16. Understandably, there has been some controversy over the title since the training scheduled was released.
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Some students at SUNY Binghamton, also known Binghamton University, are irate about the course calling it “disturbing” and “counterproductive.” Many want to know why the university has allowed this seminar to be added with such a name. The “Stop White People” hashtag comes from memes that satirize or make fun of stereotypical “white behavior.”
The University’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Brian Rose, responded to concerns. Rose indicated that the “program was not ‘anti-white,’” and was a discussion that “explored reverse racism, the relationship of communities of color with police, whiteness, crime and segregation in an open conversation format.”
“The program title ‘#StopWhitePeople2K16’ was drawn from a familiar hashtag in use on Twitter, and was not invented by the program facilitators,” Rose said. “It is my understanding that the hashtag is commonly used ironically.”
Ironic or not, many agree that common sense should have been used. It should have been obvious that this might be offensive to white people.
“The optional program was developed by the students themselves, supported by a young professional staff person,” Rose said in a statement Thursday. “Its purpose, as conceived, was to facilitate a discussion among the RAs that would improve their ability to handle conflicts among residents around issues of diversity.”
According to BU officials, Between 40 and 50 RAs chose to attend the recent “#StopWhitePeople2K16” program session, which ran concurrently with some other sessions.
Many Twitter users responded in obvious anger towards the State University and deemed the seminar title inappropriate and racist.
"Stop White People"
Binghamton is a NYS University & appears to be promoting an anti-white agenda. It is racist, divisive & totally wrong.
— Annie Higgins (@Midwood49) August 24, 2016
'Stop White People' is outright racism being taught at our universities. Why not demand civics & AMERICAN HISTORY classes?Stop the division!
— Mom for Trump (@StacyBrewer18) August 24, 2016
Binghamton University offering training course called" Stop White People( not making this up)how insane has this country become…
— Marie Cinolauro (@CinolauroMarie) August 25, 2016
Since Tuesday, the story has gone viral and has put the University in a bad light. Rose issued a form of an apology. “For those who were familiar with the hashtag used in the title, it was understood not to be literal,” wrote Rose, reaffirming what he stated in his previous message to the public. “Nonetheless,” he continued, “the program should not have been so titled. Out of context, it is offensive and alarming. That was not the intent.”
Rose wrote a public message after the apology stating, “Above all, I ask each of you to consider the purpose and impact of your response to this story and let this be a teachable moment for us all.”