The University of Virginia created a Multi-Cultural Student Center which included four new and expanded student centers in Newcomb Hall which were to “embrace and support the diversity of this institution.”  These new additions included an expansion of the LBGTQ, Latinx, and Interfaith areas which are decorated with “upholstered furniture, space-warming rugs and comfortable, large bean bag chairs.”

During the grand opening, students who braved the rain to see the new spaces were served complimentary chicken, sweets and lemonade.  “UVA, as you all know, ought to be a place where everyone feels welcome, and spaces are an important part of that,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. The students cheered his statements even as he praised them. “Your advocacy, your creativity, your drive helped make this happen. As president, I believe deeply that we need to build a community that is not just diverse, but also inclusive.”

Wait a minute, President Ryan.  When you say “inclusive,” did you mean to include white people? Since the hopeful grand opening, the students have questioned the scope or inclusivity of these centers.  Are white people welcomed in these spaces? 

The answer presumably came when a black student named Ezinne Ogbonna got up and made what she described as a “public service announcement” to the people in the room, which included Caucasians.  

“Public service announcement, excuse me, if y’all didn’t know this is the MMC and frankly there are just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color,” Ogbonna said, before explaining that she didn’t feel comfortable with so many white people around.  “So just be cognizant of the space you’re taking up because it does make some of us POCs uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here. It’s only been open for four days and frankly there’s the whole university for all of y’all to be at and there’s very few spaces for us, so keep that in mind.”

Wow.  Makes you wonder if she meant to bring back segregation?  (As a thought experiment, imagine the chaos that would ensue if a white student had made the same speech, but with the races reversed.)

The actual UVA website says the facilities “are open to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.” 

But, at least in the mind of this student, “inclusion” must necessarily mean “exclusion.” 

Watch the “public service announcement” below:

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.