American Culture

Apparently It’s Now Racist for White People to Use Sidewalks

Ground to the Good Stuff, At No Cost to Class

The Grind:
The opinion editor of the Northwestern University’s student newspaper recently published an article asserting that White people walk awkwardly on sidewalks because of their internalized racism.

“When I first got to Northwestern, I wondered why walking around on campus could be so frustrating. Even when sidewalks were relatively empty, I would often have to walk way around people to pass without bumping into them,” wrote Kenny Allen of The Daily Northwestern, “At first, I chalked it up to the geographic diversity of the school; maybe the people that came to this school were used to different ways of moving through a public place.”

The Grind:
However, after “talking to [his] Black friends about my experience,” Allen concluded that “people at this predominantly White school would not move out of our way on the sidewalk.”

Laying out the claims by University of Richmond sociologist Bedelia Richards for determining “whether one’s university is racist” – such as which groups feel most “at home,” whose “norms, values and perspectives” are legitimated, and “who inhabits positions of power” – Allen concluded that “white people” meet most of the criteria. Read more…

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