Obama: Colleges Should Create ‘Safe Spaces’ to End 'White Privilege'
The Obama administration is delivering a list of guidelines for college administrators who must respond to allegations of racial mistreatment and “white privilege” on college campuses, after widely publicized incidents at Yale and the University of Missouri created by student protesters.
“We can do better in our responses to these incidents and creating more welcoming climates,” Obama’s Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan explains in an op-edin the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
He warns administrators that “slow or tepid reaction can amount to tolerance of a racially hostile environment” and encourages college administrators to take student protests seriously.
“Students can serve as experts on their lived experiences, helping to make colleges and universities safe spaces,” he said.
The op-ed also suggests that college heads make their administrations more racially and culturally diverse to stop the flow of grievances.
“Diversity is critical to ensuring academic and social success,” Duncan writes. “Diversity fosters a climate of healthy interaction among people from different groups, contributing to varied experiences, and ensuring students feel welcomed.”
Duncan has been exploring the subject in the wake of student protesters causing havoc on campus, demanding administrators to step down or remove university symbols deemed offensive or racist.