Several Canadian colleges are expressing outrage after fliers posted Monday apparently advertised the creation of a “White Students Union.”
Flyers appeared on bulletin boards and elsewhere at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University, all of which are large public colleges in Toronto. The flyer, showing two young white men standing in front of Toronto’s CN Tower, declares simply “White Students Union!” and invites people to visit a website titled “Students For Western Civilization.”
The website is sparse, but does feature an op-ed allegedly rejected by York University’s student newspaper which declares “York Needs A White Student Union!”
“Students are taught that all of Western Civilization is inherently ‘racist’ and that Western countries are plagued by a ‘systemic and institutionalized’ racism which reinforces a ‘system of white supremacy,'” the editorial argues. “A white students’ union … would serve to promote and celebrate the culture of Western Civilization. It would serve as a platform to promote and advance the political interests of Western peoples. And most importantly, it would serve as a venue to explore those perspectives on ethnic politics that our Marxist indoctrinators seek to suppress and ignore, thereby giving to York a taste of that intellectual “diversity” which it purports to value.”
Officials at all three schools have moved rapidly to denounce the fliers as racist, and students quickly took them down. One student told Metro News that the flyer’s mere presence was “triggering,” implying that it caused fits related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (RELATED: The Dictionary Of The Modern Campus Activist)
“A poster like that is obviously a cause for concern and if there are concerns that the subject matter is offensive, they will be taken down,” University of Toronto spokeswoman Althea Blackburn-Evans told The Globe and Mail. At Ryerson University, school officials labeled the signs “offensive” and encouraged students to report any they see so they can be swiftly removed.
But at least one person says the extremely negative response to the flyers proves the existence of anti-white bias on campuses. Ricardo Duchesne, a professor at the University of New Brunswick who appears in a video on the Students for Western Civilization website, said nobody would bat an eye at flyers for groups dedicated to any other race.
“Nobody would have thought anything about it, they would have said, ‘that’s great, that’s what diversity is about,” Duchesne told Maclean’s, a major Canadian news magazine. “But you can’t say white student union. I would have preferred European student union. But I don’t oppose this because I believe in freedom of speech and I believe that a university is a place where ideas that are controversial have to be debated in an open atmosphere.”
Duchesne’s point about groups dedicated to other races and nationalities has some weight. Ryerson University, for example, has all of the following as official student groups:
African Students’ Association
United Black Students Ryerson (which has a quite aggressive logo)
Caribbean Students’ Association
Afghan Students’ Association
East African Students’ Association
Indian Students’ Association
Chinese Students’ Association
Indigenous Students Association
Organization of Latin American Students
South Asian Alliance
Sri Lankan Student Alliance (as well as a Tamil Students’ Association for those from that ethnic minority)
Ryerson has so many nation-specific student groups (at least 35 in total) that just about the only region missing is Western Europe, a gap a white student union would potentially fill. Notably, the school was the site of an incident last March where two students were kicked out of an “anti-racist” meeting for being white. (RELATED: Two Students Kicked From Anti-Racist Meeting For Being White)
But others say white students have more than enough voice on campus and a group dedicated to their interests would be oppressive in a way other groups are not.
“It’s just another thing racialized students on campus will have to worry about. We’re constantly pushing against white-centric voices just to be heard,” Sania Khan, an officer for the University of Toronto student union, told Metro News.
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