The Diversity Center at a public Massachusetts university apologized to students for falsely claiming that Jacob Blake, the man who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, died and is offering safe spaces for students after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.
Fitchburg State University’s Diversity Center sent the email following the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial announcing that the school would offer race-based safe spaces for students and faculty. The email claimed that Rittenhouse “shot and killed two people protesting the wrongful death of Jacob Blake in 2020.”
“Kyle was acquitted of all charges in the case after driving to Wisconsin with an automatic rifle,” the email read. It went on to say that the verdict “will undoubtedly impact many in our community,” so the university created safe spaces for students to discuss their “thoughts, emotions, and reflections.”
Fitchburg State University is offering a space to “process the not guilty verdict”
In their announcement, they divide the students of color and white students: pic.twitter.com/oKYa5KCozS
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) November 20, 2021
Matthew Bruun, a spokesman for Fitchburg State University, told the Daily Caller that the error was made in the “haste” of spreading the information as quickly as possible.
“Following the verdict on Friday afternoon, our Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness heard from several students looking for space to discuss the case, as well as broader issues related to race and justice,” Brunn said. “In the haste of creating these events, some factual errors were included in the original communication … The intention of the communication was to inform our community as quickly as possible of the optionally available space given the holiday break.”
The safe spaces offered to students and faculty include “Student of Color Processing Space,” “White Student Ally Processing Space,” “Faculty and Staff of Color Processing Space,” and “White Faculty and Staff Ally Processing Space.” (RELATED: Manhattan School Plans To Divide Students By Race During Social Justice Discussions)
Bruun told the Daily Caller the “university’s intention” is to “hold a combined session for any and all campus community members who wish to gather and reflect on these events.”
The university is defending its choice to hold race-based safe spaces, though such affinity groups have led to lawsuits in the past.
“Organizing such discussion by identity groups is a proven educational strategy, and reflects the reality that different community members may process such events differently, and may feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with community members of similar background and identity,” Bruun said.