*Cal State LA has set aside 192 furnished apartments in a residential complex on campus with the goal of offering a common area for students who are interested in African-American issues.
According to KTLA, 24 students have moved into these allocated dorms, dubbed the Halisi Scholars Black Living-Learning Community, and the university says there is a waiting list to get in.
But critics are calling it separatism, saying racial barriers can never be dismantled if people continue to segregate, even if it is self-imposed.
The housing comes roughly nine months after CSLA’s Black Student Union issued a set of demands in response to what its members labeled frequent “racist attacks” on campus, such as “racially insensitive remarks” and “microaggressions” by professors and students. One demand was for a “CSLA housing space delegated for black students.”
“Many Black CSLA students cannot afford to live in Alhambra or the surrounding area with the high prices of rent,” the letter stated. “A CSLA housing space delegated for black students would provide a cheaper alternative housing solution for black students. This space would also serve as a safe space for black CSLA students to congregate, connect, and learn from each other.”
The Halisi Scholars Black Living-Learning Community “focuses on academic excellence and learning experiences that are inclusive and non-discriminatory,” CSLA spokesman Robert Lopez told The College Fix.
Conservative blogs were quick to pounce on the report. Louder With Crowder wrote: “Sure, it sounds super racist to ‘white folks’ like you and me. It may even sound super racist to you ‘people of color.’ In fact I’ll go out on a limb here. What Cal State LA is doing sounds racist to anyone who uses their noggin as their primary thought-processor.”
Cal State LA calls the criticism unfair because the dorms are technically open to anyone — not just black students. Plus, they say other universities have similar programs. UConn, UC Davis and Berkeley also have housing dedicated to black students this year.
Some critics called UConn’s dormitory wing for black men “Orwellian” and “ghettoized.”
National spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality Niger Innis told Fox News that UConn and the other universities offering exclusive housing for black students may be isolating them unintentionally. That isolation thus creates an environment where African Americans are seen as “the other.”
“If they wanted to go to an all-black institution, there are plenty of historically black colleges that still exist,” Innis said. “But if they want to go to an institution that is racially diverse and integrated, then racial diversity and integration is part of it. To have a university-sanctioned segregation or separation is, to me, a bit troubling.”