Have you heard the phrase “separate but equal?” Recently, many public spaces are reverting to segregation; this time it has a different face. Progressive institutions are separating people by race to have honest conversations between marginalized ethnic groups to try and attain racial harmony, but it is not achieving those aims.
By segregating people based on race, we create a more racially charged society, worsen racial divides and sabotage our efforts to attain equality.
Partitioning people based on the color of their skin creates a racially charged society. Many universities are creating separate graduation spaces for minorities. Even some grade schools are engaging in the practice, a thought any common-sense person should find alarming.
Such practices beg the question: how will this build a supportive educational community?
Schools should be equitable and inclusive spaces but woke segregation, as I like to call it, will do the opposite. Dividing students up by race makes them obsessed with their skin color.
White students will become upset that, simply because of their race, they are labeled oppressors. Black students, Hispanic students and other minority students will become angry as a result of their forced victim status. This results in an undesirable outcome: conflict between racial groups resulting from the anger and frustration surrounding their alleged inherent racial identity.
Segregation will also deepen racial divides. One does not have to look further than history to find a plethora of examples where race divided America. In the antebellum period, slavery was our country’s single most contentious political and social issue. The division it created eventually resulted in the American Civil War, which resulted in over half a million deaths, because a handful of rich, racist Southern elites could not renounce a morally corrupt institution.
Jim Crow Era discriminatory practices led to severe racial conflict in the South between racist white people who wanted African Americans to remain in social backwardness and the African Americans themselves who were tired of oppression and wanted to finally break free. For examples of this type of conflict, look no further than the Tulsa Race Riot.
In modern times, race has also created serious disputes between opposite sides of the political spectrum, from the debate surrounding Black Lives Matter and police brutality to the 1619 Project and antiracist dogma. In an already charged society, the last thing we need is yet another reason for racial conflict. Segregating public spaces will do just that.
Focusing more attention on race and the color of someone’s skin creates the perfect breeding ground for prejudice. That means more racists, white supremacists and bigots, the natural result of a racially centered culture. Surely that is not a society we wish to create. We should, therefore, do everything in our power to prevent this from happening.
A civilization which is segregated, obsessed with race and plagued by conflict between ethnic groups cannot achieve racial harmony. This should be an obvious truth, and most people would agree that it is. Why then, are efforts made to create such a nation, one in which Black people, Hispanic people and other minorities are even further away from achieving success and racial equality? What good will separating white people from other Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) do? Some may argue that it is necessary so people of color can have a space in which to discuss issues without the pervasive presence of white people: their privilege, prejudice, racism and all.
Let me ask some simple questions: what is the end goal behind putting minorities and non-minorities in separate spaces? Will that truly help our society achieve racial unity? Will it heal racial wounds? Will separating people from those who are different from them make those individuals more tolerant of those people? And then there is the flip side: what benefit do all-white spaces, the consequence of woke segregation, have? Will white people become less prejudiced when there are no people of color around? Tolerance is a direct result of being consistently exposed to people who are different from you. Putting yourself in an echo chamber does not help to accomplish this goal.
Efforts to separate individuals based on race only harm a society by promoting racial conflict, deepen racial wounds and move a society in the opposite direction of racial harmony. Segregation is wrong, regardless of the intent.
It does no good whatsoever to minorities, for it does not eliminate barriers to success for people of color, address systemic inequalities or give them a way to succeed in America. It is divisive, discriminatory and just plain racist. If we truly seek to create a country in which the color of one’s skin is irrelevant compared to their character, this is not the path to take.