A housing co-op near UC Berkeley is being heavily criticized for banning white visitors from common areas unless they have consent from other tenants at a private housing co-op not far from the University of California, Berkeley campus. According to its website, the “Person of Color Theme House” is a housing co-op located near UC Berkeley that “aims to provide housing to low-income, first generation, immigrant and marginalized students of color.” It is not affiliated with the university, and it is also a private venture.
Tenants are instructed not to bring White guests to the home without permission and to keep White guests from common areas, as can be seen in a leaked photo of “house rules” for the co-op. The leaked house rules list states: “Many POC members moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests.”
Those wishing to bring White guests into the building must alert other tenants, as White people are not entirely banned from the house’s premises. One rule states: “Always announce guests in the Guest Chat if they will be in common spaces with you and if they are white.” Within the home, White people are entirely banned from entering shared spaces, to allow people of color to avoid “white presence.”
Another rule states: “Guests are allowed in common spaces, but please be mindful if there are house members in the room beforehand. White guests are not allowed in common spaces. Avoid bringing parents/family members that express bigotry. Queer, Black and Indigenous members should not have to avoid common spaces because of homophobic or racist parents/family members.”
The house’s website also states: “Person of Color Theme House exists to create a safe and welcoming space for its house members and build solidarity with communities of color in the Berkeley area and beyond.”
A situation similar to this happened back in April and was exposed by Jason Rantz. Washington state’s King County excluded white staff from a health workshop and Seattle radio host Jason Rantz joined ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ to discuss the incident and the decision for the exclusion. There is also an apparent coverup he exposed and an employee resignation over the incident.
Rantz also posted an article on MyNorthWest explaining the situation in more detail, saying the following: “A King County agency hosted a radical seminar that claimed dieting and traditional concepts of health are racist. But it was the rules for who could attend that were racist: it purposefully excluded white people. In fact, when a white person showed up, he was banned from the meeting. And county officials tried to cover this controversy up.”
The King County Department of Human Resources announced the remote workshop, “Anti-Blackness and Diet Culture,” in an all-staff email newsletter. It was part of the county’s Balanced You program, which focuses on staff wellness. Tacoma-based Liberating Jasper, which conducted the workshop, claims dieting is harmful to black people, and that “Western ideals of attractiveness and health are steeped in whiteness.” It even implies that obesity can be healthy.
Further reported by Rantz, was one white King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) staffer was banned from the Feb. 17 workshop due to his race. According to the complaint, obtained via public disclosure request, the incident occurred moments after the staffer turned on his webcam.