Last month, white students at the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work met for a “White Students Accountability Group” meeting to explore their “role” in racism.
Turning Point USA got an internal email that promoted an hour-long online session for students on April 26 and said that spaces were still available.
The goal of the gathering, according to a screenshot from the event description, was for social work pupils to “recognize both their role to and obligation to eradicate racism in our professional and everyday life.”
“Use your voice, power, and privilege to affect change in your classrooms, community, and practice,” students were to be urged. “Support students in building skills to organize similar meetings among classmates or coworkers to grow the community devoted to racial fairness and justice,” according to the debate, per report.
The call for white young people to recognize their “luxury” and “contribution” to racism is in line with critical race theory principles, which argue that white people have historical and current benefits in society and that American national values are derived from white heritage and perpetuate unequal distribution of society’s advantages based on skin color.
CRT proponents argue that studying about American past through the prism of racism might assist reveal societal inequities that many Americans are unaware of. CRT opponents have attacked it for spreading the notion that white people alive now are inevitably engaged in racism just because they are white, which they believe is racist.
“It’s simply sad and upsetting that the institution would host an event that promotes truly racist notions,” said Dylan B., president of the TPUSA branch at the University of South Carolina.
The University of South Carolina is not the only place where white accountability groups exist. After the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin and other high-profile cop shootings of black people in 2020, they gained prominence on college campuses.
On March 4 and April 8, Loyola University Maryland convened two white responsibility group sessions, with a third slated for May 13.
“Many assets have been provided as we all collaborate to tear down oppression from our own lives and institutions,” the university’s Events and Activities page read. “We want to give white and light-skinned people the chance to put all these assets into action by participating in deep, meaningful conversations and tasks on anti-racism.”
On the 2nd Thursday of every month at 11:30 a.m., the University of North Texas hosts a virtual white accountability group meeting where attendees learn how to address “racial injustice, inequity, & inequality in UNT’s programs, policies, procedures, people, and practices.” These voluntary meetings provide “accountability measures” for white employees in order to “develop allyship, accomplices, & anti-racism among white employees for BIPOC at UNT.”