A Black student at the University of Virginia is going viral after wondering where the culture was in her campus' multicultural center.
Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth organization that often faces backlash for hosting campus events with controversial speakers such as Ben Shapiro, reposted a video of the moment on Twitter and appears to be big mad about it.
"Leftists at the University of Virginia are dictating who is and who isn't allowed in the new Multicultural Center," the tweet read.
The original multicultural center, which opened in 2016, was created as a “collaborative space for underrepresented and marginalized groups to use on grounds,” Cavalier Daily reported. However, students have been raising concerns about the limited space.
“The Multicultural Student Center and the LGBTQ center serve a fifth of the population plus, and the space only holds fifty people, and the LGBTQ Center holds even less,” Natalie Romero, the student director of the multicultural center, told the Caviler Daily last year.
“There are days when people are looking for a space to hang out and chill, and it’s full, so they don’t come in here or they leave,” Romero added.
This year, the director of the center noted that space was needed specifically for the Latinx community.
“It always felt like we were dominating the space because we were a very predominant group in the [MSC],” she said.
On February 6, the university unveiled four new areas in efforts to appease requests for more space for Latinx and Interfaith students. The university also moved the multicultural center and LGBTQ center to upgraded areas with more space.
Despite being moved to an upgraded area, students say space was still limited due to "too many white people" in the center. In the video posted to Twitter, a Black woman is attempting to get the attention of those sitting in the newly upgraded space.
Leftists at the University of Virginia are dictating who is and who isn’t allowed in the new Multicultural Student Center.— YAF (@yaf) February 12, 2020
“Frankly there is just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color.”
This kind of racist intolerance is NOT multicultural. pic.twitter.com/XkefKqfqLA
“Excuse me. If y’all didn’t know this is the MSC and frankly there’s just too many white people in here and this is a space for people of color,” she said. “So just be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up because it does make some of us POC uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here.”
“It’s only been open for four days and frankly there’s the whole university for a lot of y’all to be at and there’s very few spaces for us. So keep that in mind,” the woman added.
After ending with a “thank you,” the woman sat down while some people cheered her efforts.
The post has since gone viral, and some people are confusing the woman’s statement with a call for segregation on campus.
Racist much?!?! Segregation was gotten rid of, now you want it? I'm confused. 🤷 https://t.co/SyM5O2Uv1X— Johnny van Vlimmeren (@VlimmerenJohnny) February 13, 2020
This is single handedly the most ridiculous video I have ever seen in my life. I guess we’re bringing back segregation. https://t.co/FE5KgXDnEA— 🅿️™ (@paytonchilds2) February 13, 2020
Is this not discrimination based solely on skin color? Just bc I look white doesn’t mean I’m not multicultural, same way not all ‘black’ people are African. If there is a space for everyone except whites, can we have a whites only space??? Not without riots and a race war but 👌 https://t.co/Lus67Nvp38— Furuya (@WhatChair) February 13, 2020
To all the white leftist "saviors": hope you're proud of yourselves, you've managed to bring back segregation.— C.M. Bermúdez, M.A. (@aslan31_10) February 13, 2020
To all the POC: please take a good, hard look at what leftists are really trying to do. https://t.co/GeXLEigfaW
Some Twitter users applauded the woman.
good for her!!! Reverse racism isn’t a thing!! White people have never been oppressed!! It’s actually really easy to understand! https://t.co/bl9rWJiiW2— uncut jules (@juliaamaryyy) February 13, 2020
White students/ppl are automatically welcomed,embraced and accepted into any and all spaces. The MSC like OAAA is a space that Poc unconditionally feel accepted into which is important for many of us being that we are at a PWI. That sense of community/comfort ain’t everywhere https://t.co/QDfIhIUCwP— ... (@aka_monet) February 13, 2020
BRUH white people LOVE talking about “reverse racism” as if it’s a real thing. We don’t hate white people but PLEASE make it known that your presence makes it uncomfortable to express our culture & concerns (aka be ourselves) https://t.co/izTBsu1WpS— ✨val✨ (@itsbabyyvee) February 13, 2020
The University of Virginia tweeted a response to the discussion stating “some questions have been raised regarding the scope or inclusivity of these centers and their missions.”
UVA this month introduced four new and expanded student centers in Newcomb Hall. Since the opening, some questions have been raised regarding the scope or inclusivity of these centers and their missions. UVA provided the following statement on Feb. 12 to address these questions: pic.twitter.com/BJ3LZCvIrE— UVA (@UVA) February 12, 2020
“In order to foster the diversity of experience and ideas that make UVA a great and good place to study and work, these centers are open to all members of the University community,” the statement said.
University of Virginia’s campus is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, a city that gained national attention after Heather Heyer was killed during protests to remove confederate statues. Black lawmakers have since proposed legislation to change the problematic culture of the state, as Blavity previously reported.