A Black student has gone viral for defending a multicultural center at the University of Virginia (UVA) as a safe space for people of color.
On Feb. 12, conservative youth group Young America’s Foundation (YAF) shared a 37-second video on Twitter in which the unidentified student does a public service announcement at the brand new center.
“Leftists at the University of Virginia are dictating who is and who isn’t allowed in the new Multicultural Student Center,” YAF tweeted. “‘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.”
The clip begins with the student trying to get the attention of her peers before educating them about the building that they’re in.
“If y’all didn’t know, this is an MSC (multicultural student center), and frankly, there’s just too many white people in here,” she says. “And this is a space for people of color, so let’s be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up because it does make some of us POCs (people of color) uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here.”
“[The center’s] only been open for four days, and frankly, there’s a whole university for a lot of y’all to be at,” she goes on to say. “And there’s very few spaces for us, so keep that in mind. Thank you.”
The clip then ends with applause.
YAF’s post has since received more than 17,000 comments, many of which fiercely defend the student.
“This is a pretty reasonable request!” one person wrote in response to the organization’s tweet. ” No one is being kicked out, just being politely asked to be mindful of the space they take up. Weird that I’m seeing so many upset replies, are we so fragile as Americans that we can’t take criticism?”
“There are a whole lot of fragile white egos up in here,” another wrote. “I know, it hurts that there’s a space that isn’t centered around your whiteness. It’s confusing to you, it’s uncomfortable, it seems un-American. Now imagine that’s how people of color feel in most spaces in this country.”
In the wake of the incident, UVA president Jim Ryan issued a statement, claiming that the center is meant to foster an inclusive environment.
“There has been a lot of traffic about the incident at the MSC,” Ryan tweeted. “To be clear, the MSC is for all students. But there is more to say than can be communicated in a short statement on social media, and I’m working on an essay for the [student paper Cavalier Daily] so for those interested, stay tuned.”
More to read: