As part of their resident advisor training program, the State University of new York at Binghamton had a race relations seminar called #StopWhitePeople2K16. The goal of the training program, as Binghamton University has said, was to “facilitate a discussion among the RAs that would improve their ability to handle conflicts among residents around issues of diversity.” The name of the seminar (from which the alt-right ire has stemmed) isn’t actually a Binghamton invention. Note the dates on these tweets.
White people activities: Olympic parties,dabbing&bragging about being back to back World War champs #StopWhitePeople pic.twitter.com/uOGvlXfZPi
— Sierra Becze (@siecze) August 16, 2016
What is a bahn mi? #StopWhitePeople pic.twitter.com/pqnFb4dZFY
— Sushi Mane (@BinhDoingIt) August 17, 2016
But as soon as the seminar was announced, #StopWhitePeople started trending pretty much immediately, mostly with comments like this one:
Seriously, how to “stopwhitepeople” not racist to teach to college RAs? https://t.co/PvE9t50qKx
— Mark Kern (@Grummz) August 25, 2016
Explaining systemic racism isn’t the goal of this article. This controversy is for the most part just the #BlackLivesMatter/#AllLivesMatter argument with different window dressing.
Its funny how many white folks look at #StopWhitePeople and try to claim reverse racism yet can’t understand actual racism.
— Baetazoid (@HereIsMySpout) August 26, 2016
The argument against Binghamton U’s #stopwhitepeople RA course “what if it was stop black people!”…UH, WE DO, AND HAVE, FOR CENTURIES.
— Julie Strano (@NotJulieStrano) August 25, 2016
What these tweets missed was that the hashtag that the seminar was highlighting was used mostly ironically to call out cultural appropriation. Was it a great name for a seminar? Up for debate. But racist, that it ain’t.