College offers safe space for whites to help understand minority interactions. Here comes backlash.

 A group at the University of Maryland at College Park recently announced the formation of a new peer support group to tackle diversity issues within the university — except it’s got people all riled up because it’s called “White Awake” and geared toward white students.

What are the details?

On Friday, the college announced the group with intentions to cultivate a “safe space” for white students to discuss “interactions with racial and ethnic minorities.”
A description for the group reads, “This group offers a safe space for White students to explore their experiences, questions, reactions, and feelings. Members will support and share feedback with each other as they learn more about themselves and how they can fit into a diverse world.”
A flyer for the group also adds that the program is for them if students aim to “improve ability to relate to and connect with people different from [themselves],” or if they simply want to become a better “ally” to members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
The group, which will be led by Noah Collins — a doctor at the university’s counseling center — will meet weekly. According to Collins’ faculty bio, his professional and research interests include “therapist training, especially in the areas of racial and cultural awareness.” Collins also focuses on couples therapy and group therapy.

What has been the response?

The new group has been the topic of much discussion — some backlash and some support — from social media users.
Twitter user Alysa Conway wrote, “I am ashamed over the execution of white awake nor do I fully understand its clause. ‘How they can fit into a diverse world?’ Why do they need to attend therapy sessions on how to be a decent human being in society? Why do they need to have these sessions to learn how to coexist?”
Conway’s tweet wasn’t necessarily embraced, because many in the comments’ thread castigated her for what they apparently perceived to be an overreaction to the group’s formation.
One user, in response to Conway’s tweet, wrote, “What good for the goose is good for the gander and with all of the racism on campuses towards white students it’s needed desperately. You have now reaped what you have sown.”
Another user added, “I’ll answer: Because you don’t want them to co-exist or exist at all. Because leftist lunatics like you are saying things like #cancelwhitepeople. Because the real racism in America is now directed at white people, and you’re good with that.”
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