Home > Uncategorized > Racism close to home

Racism close to home

So, my boyfriend and I have a tight knit friend group, but college really spread the group out. One of our good friends, Andrew, arrived from Canada last night at around eight (because Canadians have their spring break in February) so the group all got together to catch up and talk about good times and such. Well, one of the guys, Reide, is now living at home in Austin after spending a semester in Tyler, Texas as the University of Texas at Tyler. We were having a discussion about why he left Tyler, and among other reasons, he had a very disturbing story as to why he wanted to leave.

Reide (who is white) had an African American roommate for a brief period of time who was arrested during the first semester because of drug possession. After DeVondre’s arrest, Reide had to change rooms. While moving into his apartment, one of the guys helping him move ( a white guy) asked him about DeVondre, and if it was true that Reide actually had an n– for a roommate. And then said “you know that you can choose ‘whites only’ on your housing sheet right?” Reide didn’t believe it. But, it is an unstated policy that a student at that university can write  (and in Tyler it is apparently very common) ‘whites only’ on their housing sheet when selecting a roommate and housing placement. The moving guy said that it was so ‘they could keep all of the n—s together”

I was skeptical, but Tyler is an extremely right wing conservative part of Texas. Having visited there, I would say that the southern culture still thrives in this area. I just could not believe that at a University, which is considered a progressive environment, it was an acceptable and even expected practice to  have that sort of segregation.

I think it just goes to show how racism is far from being dead, especially if our generation (which is considered pretty progressive) have such nasty strains of it within us.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    That is shocking. Did anyone look into it further? But while it is disturbing to think that anyone would care enough to request a white roommate, I suppose I would rather have that than have an actively racist person rooming with a black person and committing hate crimes. And it is probably best that the university allow those requests without making the option well-known. Nevertheless…I would not want to go to school with mass amounts of people who requested white only roommates.

  2. rh567
    February 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I agree with Lauren… the idea of going to school or even being in the same community with those kinds of people is disturbing. But what was even more disturbing was the idea that all these students new about that option going into the application. I think it says a lot about our society–that we STILL think that black and white people should be segregated with the words “white only”. It is sad that is still the case, but it does make sense why the cemeteries of today are still being segregated and why they were in the past. If we can’t live together… why would they want to be dead together?? Its horrible.

  3. lhennigan
    February 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I also agree with Lauren. I’m curious to know if there was a certain incident that led to this being an option, like an act of racism between two roommates possibly? Or it could just be that the surrounding environment puts pressure on the university to have this option. Whatever the reason, it is very disturbing to know that segregation is still an option at a university, whether its blatantly stated or not. To us, this concept is foreign because we attend such a liberal university; however, at larger schools that are surrounded by very conservative towns, this probably just seems like a necessary part of life because thats just how some people have been raised. Its disturbing, but it goes to show that some things haven’t changed in over a century.

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