Public university in Massachusetts provides segregated spaces for students to “process” the Rittenhouse verdict

November 24, 2021 • 11:30 am

I found the article below while I was trying to determine if other campuses of the University of California had issued official statements criticizing the Rittenhouse verdict. (They didn’t.) However, the Vice-Chancellor of UC Irvine, who apologized for making such a statement, wrote me a nice response to my email.

Now to the article. Seriously, this stuff is both divisive and insane, and I’m really tired of writing about it.  You can get the gist from the title of the article, which appeared at The Hill (click on screenshot):

Here’s most of the column:

A public Massachusetts university offered segregated “processing” spaces to students following the not guilty verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two protesters demonstrating against the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Last week, a jury unanimously declared Rittenhouse, 18, not guilty on all charges relating to the fatal shooting of two protesters — Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber — and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz.

In response to the verdict, Fitchburg State University’s Center for Diversity & Inclusiveness informed students about the “processing” spaces in an email sent to the student body, according to Fox News.

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“The Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness is creating space for our community to process the ‘not guilty’ on all accounts [sic] verdict in the Kenosha, Wisconsin case where Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois native shot and killed two people protesting the wrongful death of Jacob Blake in 2020,” the email read, incorrectly stating that Blake had been killed.

Blake was severely injured in the August 2020 police shooting, becoming paralyzed as a result.

As Fox News reported, the university said the “processing” spaces would be divided into four different spaces: “Students of Color Processing Space,” “White Student Ally Processing Space,” “Faculty and Staff of Color Processing Space” and “White Faculty and Staff Ally Processing Space.”

In a statement responding to Fox News, a spokesperson for Fitchburg State University acknowledged the error regarding Blake’s condition. The spokesperson also defended the school’s use of what they called “identity groups,” saying organizing in such a way was a “proven educational strategy.” They added that the school planned to also have a “combined session.”

Note that there are not two but FOUR processing spaces, divided up by both position (students vs. faculty and staff) and race (people of color versus pallid allies).

Further, it is very clear that the Fitchburg State University officially thinks that the Rittenhouse verdict was wrong. If he had been found guilty, there would be no “processing spaces”. (I’m still not clear whether the white men Rittenhouse shot were joining Black Lives Matter in the riots, rather than just going there for the fun of it, or even to exacerbate violence.) And the use of “ally” in conjunction with “White” means that the processing spaces are for people who consider themselves allies of Black Lives Matter of the other black protestors in Wisconsin, or of the grieving black students themselves.

This kind of division of spaces (were there puppies, cookies, and coloring books?) truly infantilizes everyone.  Why do you need a space to grieve for a verdict that was probably the correct one given the law, and a verdict that doesn’t at all say anything at all about structural racism. Do you really need to “grieve”? What does that mean? Getting angry about the verdict with your friends? Why do you need a special space to do that?

Finally, if segregation like this is a “proven educational strategy”, where are the data supporting it?  Should we start segregating classes, too: “separate but equal”?

36 thoughts on “Public university in Massachusetts provides segregated spaces for students to “process” the Rittenhouse verdict

  1. The infantilization continues. If students want to get together and process this, they can call up facilities or student affairs or whatever and get use of a space, and then invite whomever they feel comfortable with to share it. Or they can use their dorm spaces. Or their apartments.

    There is no need for the administration to do this for them. And it is demeaning that the administration thinks their students need to be directed as to whom they ought to commiserate with or grieve with or discuss with or whatever label you want to put on it with.

    We trust these young adults with guns. We give them the power to vote. FFS they can pick up a phone or click on a Uni reservation web site to organize their own gatherings.

  2. When I hear these Woke things like “processing spaces”, I just wonder who invented this crap. In what possible world does this stuff make sense? To those that push this stuff: please just stop.

  3. They should try and process how the press misrepresented the facts of the case, and set them up for despondency. That’s the institution that has let them down.

  4. From 2020 on, the DEI nomenklatura was swept by a fashion craze for the formation of racially separate “affinity groups”, presumably in competition for the largest number of such groups. Fitchburg State is no winner with four, as we already have that number at the University of Washington. But good old Fitch does win a point by introducing a special “ally” category, a fad that will no doubt spread. It is
    disappointing, though, that they don’t spell that group “allyx”, as in Latinx. Perhaps that comes next.

    1. ‘But good old Fitch does win a point by introducing a special “ally” category, a fad that will no doubt spread.’

      I take it that “ally” is a notch or two below “Black-adjacent.” I.e., some cannot view any Whites as “Black-adjacent” (re:(East?) Asian Americans as “white-adjacent”).

    2. Whenever I see the word “ally” in this context I automatically replace it with “slave”, because as far as I can tell to the ‘woke’ “Ally” means “Non-BIPOC who sits down, shuts up and does whatever they are told without question.”

  5. The court may have reached the correct verdict in relation to the specific charges brought but is it not utterly insane that a young man can travel to a city that is experiencing civil unrest, armed with an automatic rifle with the intent to act as a self-appointed protector of other people’s property? His actions were not calculated to reduce tensions and could only ever have helped make things worse and I would have thought that in a civilised country he should be prosecuted for that. That said, I don’t see how the proposed segregated ‘processing places’ are remotely helpful in any conceivable way.

    1. He did not travel armed with a rifle to Kenosha. He did not go there to protect property, he went there for his job. The rifle was semi-automatic. He went to the protest to try and help people. As to the wisdom of going to the protest armed, in light of the fact that he was attacked three times, it appears to have been prudent. No one can say whether he would have been attacked if he weren’t armed; all we can say is that he was attacked.

      1. Not sure about the first attack but the other attacks were the result of his shooting the first person. Had that no happened there would have been no subsequent attacks.

        I don’t disagree with the verdict but IMO had he not been carry the gun nothing would have happened.

      2. Your pretense of not knowing why he was attacked, certainly a very stupid and bad thing to have done, is tiresome drivel. A person strutting around with an AR-15 is already in effect attacking people in a psychological sense, especially dangerous when it is someone who gives every impression of having the mentality of an 8-year old. Have you actually ever travelled at all yourself to a civilized country and attempted to learn something from your travels?

    2. I can see you’re one of the people that hasn’t yet received the memo about all of the facts that were misrepresented in this case.

      In addition to DrBrydon’s corrections, I will also note that your claim of Rittenhouse being a “self-appointed protector of other people’s property” is also not true. He was protecting the place where he worked, and was asked to do so.

    3. “….. is it not utterly insane that a young man can travel ….(added by me: anywhere unrelated to hunting or target shooting) …… armed with an automatic rifle….I would have thought that in a civilised country he should be prosecuted for that.”

      I agree 100% with you, Jonathan. I’ve added my own strengthening as you see. Mine is even too weak, since almost no one should have access to AUTOMATIC rifles, for hunting, target shooting or anything else, in a civilized country. There are obvious exceptions related to law enforcement and the military of course.

      1. It is tiresome to keep having to repeat that KR did not have an automatic rifle, whether in ALL-CAPS or not. Even in utopian Canada it is lawful to possess an auto-loading hunting rifle that fires a round much more lethal than that of an AR-15. Magazine capacity is strictly limited here to 5, but KR did not shoot more than 5 rounds from his rifle.

        Neither can you prosecute people for breaking laws that don’t exist. Taking any kind of a weapon to a riot maybe should be illegal, but it isn’t in Wisconsin. It is common for people to describe American gun laws as “insane”, but they aren’t, by definition of insanity. They flow logically from stated first principles through internally coherent thought processes to achieve a predictable result. Calling people who think this way insane does not change any minds.

        1. Those that have come up with US gun laws may not be insane due to the consistent direction of their laws, just morally bankrupt. They ignore statistics that indicate how best to preserve life because that doesn’t seem to be a major goal of theirs. I have a problem with that. Is it insane? Perhaps.

        2. My mistake: KR did shoot more than 5 rounds. I apologize. He didn’t shoot more than 5 at any one person but that still doesn’t excuse my error.

        3. Whether the gun was automatic or semi-automatic it was a military style weapon and for a teenager to be carrying it in the midst of a highly tense situation was not ever going to be an action calculated to relieve tensions or reduce the likelihood of serious outcomes – as events subsequently demonstrated. You may take exception to the use of the word insane but in my view it was extremely ill advised (to put it mildly) for him to be there with that weapon, whether self-appointed or ‘because he was asked to do so’. I am not asking for anyone to be prosecuted for laws that don’t exist but the fact that his carrying that gun to that riot may not have broken any law does not remotely make it a wise thing to have done. As Paul Topping notes below, the legal consistency of US gun laws does not necessarily make them wise laws. Far from it in my view.

  6. What happened to “Teach-Ins”? Those were more common in my day. Not a bad idea, either –gather all who are interested and use it as a teaching opportunity.

  7. “Seriously, this stuff is both divisive and insane, and I’m really tired of writing about it.”

    I’m perplexed Jerry: why write about something you don’t want to write about?

    1. Well, I do want to write about it for The Cause, but it’s getting tedious. It is interesting in one way: all the diverse ways the woke can display their virtue as well as set races against each other.

  8. >Should we start segregating classes, too: “separate but equal”?

    Don’t forget the most important question: should we start segregating bathrooms by sex? I saw a move for integrated bathrooms in the 1990s and was disappointed that it didn’t gain more of a foothold. Anti-separate-but-equal policies apply to sex as well as to race.

    1. What about segregating bathrooms by “affinity group”? This could could involve distinct categories by
      sex AND self-declared identity AND race AND with a special categories for “ally” of, uhhh, whatever. Come to think of it, if any place should be called a “processing space” it is the room with a toilet.

    1. A couple of extracts:

      Late Friday afternoon, the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness announced a series of gatherings for members of the campus community who wanted to reflect on that day’s verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case in Wisconsin. That email included a brief summary of the events that launched the protests that resulted in Rittenhouse’s trial.

      Unfortunately, that summary contained several factual errors that were seized upon by news outlets and social media commenters. A follow-up message from the center sought to acknowledge these mistakes.

      So a mess of the institution’s own making, then.

      Other commenters accused the university of racism for organizing these gatherings by identity group. The premise behind these voluntary sessions was an acknowledgement that racial identity can impact how members of our community perceive and process topics adjacent to race and justice, a proven educational strategy used by institutions and organizations.

      These brief gatherings have been likened to the racist state policies of the Civil Rights era that were designed to disenfranchise whole populations. This is a false equivalency. In contrast, these voluntary gatherings were designed to give voice to populations concerned about initially expressing their thoughts and feelings publicly. As was indicated in the follow-up message to the campus from the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness on Saturday, it is the intention of the university to hold sessions in the future where all members of our university who wish to participate may discuss these issues as a shared community.

      So no more segregation, then, hopefully!

  9. I would laugh, if this weren’t both sick and pathetic—sick to segregate people into identity groups and pathetic to treat students, faculty, and staff like they are infants. Are people really this helpless?

  10. Interesting that the woke left wants to racialize the Rittenhouse case (white guy kills and injures white guys).

    I wonder if they are putting up safe “processing spaces” in Waukesha for the white people mowed down by the black guy? Funny how there’s no racial element at all in Wakesha.

    Imagine if Waukesha had been a white guy mowing down a crowd of black folk!

    1. I think the processing going on is that the white people in Waukesha have just sullenly and irreversibly put another brick into the wall of resistance against whatever “reconciliation” they are always being hectored and chivvied into making. “It’s always on us. No more.”

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