A UC Berkeley off-campus housing co-op has banned white people from entering common spaces in order to protect people of color (POC) from so-called “white violence.”
As first reported by The College Fix and confirmed elsewhere, house rules for the 30-room “Person of Color Theme House” leaked to Reddit read: “Many POC moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests.”
“White guests are not allowed in common spaces,” reads the rule under “Guests in Common Spaces.”
The top comments in the notoriously liberal subreddit noted the obvious racism:
“In order to beat racism we must first become racists ourselves!” wrote one user, /u/Educational-Net303.
Also banned from the POC House:
“Avoid bringing parents/family members that express bigotry,” adding “Queer, Black, and Indigenous members should not have to avoid common spaces because of homophobic or racist parents/family members.”
Of note, the facility is not run by UC Berkeley, as Assistant Director of Media Relations Adam Ratliff told the outlet, adding that it’s “not the role of the campus” to comment on what they do.
“As this involves an off-campus non-affiliated landlord, the campus has no ability under the Code of Student Conduct to discipline the landlord,” said Ratliff.
The Person of Color Theme House, a five-story, 30-room home that can accommodate up to 56 students, exists to serve “low-income, first generation, immigrant and marginalized students of color.”
It’s part of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, a nonprofit housing cooperative established to provide affordable housing to Bay-area college students.
Since it was established in 2016, the POC house has faced its share of internal problems.
One former member wrote in a Medium article that the house has become known for its “call-out culture” perpetuated by “the lack of intersectionality.”
“Several members have been criticized for being white/white passing, aligning themselves with whiteness, or allowing white violence in the house,” she wrote.
Stephen Ross, cooperative experience manager for the Berkeley Student Cooperative, told The College Fix that “neither the BSC nor the POC house has an official policy” excluding white guests from common spaces. -The College Fix
“White people can and do live in POC house, but the focus for POC house is providing a safe and supportive living environment for people of color,” said Ross - though he added that each of the 20 BSC houses “have their own culture and practices” that develop ovver time, adding that members actively work toward “not making Whiteness central to the experience for members living in the house.”