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Published On: Tue, Feb 13th, 2018

Black student Wylliam Smith calls for segregation at University of Iowa

Wylliam Smith begins his call for segregation at the University of Iowa: “Black students need black-only or all-black events in which there are other black men and women as a means to help them feel comfortable. A place to be black without judgment, consequences, or ridicule.”
Martin Luther King Jr. would be shocked by Smith’s proposition.

“I’m sure on face value, black-only seems wrong,” Smith writes. “Separating black kids into areas in which it is just them and excluding other students looks prejudicial. Some may even say it is racist.

“But is it? Is asking for a safe place for black students to be black without consequence wrong? No — not only is it not wrong, it is heavily needed, especially here in Iowa.”

The University hosts “black-theme events” that are open to everyone, but with a population of only 3.1 percent of students who are black, Smith can’t fit in, saying that  it is “almost heartbreaking” to come to campus and not see “someone like you,” and to not feel like “the university is your new home … when you constantly feel like an outsider.”

Smith credits most whites with “not inherently trying to be racist”: “Having events where black kids can just be black, where they can relax and be themselves without judgment is extremely needed. An environment like this can be lonely for students of color. …If we have black-only events it removes those ingrained expectations. It rids black kids of the constant need to fight stereotypes. It frees students to truly be themselves, with no onlookers casting judgment.”

Smith is apparently unhappy with ethnic affinity groups such as the Black Student Union because they aren’t allowed to exclude non-blacks from events. As the BSU Facebook page says: “BSU welcomes any University of Iowa student, regardless of nationality, race, sex, gender orientation, religion, or physical disabilities, to become a member our organization.”

Don’t be surprised, Smith has a track record of issues with his race in Iowa, bemoaning “black” as an adjective in a 2017 article: “Will they remember me as Wylliam Smith, the strong black man, or will they remember me as Wylliam Smith?

“It seems like a small difference, but it has actually been a defining factor of my life since I was born, and sadly, it will follow me to grave and beyond. That tagline will always be attached to my name. Wylliam Smith the standing representation of black rights, Wylliam Smith the well-worded black reporter, Wylliam Smith the black man. I cannot escape that title no matter how much I try.

and: “Just because I’m black doesn’t mean everything I do is race-related.”

Smith lists off prejudice and racist moments in his life: “…people asking you borderline racist questions, the people who cross to the other side of the street when they see you coming, those who follow you throughout the store to make sure you’re not stealing anything.

“Having events where black kids can just be black, where they can relax and be themselves without judgment is extremely needed. An environment like this can be lonely for students of color.”

Back to the 2017 post: “Yes, I have faced racism, and yes, a lot of my battles are against racism. And I am proud to be the man I am today despite being set at a disadvantage because of my race.
“What I am saying is that I am an individual. I am Wylliam Smith, and I am not defined by my skin. Do not remember me as Wylliam, the strong successful black man. My achievements are not just skin deep.

“If I am remembered at all, remember me for being Wylliam.”

courtesy of Peter Max

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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