Wedding Woes

This screams sorority house, doesn't it?

Dear Prudence,

I live with 20 people, mostly white, who wanted to have a house discussion on racism. We planned general discussion questions (“How do you identify? What does equality mean to you? What do you think racism is?”) The group that came to discuss was nearly all white, with a notable exception: a visitor (who was a person of color) had seen a flyer about the discussion and asked if she could come back to the house for the event and been told that she could. When the group was told about this invitation, they decided to send her away. The reason: “It was a discussion intended for the house only, and at least one member would feel less safe with a stranger present.” I just can’t understand this perspective. I know that allowing a person of color in wouldn’t be a panacea that would erase the fact that, as a white person, I’m always part of the group with the power to send people away, but I feel sick about this exclusion. Is it possible I’m overreacting? Can you think of something that makes it OK to be a group of white people talking about race and sending a person of color away in order to feel “safe”? A white visitor would also have been sent away, and I wouldn’t have been happy with that, but that doesn’t feel quite as gross.

—Group Chat

Re: This screams sorority house, doesn't it?

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Its sad they sent this "stranger" away when it was quite possible the group could have learned a lot from them.  Especially the one who felt less safe. 

    Which - how can one person in an entire group of people make you feel less safe?  Are you that racist that just the mere vision of a POC in the same room with you makes you feel unsafe?

    short+sassy
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This reminds me of when my friends church did a discussion on race a few months ago. Particularly about the Black Lives Matter movement.  The congregation is mainly white, and they had a white cop come talk about it. I was like "are you fucking serious right now?" Talk about an echo chamber. If you want to have a discussion, both sides need to be involved. 


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    charlotte989875ei34cowgirl8238
  • monkeysip said:
    I couldn't help but look up Prudie's reply, and I like her question "Why create a flier for a private, roommates-only meeting?"

    Like... was this a house meeting or a public event?  If the former, I understand wanting it to just be roommates, although then they still need to think about how effective a house meeting will be if it only involves white people.  If the latter, then they're clearly only pushing the outsider out for race reasons.  Very weird.

    The story makes no sense.


    Exactly what I was wondering!!!!  Why were there flyers to begin with for a roommates-only meeting?  Super bizarre.  To play devil's advocate, let's say the flyers were "just for the roomies".  I mean, there are a lot of them.  But somehow one got "free" and landed in a non-roomie's hands.

    They're not having a "roomie" discussion about house rules for the fridge.  They're having a discussion about a hot-button issue in our society.  So, in that respect, isn't it more enlightening to have a larger variety of opinion?  Not seeing the issue.

    I know @mrsconn23's post headline was about it sounding like a sorority house.  It very well might be.  In that case, than I think it would be perfectly okay to say, "Oh!  I'm so sorry you accidentally got the flyer.  It is supposed to be just for sorority members."

    I was in a sorority in college (Alpha Chi Omega), though we didn't have a house.  We had meetings all the freakin' time.  Unless it was for a specific purpose, no one else was welcome to attend.  However, we also didn't make flyers about the meetings.

    Quick sorority joke.  My favorite:

    "How many sorority girls does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

    Answer:  "Seventeen.  One to screw in the light bulb.  6 to make tee shirts about it.  And 10 to clap and sing about it."

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    MissKittyDangermrsconn23kimmiinthemittenSP29
  • sounds like a KKK meeting rather than a sorority house. 
    mrsconn23NOLABridesmaidsparklepants41
  • So basically they all just wanted to get together and have a big old circle jerk  about how they are so not racist.  

    mrsconn23levioosalc07
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ok I'm going to be the devil's advocate. I think a term being used now (especially on college campuses) is "safe space" meaning that a person feels like they can talk about their feelings without feeling threatened (emotionally not physically). What if the person meant this rather than that the person of color would be a physical danger? I have heard of groups on campuses holding discussions that will not allow certain people in because members don't feel emotionally safe. Also, the room mates are mostly white so does that mean that the room mates of color were at the meeting? I would think room mates would be considered "safe". Just wondering. FWIW, I think these "safe" spaces are questionable at times.
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Ok I'm going to be the devil's advocate. I think a term being used now (especially on college campuses) is "safe space" meaning that a person feels like they can talk about their feelings without feeling threatened (emotionally not physically). What if the person meant this rather than that the person of color would be a physical danger? I have heard of groups on campuses holding discussions that will not allow certain people in because members don't feel emotionally safe. Also, the room mates are mostly white so does that mean that the room mates of color were at the meeting? I would think room mates would be considered "safe". Just wondering. FWIW, I think these "safe" spaces are questionable at times.


    I'm pretty sure no one interpreted the letter to say that other person would attack people. We all know what "safe" meant here. Someone was uncomfortable talking about race in front of a black person, probably not for fear of personal danger, probably for fear that they will "sound racist" (which is bullshit, obviously).

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    lc07
  • I'm with other PPs that are confused about why a seemingly house-only discussion was advertised to people who don't live in the house? Or maybe there was a sign on the door and this visitor saw it while visiting a friend who lives in the house - that's the only thing I can think of with how someone who doesn't live there would know about it if they hadn't posted the flier publicly. Definitely an odd topic for a house of roommates/sorority sisters/whatever.

    #DeltaDeltaDeltaCanIHelpyaHelpyaHelpya
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