MLK Day in Montana: The Only People Who Entered UM’s MLK Essay Content Were White—And They Won, Which Is Racist
James Fulford, VDARE, January 30, 2020
Here’s a story from the University of Montana, which is largely white, like the state it serves—in Montana, minority usually means American Indian.
A No-Win Situation | A writing contest held at the University of Montana to honor MLK and encourage multi-racial dialogue went awry. Instead of helping bridge racial divides among students, it amplified them, by Greta Anderson, InsideHigherEd, January 30, 2020.
The problem was not that whites were better at writing, and so won the contest by “the content of their character”—it’s that there were only six entries, all of them from whites.
The University of Montana was in the early stages of addressing complaints about the lack of racial diversity on campus when it decided to hold an essay contest marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The contest was seen as an opportunity to engage students of various backgrounds and spur dialogue across the campus about the life and work of the late civil rights leader. But the plans backfired when the university announced, and proudly promoted, the four winning essays — all penned by white students.
The backlash on social media was swift and searing and, perhaps most interestingly, multiracial.
More than 1,100 commenters, many of them self-identifying as white, took to Facebook to call out university officials for being “tone-deaf” and “shameful” and criticizing the contest as a “colorblind mess.”
The University of Montana has 10,962 students, but fewer than 1 percent of them are black. That’s high, because only six-tenths of one percent of Montanans are black, i.e. they’re overrepresented. In 2016, article whining about how lonely black students are at UM, and how traumatized by Trump, one writer counted them:
On the first Monday evening after the presidential election, roughly 20 students gathered in a circle in the living room of the Black Student Union house. Above them, a sign read “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” Around them were posters on the walls displaying newspaper clippings from the past few decades about the Black Student Union.
Of these 20 students, five were black. This number may seem small, but it’s significantly more diverse than the campus as a whole. Of the nearly 8,000 undergraduate students at the University of Montana’s mountain campus, only 76 are black. There are an additional 11 black graduate students.
I’m sure any of the blacks students who entered could have won, on the basis of being black themselves. That’s not totally illegitimate, when you consider that an essay like this draws on personal experience, but none of them did enter, because they didn’t have to.
The fact that four white girls won this competition has produced remarkable outpourings of white “self-hatred”. (I never believe these people hate themselves—they hate me, Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson, George Washington, and their parents and uncles.)
But remember, this whole thing was caused by blacks not writing any essays, because, after all, they don’t have to.