"We Need More White People!" [STAT!]
While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan’s correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, “Get me more white people, we need more white people.” To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, “We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.”
“I didn’t know they would say, ‘We need a white person here,’ ” said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. “I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn’t know it would be so outright.”
Tokenism is deceit. It is manipulation.
If the “Asian girl” witnessed this preference, what message is this saying to her? That she was of no use, therefore disposable. Unacceptable. What message is Shayna Watson translating when she says, “I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn’t know it would be so outright?” Is Shayna saying that having the look of diversity is okay as long as it is not so obvious? When did the look of something become superior to an actual something? Moreover, what about the white people who were seated in the chairs that were previously occupied by the wrong representation? If those white people heard the coordinators as the “Asian girl” did, then what are they contributing to by accepting the seats? I will tell you what they are contributing to; they are accepting and reinforcing a hierarchy. They are accepting that they are the preference and that they have no problem being recognised as the preference. This at a so-called diverse gathering, at a place of change where transcending race is supposedly the understood agenda. It is deception. People should have sat where they were going to sit. The American public does not need a false representation of diversity if that American public is supposedly open to diversity. To be open to diversity one must be mature and prepared to face their inhibitions. If people are truly open to diversity then it would not matter the numbers standing behind Michelle Obama. It would be understood that it happened the way it happened. A facade is not sufficient! A facade does not get the job done! What part of that is so difficult to understand?
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