Around 30 Facebook pages for white student unions popped up online over the weekend, causing alarm and disgust among quite a few, regardless of the fact that the pages are very likely a hoax coordinated by the pranksters at 4Chan. ABC7 News hasn’t quite caught on yet, however.
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) November 23, 2015
It is creating a lot of talk, but the New York Daily News reports that a similar Facebook group that suddenly appeared at New York University turned out to be a hoax, and the administration is not hesitating to take action.
“There is no such organization as this at NYU, the Facebook page is using NYU’s logo illegally and without permission, and we have contacted Facebook to demand the NYU logo be removed,” NYU Director of Public Affairs Matt Nagel said in a statement to The News on Monday. “We reject — and we call on others to reject — efforts such as this to derail or distort candid, thoughtful discourse on race.”
Some social media users pointed to a 4Chan post from Sunday as proof the page might be a sick joke. The anonymous post calls for Internet trolls to make “European students union” pages at “the most leftist colleges and universities in the western world.”
We don’t know about the western world, but we do know that: 1) finding a leftist university in the United States is no problem at all, and 2) the idea of a white student union is a very big problem to many students, professors and administrators.
So they wanna have a "white student union"…..oh.
— Reine ♚ (@qveeniz) November 23, 2015
Really? A White Student Union for White students who want to be treated equally? Okay.
— Nami (@FaithOceannn) November 23, 2015
Let me go to sleep and stop arguing with these ignorant people on Instagram why there's no need for their white student union
— Destinee (@mystoryisbeauty) November 23, 2015
— emma (@emmabracy) November 23, 2015
That awkward moment when NYU has a white student union when it already is a white student union.
— i dont know anything (@_AnisaAmura) November 23, 2015
— Franceska (@CactusGipsy) November 23, 2015
@HbdNrx there is no need for a white student union at a predominantly white institution. The voice is constantly being heard …
— Queen Melanin (@astoldbyash) November 23, 2015
@CamBeLike_ ok, and the white student union is about addressing the many racial issues white students encounter on a daily basis.
— hbd nrx (@HbdNrx) November 23, 2015
This is sad. FSU as a whole is a White Student Union. Minority student unions exist for a reason. We don't need this pic.twitter.com/FSQiV3Jqlp
— okay (@perryvdmeulen) November 23, 2015
Why do white students need a "white student union" … y'all know the last time they created a union for white people it was called the KKK?
— z. (@zarinacornelius) November 23, 2015
— kam (@kaylithedreamer) November 23, 2015
MSU has a White Student Union talking about racism against whites on campus. WHERE. SHOW ME WHAT YALL GO THRU.
— $en$ationalP✨ (@____LilPINK) November 23, 2015
Speaking of psychopaths, why does my school have a white student union now? Like, who are you lol #pwiprobs
— LexxyLexxx (@THATGirlLexxy) November 23, 2015
PSU has a white student union page, I love seeing the white tears they cry over problems that don't exist for them
— çhristina (@charrrita) November 23, 2015
And you create a fucking white student union? To protect your rights? Because you're getting accused of your privilege? SERIOUSLY
— g-anne kim (@ganne_k) November 24, 2015
MSNBC was one of the first mainstream media outlets to report on the Facebook pages and the University of Illinois’ reaction.
The page was created in response to a Black Lives Matter rally that a student organization held at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana on Wednesday, a student told MSNBC on Saturday. The page said it was organizing “against the terrorism we have been facing from Black Lives Matter activists on campus,” according to The Daily Illini, a student newspaper.
“We weren’t surprised by the creation of the group, but we were surprised by how quickly the group was formed,” Karen Olowu, a co-lead organizer of the Black Students for Revolution, told MSNBC. “Historically, this happens when people of color gather to support themselves. This group [was] formed to to terrorize us.”
The university called the Facebook page “extremely disturbing” in a statement Thursday. It said the administration had asked Facebook to remove the page, which was taken down “within three hours.”
As of this afternoon, Cosmopolitan still hasn’t caught on.
"White Student Union" created at University of Illinois by white students who want to be treated equally: https://t.co/3o2uIOLbvN
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) November 23, 2015
Cosmo’s reporter quoted a USA Today interview with a student — who just happened to be Karen Olowu, the co-lead organizer of the Black Students for Revolution who also spoke with MSNBC:
“It does make me pause now when I’m walking between classes that members of the student body at the university think like this,” Karen Olowu, one of the students who organized the rally that triggered the White Student Union to form, told USA Today:”I expect some degree of backlash whenever black students … get together and demand their human rights. I was surprised by the degree and the swiftness, and how toxic it was.”
We’re surprised by just how quickly so many universities approached Facebook to have the pages taken down.