A video posted to Twitter on Wednesday shows a student at the University of Virginia making a “public service announcement” that “too many white people” are using the new Multicultural Student Center.
The 30-second clip was shared by the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth group, with a caption that said “leftists” at the school were “dictating who is and who isn’t allowed” at the center. The video has since been viewed 2.3 million times.
“Public service announcement,” the unidentified student, who appears to be black, starts by saying. “If ya’ll didn’t know, this is MSC, and frankly there are just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color.”
“So, just be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up, because it does make some of us POC uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here,” she adds, using an alphabetism for “people of color.”
The woman goes on to say that white students already have access to “the whole university” and “there’s very few spaces for us.”
“So keep that in mind. Thank you,” she says.
The sound of cheering and clapping can briefly be heard before the video cuts off.
Twitter reacts to video of white students being excluded at UVA
As the video went viral online, some progressives voiced support for the student. But many conservatives accused her of racism and mocked the trend of “safe spaces” for purportedly oppressed identity groups on colleges campuses and elsewhere.
“This kind of racist intolerance is NOT multicultural,” the Young America’s Foundation said in their Twitter post.
“Once upon a time racial segregation was Apartheid in South Africa or Jim Crow’s America,” tweeted British education reformer Katharine Birbalsingh. “In 2020, it is the average campus at a US university.”
“I thought we had made progress,” she added. “Seems not.”
The Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia student newspaper, said it reached out to the student in the video but she did not immediately respond.
According to the paper, the school last Thursday opened four new student centers to accommodate growing “diversity” on campus. The Multicultural Student Center was relocated along with the LGBTQ Center, and the Latinx Student Center and Interfaith Center were opened for the first time.
Following the backlash to the Young America’s Foundation video, the University of Virginia on Wednesday released a statement saying the student centers are open to “all members of the University community.”
“In order to foster the diversity of experience and ideas that make UVA a great and good place to study and work, these centers are open to all members of the University community,” the statement said. “They complement existing student-focused spaces such as the 1515 Building on the Corner, opened in March 2017, and Ern Commons in the Alderman Road residential area, opened in March 2012.”
Brian Coy, a spokesman for the school, told the Washington Examiner that “we need to build a community that is not just diverse, but also inclusive.”