The State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY Binghamton) has come under scrutiny for offering a “Stop White People” course.
The university is requiring that all residential assistants (RAs) take a course titled “StopWhitePeople2k16,” which teaches them how to deal with “uneducated people” in racial situations.
The course description, released earlier this week, claims that the class “is to help others take the next step in understanding diversity, privilege, and the society we function within.”
“Learning about these topics is a good first step, but when encountered with ‘good’ arguments from uneducated people, how do you respond?” the description continues. “The open discussion will give attendees the tools to do so and hopefully expand upon what they already know.”
News of the course went viral Wednesday after being shared on several social media sites and led to trending topics on Twitter, including “#stopwhitepeople2016.” Some online critics accused the university of reverse racism through the course.
One Twitter user said, “Imagine if a college was giving a class on how to ‘Stop Muslims’ or ‘Stop Blacks.’” Another user tweeted, “‘Stop White People’ is outright racism being taught at our universities. Why not demand civics & AMERICAN HISTORY classes? Stop the division!”
The school has not yet commented on the course or the public’s reaction to it. However, SUNY Binghamton’s RA guide claims the university encourages “an environment where interaction between people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as the sharing of divergent opinions and beliefs, are respected and welcomed.”