“But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul…and yet should be as it is, the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind. Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the Milky Way?” — Moby Dick
In 2017, the state Attorney General’s office issued a report which stated that SDSU lecturer Oscar Monge used the term “white” whenever “he wishe[d] to explain someone who has done something wrong, or bad. Indeed, in an essay to the investigator, Monge wrote, ‘It is quite easy to argue that “whiteness” is synonymous with evil.’” Small wonder then, that the campus populace was traumatized when a healthily diverse group of males shouted “Whitey!” in the direction of the campus’ Black Resource Center earlier this month.
“That’s a terrible thing to call someone,” said SDSU President Adelaide De Torrid. “It’s hard to imagine a more hurtful, offensive term, one that calls up images of violent oppression, cultural imperialism, cultural appropriation, genocide, wholesale rape and exploitation, betrayal, and general awfulness. We don’t know what would lead these young men to shout such an obviously hateful word toward the Black Resource Center, but we do know that it has echoed throughout our campus, causing pain and confusion in all who hear it. That’s why we’ve had to have these healing circles, places where people can look one another in the face and say, ‘Thank God we are not white.’”
Concluded de Torrid, “The whites on campus felt especially bad, seeing their own shame being spattered all over the beautiful rainbow that is our student body. And of course, we’re pleased to see that — it represents real progress. So we had a healing circle for them as well, though of course we kept it in a segrega — er, separate space.”