Prof who said white people 'take up space' now says whites can't decide what's racist

  • A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor says white people do not get to decide what is and is not racist.
  • The professor is the same one who previously stated that white people "take up space" at "queer events."

A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor said that white people do not get to decide what is racist. 

Sami Schalk, assistant professorof Gender and Women’s Studies, tweeted on January 16, “This is your semi-annual reminder that white people do not get to determine what is & is not racist. If a person of color calls you racist, it’s probably bc [because] you did something racist whether you can recognize it or not. Now back to your regular scheduled programming.” 

"white people do not get to determine what is & is not racist"   

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This tweet was in response to an earlier Twitter exchange, in which Schalk retweeted a tweet that said, “Man. White ppl [people] be some bike riding, running, walking *ss mfers. The f**k is yall going?” Schalk captioned the retweet, saying, “Out of the sun. You know they get destroyed by the thing that keeps everything else on this planet alive…”

Another user tweeted in response, “This is beneath you” and followed up with the explanation that they were working with disabled people who “would love to be able to do these things.” He added, “I think you should think more carefully. Sorry.”

Schalk then retweeted the Twitter exchange with the aforementioned caption.

Dr. Schalk has also written race-related articles, including a series called “Dear Queer White People,” in which she answers submitted questions concerning white people. The latest installment of the series, published in July 2019 and titled, ‘Dear Queer White People: Taking Up Space,’ addressed two questions: how white queer people take up space at queer events and whether white queers should be present in QTPOC spaces.

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When offering advice in her article, Schalk writes to white queer people that, when going to queer spaces, they should find out from the organizers what “kind” of space it is. She acknowledges that, although one’s friend/spouse might have invited a queer, white person, “that doesn’t mean the organizers or other people in the space want white people there.” She adds that white queer people should not “take it personally if some QTPOC don’t want to talk to or dance with you.”

Campus Reform reached out to Dr. Sami Schalk for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @carolinefshaver



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Caroline Shaver
Caroline Shaver | North Carolina Campus Correspondent

Caroline Shaver is a North Carolina Campus Correspondent, reporting liberal bias and abuse on college campuses. She is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, studying Political Science. Caroline also writes for her school’s paper, The Seahawk, and is president of her chapter of TPUSA.

18 Articles by Caroline Shaver