University offers racially segregated 'processing space' after Rittenhouse verdict
Fitchburg State University offered students racially segregated “processing spaces” after the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial
The school says this is a "proven educational strategy."
A state university in Massachusetts created racially segregated safe “processing spaces” for students to reflect on the “not guilty” verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
In an email sent out after the verdict, the Fitchburg State University Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness told students that space was being created for “the community to process” the not guilty verdict. The email lists spaces for “students of color” and “faculty of color” along with separate spaces for “white students” and “white faculty.”
The email later went viral on the popular Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok.
Kyle Rittenhouse was recently found not guilty on all charges for shooting three men and killing two in self-defense during a Black Lives Matter riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year. He faced seven counts, the most severe of which included first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Fitchburg State also falsely claimed in the email that Rittenhouse killed two people who were “protesting the wrongful death of Jacob Blake” and that Rittenhouse “drove to Wisconsin with an automatic rifle.”
Jacob Blake, however, is not dead. He was shot by police seven times after police responded to a 911 call last year. Blake had a warrant out for his arrest, and according to police, was armed with a knife and resisted arrest. He is partially paralyzed from the altercation, but remains alive.
Kyle Rittenhouse also did not travel to Wisconsin with an automatic rifle according to evidence revealed during his trial. Nor did he transport his gun across state lines, which has been frequently suggested by media outlets. The rifle was a semi-automatic AR-15, which, unlike with an automatic weapon, means a single round is fired with each pull of the trigger. An automatic weapon fires several rounds with a single pull of the trigger.
The school later corrected the three errors in statements to news outlets, including in one statement provided to Campus Reform by university spokesman Matthew Bruun.
“In the haste of creating these events, some factual errors were included in the original communication,” said the university. “The intention of the communication was to inform our community as quickly as possible of the optionally available space given the holiday break. These do not change the intent of the gatherings, which is to provide a space for members of the campus community to discuss their reactions and experiences.”
Fitchburg State then defended segregating students on the basis of race, saying it’s part of a “proven educational strategy.”
“Organizing such discussions by identity groups is a proven educational strategy, and reflects the reality that different community members may process such events differently, and may feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with community members of similar background and identity,” the statement added.
The university’s Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness reiterated that it regrets “these errors and any misunderstandings or ill feelings they created,” but that “the errors do not change the intent of the planned gatherings which is to provide a space for members of the campus community to discuss their reactions and experiences.”
Campus Reform also inquired about Fitchburg State’s characterization of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, the two individuals killed by Rittenhouse. At the time of his death, Rosenbaum had an extensive criminal history that included being convicted of child rape and serving over ten years in prison for sexual contact with minors. He was also a registered sex offender. Huber had a number of domestic abuse incidents and was previously charged with suffocating and strangling his brother.
The email said the verdict will “undoubtedly impact” the Fitchburg State community.