University Holds Racially Segregated “Processing Spaces” After Rittenhouse Verdict

Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts held segregated processing spaces for students and staff after Kyle Rittenhouse’s non-guilty verdict. 

The University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness sent a school-wide email announcing the separate processing spaces. The spaces were segregated by race.

The school announced four separate processing spaces including, “Students of Color Processing Space,” “White Student Ally Processing Space,” “Faculty and Staff of Color Processing Space,” and a “White Faculty and Staff Ally Processing Space.”

The university email had several factual errors, including stating that Jacob Blake was “wrongfully killed” in 2020. 

The email stated:

 “The Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness is creating space for our community to process the’ not guilty on all accounts verdict in the Kenosha, Wisconsin case where Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois native shot and killed two people protesting the wrongful death of Jacob Blake in 2020. Kyle was acquitted of all charges in the case after driving to Wisconsin with an automatic rifle.”

Jacob Blake was paralyzed, not killed, after being shot by a police officer. Police responded to the scene for a domestic disturbance call involving Blake. Blake resisted arrest and was armed with a knife. The officer was not charged by the state or federal government. 

The email continued that there would be virtual and in-person spaces where students and faculty can “…Get the chance to ‘discuss your thoughts, emotions, and reflections.’ ” The university released a statement Friday evening admitting that there were factual errors in the original communications. 

The statement read:

 “In the haste of creating these events, some factual errors were included in the original communication. The intention of the communication was to inform our community as quickly as possible…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.”

The university stood by its decision to separate people into identity groups, claiming its a powerful educational strategy. The school noted that people might feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with community members who share a similar background and identity. 

The university shared its intent to also offer a combined session for the entire campus community. The school did not release information on when the new session would take place. 

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