Social Media Outcry After White Students Win Civil Rights Contest
This is Black History month so there is much celebration of MLK and other black historical figures. The University of Montana decided to hold a writing contest to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and after four white students won, there was much outrage as many felt this was not a fair outcome considering the topic. But it is not the fault of the judges. They couldn't have chosen a minority to win the race, even they had wanted to. The reason a black person didn't win the contest has a lot to do with the fact that not a single black person participated. What are they supposed to pick a random black person and write the essay for them? But surprisingly even with that fact revealed people were still up in arms...
"The backlash on social media was swift and searing and, perhaps most interestingly, multiracial.
More than 1,100 commenters, many of them self-identifying as white, took to Facebook to call out university officials for being “tone-deaf” and “shameful” and criticizing the contest as a “colorblind mess.”
The critics questioned how the selection committee could think it appropriate to move forward with the contest after only getting six entries, all submitted by white students.
"Jesus Christ this is shameful and embarrassing, and I say that as a pasty ass white girl," said one commenter. "I’m cringing for you because clearly none of you who ran this contest were raised with the good grace to do the cringing yourselves. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Another poster said he could "not understand how anyone would think remembering the legacy of MLK Jr. is achieved by giving four white girls a shout out. If the university does not have black voices to lift up on MLK Day, then find them."
"The university called criticism of the contest results both "fair" and "troubling."
"Yes. These students are white. But the color of their skin does not preclude them from submitting an essay, publicly honoring MLK or working toward equality," read a post on the University of Montana's Facebook page."
This is absurd. You can't be angry at this outcome. The school was trying to honor MLK's achievements, they should be praised for it. This kind of treatment is how you get people to stop celebrating things. And really next year they should consider keeping it low key as apparently outwardly celebrating MLK is frowned upon if you're white.