A writer for the student newspaper of Northwestern University suggests that the way white people walk on sidewalks was indicative of their inner racism.
Kenny Allen, a writer for The Daily Northwestern, titled his article, “Are the sidewalks at Northwestern too white, too?”
Allen’s suspicions about this supposedly racist way of walking arose after he noticed that some students “would not move out of our way on the sidewalk.”
“When I first got to Northwestern, I wondered why walking around on campus could be so frustrating. Even when sidewalks were relatively empty, I would often have to walk way around people to pass without bumping into them,” wrote Allen in The Daily Northwestern.
“At first, I chalked it up to the geographic diversity of the school; maybe the people that came to this school were used to different ways of moving through a public place.”
He said after “talking to Black friends about my experience,” he concluded that “people at this predominantly White school would not move out of our way on the sidewalk.”
Allen compared the behavior to “a set of informal” Jim Crow-era rules about how black people were expected to behave around white people.
He wrote that “the formal rules of Jim Crow were accompanied by a set of informal ones that governed the way Black people approached White people in public space and vice versa.” This social order “required Black people to yield to White people whenever possible” — such as “stepping off the sidewalk when a White person was walking past.”
“White people came to expect the right of way in public spaces,” he added. “White people who were accustomed to moving through the world like that — intentionally or not — taught their kids to move through the world in the same way. And the racism that undergirded Jim Crow wasn’t eliminated just because the laws were no longer overtly racist.”
Allen concluded that “many White people walk around campus having unknowingly absorbed this particular facet of White supremacy, and the leaders of the institution do little to make us believe that White supremacy is something worth challenging in the first place.”
It only took a few years for mainstream reporters to go from being biased to outright activists. Hang around LaCorte News to get some news without the spin.
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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