Where may a white person go and be welcomed?
‘In October, American University announced in its spring 2021 plan that students would have the option to apply for a temporary residential housing experience for half the semester. This program would welcome 1,250 full-time students to reside on campus from March to May 2021 in addition to the students already on campus for emergency housing, bringing the residential total to more than 1,500. The anticipated minimum cost for this experience, which includes housing, dining and health insurance, would be approximately $5,205.
While this brings excitement to many students who’ve been deprived of a proper freshman experience, it leaves me to question: Who does this plan really benefit? Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 15,000 lives were lost in the DMV and 75 percent of lives lost in D.C. were Black citizens. Though Black citizens in D.C. often suffered more than white citizens during national economic downfalls, the pandemic has magnified and worsened the existing racial inequalities in the city, such as food insecurity and lack of access to healthcare.
The large influx of predominantly affluent white students into D.C.’s “chocolate city,” a term that refers to its large population of Black citizens, could evoke similar effects of settler colonialism and negatively impact the community. Settler colonialism is a form of colonialism that replaces the original population with a new invasive species. The settler system takes over the space, resources and culture of the environment it encompasses, displacing the original population. Through the Mid-Semester Residential Experience, students are entering into populations that are already struggling to support themselves through the pandemic. ‘https://www.theeagleonline.com/article/2021/02/opinion-mid-semester-residential-experience-could-enforce-settler-colonialism