Social justice warriors create 'Shady Person of Color' list to silence dissenters

Steven Glick
The Claremont Independent

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  • CMCers of Color protesters created private wish list of items for a theoretical “safe space” Resource Center.
  • The wish list includes a “Shady Person of Color” board, which shames non-white critics of the group.
  • A private document by a group of liberal students at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) designates certain individuals as a “Shady Person of Color” (SPOC) on the grounds that they opposed their liberal counterparts.

    During the height of the racial protests at Claremont McKenna College last November, CMCers of Color issued a list of demands including the resignation of Dean Spellman and the establishment of a permanent “safe space” that would function as a Resource Center for students from marginalized backgrounds.

    The student group wrote an official proposal to the administration, but also created a private document with other miscellaneous items wanted for the safe space, such as kitchen items and a sound system.

    Among this list is a Shady Person of Color (SPOC) board, which includes a royal court of five members of the CMC community who oppose the group. Assistant Dean of Admissions Brandon Gonzalez is the “King” SPOC. Gonzalez led the diversity initiative that CMCers of Color felt misrepresented CMC. The “Queen” SPOC, Hannah Oh (CMC ’15), was the editor-in-chief of the Claremont Independent at the time, and coauthored an editorial critiquing the protesters’ tactics. In a similar vein, Nathan Tsai (CMC ’17), the “Ignorant SPOC,” wrote a letter that garnered 277 signatures in opposition to the protesters’ demands.

    Tony Sidhom (CMC ’17), labeled “Ignorant SPOC,” voiced criticisms of the movement as a whole, particularly with regards to the methods CMCers of Color used. Sidhom didn’t agree with the idea that CMC was institutionally racist, and raised his concerns at Student Senate.

    The “Court Jester” SPOC, David Brown (CMC ’19), criticized the protesters’ lack of logistics and data as well as their tactics.

    Brown told the Independent, “If [CMCers of Color] had provided a single piece of evidence indicating that they were being systematically kept from performing well, I would have believed them. If I, in my own experience, had noticed a single instance where I was being held down based on the color of my skin, I would have believed them. But they didn’t, I didn’t, and I don’t believe them.”

    “I find the fact that they named themselves ‘CMCers of Color’ an insult. Instead, they purposefully use their name to manipulate their appearance as if to seem they were anything more than just 30 militant new wave liberal students,” Brown added. “I heard one of the protestors called a friend of mine ‘too rich to be black.’ Doesn’t it seem a little strange to you that the people supposedly fighting racism are the ones perpetuating racist stereotypes? The entire notion of fake or ‘shady’ people of color is just blatantly racist.

    “Since when does being a person of color not allow you free thought? The whole point of this is so the protestors can still feel good about themselves by saying that they represent all ‘real’ people of color campus, but in order for them to consider you ‘real,’ you have to be one of them. Martin Luther King, Jr. said he wanted people to be judged off of the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Oddly enough, the protesters have consistently done the opposite. The protesters are the most racist group on campus I’ve seen to date.”

    The use of the term ‘SPOC’ to dissociate students of color who dissented from the protest movement was widespread last semester.

    Kevin Covarrubias (CMC ’18) said “Pomona’s new Latinx club was actually planning on creating a ‘SPOC calling-out’ committee” to target Latino students who did not agree with them.

    “The fact that such an idea was even brought up is deeply disturbing. As a [part of the five Claremont Colleges] community, we should be all for constructively engaging with each other while debating the actual substance of our beliefs, not indulging in baseless ad hominems directed at one another,” Covarrubias said.

    Follow the Claremont Independent on Twitter: @CmontInd

    This article was originally published in The Claremont Independent, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Leadership Institute’s Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished here with permission.



    Steven Glick

    The Claremont Independent

    The Claremont Independent

    The Claremont Independent is an independent journal of campus affairs and political thought serving the colleges of the Claremont Consortium. The magazine receives no funding from any of the colleges and is distributed free of charge on campus. All costs of production are covered by the generous support of private foundations and individuals. The Claremont Independent is dedicated to using journalism and reasoned discourse to advance its ongoing mission of Upholding Truth and Excellence at the Claremont Colleges.

    The Claremont Independent is affiliated with Campus Reform through the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished on Campus Reform with permission from the paper. 

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