Over 30 “White Student Union” groups have recently been created on Facebook, each of which have affiliated themselves with a different university across the United States.
While national attention was given to the “Illini White Student Union” Facebook page that had been created on November 18 in response to a “Black Student Solidarity Rally” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at least 33 other “White Student Union” pages have cropped up on the site within the last week.
The pages, claiming to “celebrate whiteness” and members of “European descent,” have been created for a number of schools including Stanford, Penn State, UCLA, UC Berkeley, the University of Missouri, and NYU, writes Jason Weaver for The College Fix.
Because the pages only exist on social media sites, it is unknown whether they were made by students from the schools. If they were, it is unclear whether or not the groups intend to become actual student organizations on campus. The page for North Carolina University does announce plans to hold “group meetings, info sessions, rallies, and protests on the UNC campus.”
Some schools, including NYU, have found the pages to be a hoax, as NYU Director of Public Affairs Matt Nagel said in a statement that no such group exists at the school and the person responsible for the page is using the school’s logo illegally. Still, the NYU page has gained hundreds of followers.
A 4Chan post appeared on Facebook that called for followers to create “European students union” pages at “the most leftist colleges and universities in the western world,” causing some social media users to believe that the pages could in fact be a hoax, reports David Boroff for The Daily News.
A number of similarities exist on the pages in question, including the description written in the “about” section, which features almost identical wording with the exception of the name of the university mentioned.
A description found on several of the pages states: “We affirm the dignity and ancestry of our proud people who have gifted the world with countless works of beauty, science, and wisdom, and are committed to promoting a dialogue and political resistance that will secure a future for our posterity and spirit. … At the same time, we do not wish to denigrate or harm any other group or ethnicity.”
The pages seem to co-exist, as they “like” each others pages and posts, share links with each other and comment on each other’s pages.
Many of the pages feature articles in their timelines putting down the Black Lives Matter movement while at the same time working to debunk white privilege. Other articles focus on racial controversies on campus, the European refugee crisis, political correctness, and articles written about themselves.
Critics have commented on their sites, arguing that they are doing things the “wrong way” and accusing them of hate and racism. Others have left comments in support of the movement.
The University of Illinois was quick to have the “Illini White Student Union” page removed, which was taken down in a matter of three hours. However, since that time a new page for the effort was placed on Facebook, writes Justin Moyer for The Washington Post.