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MIT president defends blacks-only dorm: ‘Positive selection,’ not ‘exclusionary’

Black congressman says ‘segregation’ obviously happening on campuses

The president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology defended a blacks-only dorm on her campus Tuesday before a U.S. House committee, saying the segregation is not “exclusionary” but “positive selection by students.”

“Actually at MIT, our students affiliate voluntarily with whichever dorm they want to. It’s not exclusionary, it’s actually positive selection by students which dormitory they want to live in,” MIT President Sally Kornbluth (pictured) said during a hearing about rising antisemitism on college campuses.

Kornbluth, who is white, spoke about the dorm, known as Chocolate City, in response to questions from U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, a black Republican from Utah.

Chocolate City is described as a “brotherhood” of students and alumni who “identify with urban culture and share common backgrounds, interests, ethnicities, and/or experiences,” according to the MIT website.

“So, it’s ok for blacks to not make whites feel included,” Owens asked Kornbluth. “Is it ok for whites not to let blacks feel included on your campus? We’re talking segregation, and it’s obviously happening on your campuses.”

Kornbluth replied, “I think it’s really important to say that there’s a distinction between sending an exclusionary message and looking to other students for common experiences and support.”

But Owens pushed back, telling the MIT leader: “What you’re saying is very simply: in the 1960s, it would have been ok for whites and blacks to segregate themselves because they felt more like the people they’re with. I disagree very, very much.”

At another point in the hearing, Owens asked Harvard University President Claudine Gay a similar question about its affinity group graduation ceremonies, The Harvard Crimson student newspaper reports.

Asked if it is ok to “segregate people based on color,” Gay replied, “I oppose segregation.”

“It’s happening on your campus,” the congressman responded.

Along with Gay and Kornbluth, the president of the University of Pennsylvania also testified at the hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

During the hearing, the higher education leaders also told lawmakers that calling for the “genocide of Jews” does not always violate their campus policies against “bullying and harassment,” The College Fix reported.

MORE: Nearly 200 universities encourage, facilitate segregation among students of color: report

IMAGE: C-SPAN/X screenshot

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.