From Vice News:
Following the print section is a 7:55 long video segment, as various black women tell us why they want or need some time away from white people, for just $3,333 for a week! One woman, “Satya X,” the creator of the Women of Color Healing Retreats, even stated that she did not believe that white people should even have passports,1 which means, inter alia, that she does not believe white Americans — she was referring specifically to Americans — should be able to travel abroad.
By Antonia Hylton | February 9, 2018
At a time when white supremacist groups march out in the open, and the president disparages African countries as “shitholes,” it’s not surprising many black Americans are feeling isolated and unsafe in communities and workplaces.
Some are turning those frustrations into acts of self-preservation, spending significant money to get outside of the country — away from the people who make them feel that way. Five black-owned travel organizations told VICE News that they’ve experienced upticks in interest from clients eager to get out of the United States since the election of Donald Trump.
We followed a group of women to the Women of Color Healing Retreat in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, a travel experience that emphasized yoga, vegan food, and political education seminars — and specifically banned white people.
It’s interesting, as the women visiting the resort say things like, “My blackness is uninhibited,” and “My blackness is strength.” What would be said if HBO presented a segment with some guy standing there saying, “My whiteness is strength?”
The libertarian2 in me says, sure, fine, do whatever you want as long as you don’t trample on other people’s rights. Nevertheless, I have to wonder: what would be the reaction of the public, and of the government, if some resort started advertising a tropical vacation which promised customers a week away from black people.
OK, that’s a lie: I don’t wonder about that at all! Such would be vilified in the media, excoriated as ‘white nationalism,’ and any actual advertising in the United States for such would draw federal authorities down upon such a resort as a violation of anti-discrimination laws.3 Yet Vice News presented this as though it wasn’t problematic at all.
The entire theme of this resort is that blacks need their own ‘spaces,’ need to get away from whites. I suppose that I can understand that feeling, but it is inherently self-destructive: the economy of the United States is dominated by white Americans, given that whites make up roughly 73.6% of the population, while blacks constitute only 12.6%. There are 5.8 times as many white Americans than black Americans.
This country went through a real struggle to racially integrate our society, something that has increased, but is by no means universal of complete. Though discrimination in housing sales and rentals is illegal, white and black Americans have chosen to mostly live apart. “White flight” is excoriated as racist, yet when well-to-do people, primarily whites attempt to move back into heavily minority urban areas and invest their money in them, such is derided as “gentrification.” What efforts like this resort are doing is to try to undermine what progress has been made in integration, in the place it has been most effective, the workplace.
The United States Supreme Court heard the twin cases of Gratz v Bollinger 539 U.S. 244 (2003) and Grutter v Bollinger 539 U.S. 306 (2003). In the latter case, the Court upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School, stating that it was narrowly tailored, while in the former case, the university’s undergraduate admissions Affirmative Action program was declared unconstitutional due to the broad, quota system used. Justice Sandra O’Connor, writing the opinion of the Court, said, in conclusion:
We take the Law School at its word that it would “like nothing better than to find a race-neutral admissions formula” and will terminate its race-conscious admissions program as soon as practicable. It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education. Since that time, the number of minority applicants with high grades and test scores has indeed increased. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.
Those cases were decided on June 23, 2003; just four months from now, fifteen of the twenty-five years the Court specified for allowing this exception to the Equal Protection Clause will have elapsed.
The requirement that all race-conscious admissions programs have a termination point “assure[s] all citizens that the deviation from the norm of equal treatment of all racial and ethnic groups is a temporary matter, a measure taken in the service of the goal of equality itself.”
We cannot ever expect for the disparate economic and social results achieved by the races to narrow and eventually vanish if American blacks pursue goals of self-segregation. Yes, I believe that Women of Color Healing Retreat has every right to exist, but, in the end, it will be more harmful than helpful to the clientele it clams to serve.
- Starting at 5:12 of the video. ↩
- Note: lower-case libertarian, not Libertarian as in a member of the Libertarian Party. ↩
- The resort in question is in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, which means it is not subject to United States’ laws as far as non-discrimination in their facilities is concerned, but advertising in the United States would be problematic — internet only advertising from a server outside the US would probably be legal — and using any American-based travel agency to book this would almost certainly be illegal. ↩