The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is organizing a movie night for students to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Redwood City this evening. According to the Vice Provost for Education, the GSC’s mission is to serve “Stanford's graduate student population by representing student interests in University affairs, supporting graduate student organizations, and providing community events for graduate students.”
But, how exactly the GSC serves you depends on your race. The film in question, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, centers on a world (known as Wakanda) of black people with superhero abilities. In real life, blacks also have some superpowers — evidently, being prioritized for free movie tickets.
Apparently, black students will have the opportunity to skip the line. An email from the GSC explains, “we have 450 tickets to give away and 100 of those tickets will be distributed beforehand via lottery among Black graduate students.” While the “rest of the tickets will be distributed starting from 7:30 PM to 8:25 PM and they will be first-come, first-serve.” The email states that the GSC will have buses to the theater, but they “have limited spots on buses to and from Cinemark for this event. Priority for bus spots will be given to students with a reserved ticket from the lottery above.”
In other words, if you’re black you not only get a reserved movie ticket but priority seating on the bus. Anyone of another race must coordinate their own rides to the theater.
A screenshot of the full email can be seen below:
Does discrimination at theatres and on buses sound familiar? Yes, that’s correct... It was common in the Jim Crow South. The GSC is hell-bent on bringing prejudice in entertainment venues and transit back presumably under the guise of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion, the GSC is actively discriminating against non-black students. There are about 9,000 graduate students at Stanford and 4% are black. If they all claimed a ticket, this would account for over a quarter of the black graduate students.
If this seems blatantly racist, you’d be right! This is not an example of ‘antiracism’ but overt discrimination (on second thought, the two are synonyms). Preferential treatment on the basis of race is the definition of racism — and the GRC’s actions clearly fit into this category.
Where does the GSC get the funding for all of these activities? They oversee the distribution of the Graduate Student Activities Fee, which is $141 per year for every grad student. The GSC is literally using part of grad student tuition fees to discriminate against 96% of the grad student population.
The email also states that “we ask that you wear masks while not eating.” So, not only do non-black students get discriminated against in a movie ticket lottery, but they also have to cover their mouths while it happens. They say silence is violence, but in this case it’s also apparently anti-racism — those that question any of these actions would likely be branded as racist.
You might ask, what has the Review done to rectify the situation? For starters, we’ve filed an Act of Intolerance against the Graduate Student Council. But, we feel that merely calling out the GSC is not enough, we must take action. We are calling for all non-black Stanford students to channel their inner Rosa Parks: get on the buses and refuse to give up your seats.