The film Dear White People did a fair job addressing several social conflicts students- both white and non-white- face at elite institutions. In fact, Winchester University is very similar to Richmond in that their college house system relates to the white Greek culture at Richmond. Secondly, the amount of underrepresented populations is only a fraction of the student body population. Lastly, the administration at Winchester University does its best to keep a perfect image of their university so that their donor base expands rather than shrinks. While I may not have named all the ways Winchester University resembles Richmond, Dear White People criticizes what elite institutions pride themselves on. For instance, Richmond prides itself on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), yet if you look at the student of color percentage on campus, it is still deficient. Plus, many students of color have reported not feeling as though they belong to the larger campus community, which affects their retention and persistence rates.
Beyond this, Dear White People also sheds light on something that does not get talked about frequently: the diversity of Black people. There has been this historical myth that all Black people are the same and that when groups of black people congregate, they must be engaging in some form of advocacy that will result in inequality for white people. This mythos probably derived from colonial Americans’ origins of enslaving Africans, perpetuated by racism and discrimination. Furthermore, from my perspective as a Black person, what this results in is that it causes division in the Black community as we are then coerced to “fit” into some identity that contradicts white people’s assumption of us. In response, I wonder how we can dismantle myths such as this so that products of white supremacy are discontinued instead of infused with more elements that work to oppress and suppress underrepresented populations in America.