U.S. society, after all, continues to be starkly segregated along class and race lines, never allowing people to have the sort of interactions necessary to undo prejudices, stereotypes, and oppression. However, my empathy only lasts so long—I remember my own experiences and those of other people I know who have attended private liberal arts colleges. There is nothing like luring low income and first-generation-college-attendee students of color to an institution like Smith College and then subjecting them to white, sheltered, economically privileged people to inspire thoughts of suicide and/or homicide. Ultimately, the white and economically privileged students benefit from this experience. They learn how to be good liberals and comport themselves in ways that conceal their complicity with white supremacy; they find their lives “enriched by diversity”. Meanwhile students of color and poor students suffer lifelong emotional scars and face the hardships of why they were recruited so heavily to attend these institutions in the first place. At best, students of color and poor students learn how to pass themselves off in ‘polite (white) society’ so that they can get a job at a large corporation or nonprofit organization, perhaps learn how to invest money in the capitalist system, and other American Dream-type skills that are meant only to benefit the individual and leave the rich-poor gap, institutionalized racism, and U.S. status quo intact.
— “All Mixed Up with No Place To Go: Inhabiting Mixed Consciousness on the Margins” by Nico Dacumos from Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity