An Evergreen State College student named Kai-Ave Douvia says he doesn’t believe race should be the most important factor in a person’s identity. Douvia, who is a mix of Puerto Rican, Native American and white, was threatened and confronted on campus by other students after he questioned the identity politics he saw being posted online. In an interview with former Evergreen student Benjamin Boyce posted online Sunday, Douvia says “I’ve never put race ahead of anything.” Speaking of his family he adds, “At no point has it ever been a defining part of us.” But the freshmen student discovered things are very different at Evergreen. “They expect me to act a certain way because of my race,” Douvia said.
Douvia irritated far left students on campus when he took the text of an online request to start a class dominated by “people of color” and replaced that phrase with the word “white.” His point was to suggest that dividing everyone by race seemed wrong to him. Upset students responded with over 300 comments, prompting the school to announce a “talk with the president” session with college president George Bridges.
Meanwhile, Douvia also faced a backlash in the real world. “I had people threatening to beat me up. I had people saying that my parents should have beat me. I had people saying that I was a fragile white boy,” he said. Another student slammed his palms on a table where Douvia was seated, leaned close to his face and yelled, “Are you going to stop being disrespectful?!” Douvia asked the student to explain what he meant by “disrespectful” but the student just kept demanding to know if he was going to stop. Finally, Douvia told him the answer was no.
After the incident, Douvia went to campus police and told them what had happened. He was given a no-contact order and told to stay 100 feet from any student involved in the incident, which meant he had to avoid on-campus meetings the other students might attend. The student who yelled at him and the people he was with when he did it were not disciplined at all.
“I get told that I am some sort of race traitor or that I hide behind my light-skinned privilege because I am not siding with the students,” Douvia said. He continued, “That’s something that just blows my mind because I don’t feel like behavior like this towards anything is acceptable, especially when you’re specifically trying to target a race. I don’t feel like that’s an acceptable thing to do. And, for me, because I didn’t side with the group that looks the most like me, I’m now a racist.”