A yoga studio in Seattle is accused of promoting racial discrimination by holding special sessions which explicitly exclude “whites.”
Rainier Beach Yoga in Seattle has allowed “five queer people of color” to create a special class entitled “yoga for people of color,” an exclusionary yoga session whose rules expressly forbid “white people” from attending, reports KIRO radio host Dori Monson.
The class reportedly welcomes people of any body shape, size, gender, or yoga experience, according to an email blast received by a KIRO listener.
The class also invites “lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer and trans-friendly/affirming,” and identifies which “people of color” are OK, such as “African American/black/of the African Diaspora, Asian, South Asian, West Asian/Arab/Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, First Nations/Alaskan Native/Native American/Indigenous, Chicano/Latino, or Multiracial/Mixed-Race.”
“White friends, allies and partners are respectfully asked not to attend,” the email, which the radio host says was also sent to him by the listener, specifically states.
Teresa Wang, one of the co-founders of the class, was asked what were to happen if a white person were to attend.
“Well, it’s a class for people of color, so he would be coming to that class knowing that we’re really clear about who we are asking to come to class, so…I’m not really sure because it hasn’t happened to us,” Wang said, who iterated the class was about making “people of color” feel comfortable. “So I don’t really know.”
If the roles were to be reversed, according to Morrison, and a “whites only” session were to be held, people would lose their shit.
“It would be a lead story on national news,” Morrison said. “It would be blared across all the websites about the racist yoga class in Seattle. And the fact is, this yoga class is every bit as racist as a bunch of white people who say they don’t want to be around somebody of color. That’s why I wouldn’t want to attend either one of those classes … The fact is, they are both racist.”
MyNorthwest.com reports the radio host plans to hold the Washington State Attorney General to his promise to prosecute businesses which “discriminate against a specific group of people.”
“Now we’re gonna find out if my instincts about the attorney general and about our state government [are right] — using the power of government to go after the Christian florist in the Tri-Cities who didn’t want to do the gay wedding ceremony. Will they also go after the yoga studio that discriminates against people based on their skin color?” Morisson asked.