RIVER FALLS, Wis. (KMSP) - A spruced-up fitness center at a River Falls, Wis. middle school is set to be named after a generous donor with likely admirable intentions. Except it's accidentally racist.
Meyer Middle School’s fitness center will now be called the “Roger T. White Pride Fitness room as presented by RCU (Royal Credit Union).” Their mascot is actually the Wildcats, but the “pride” portion was born out of the initiative to raise money and thereby “build pride” by refurbishing the facility.
With the addition of Roger T. White’s $15,000 bestowment came naming rights, but it appears no one thought about what the name sounds like out loud, or what “White Pride” would look like on any new signage.
Fundraising committee member and Rocky Branch Elementary School principal Chuck Eaton said he's excited about the new name, and told the River Falls Journal he speculates it will be shortened to the “White Pride Fitness Room.”
While Roger T. White, a member of the River Falls High School class of 1949, a University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School grad and basketball standout likely had wonderful intentions for the privately-funded, $100,000 facility, so far, the people of Facebook aren’t amused:
Jewelz MacGruder: This is terrible. White Pride? Which culturally insensitive committee let this slide? So much for building an inclusive community. As an RF native, I can't begin to say how dissapointed I am.
Nikki Torres: The "White Pride fitness center?" Wow. So disappointing, River Falls.
Alice Lasar Olson: Please tell me this is an article from The Onion.
Fox 9 is awaiting comment from the Pride fundraising committee.