Sunday, October 08, 2006
Diversity doesn't really matter
Tendai Musakwa, writing in Vassar's Miscellany News, highlights perfectly the college oxymoronic obsession with "diversity" -- except for the sort of diversity that really matters on a campus, that of intellectual and viewpoint diversity. Check out some of the responses he discovered about "viewpoint" diversity at Vassar:
Alex Tanskey ’07, one of the few conservatives at the College who identifies himself as such, said, “I have a conservative freshman friend who identifies himself as moderate because he wants to be able to have friends. In class, I can’t really express an opinion without having 10 people on my throat. For this reason, I don’t really speak up in class.”
We wonder what would happen if Tanskey's friend were, say, black? Sure, the analogy isn't perfect, but what if "10 people were on his throat" when he expressed a viewpoint? It is a safe assumption that Vassar would organize a "Stop the Hate" rally. Make that rallies.
Abby Laufer ’10, who identifies herself as liberal, said, “People who apply to Vassar are liberal because Vassar is well known for being a very liberal campus.”
Similarly, Alison Burke ’10, another liberal, said, “I think Vassar doesn’t attract a lot of conservatives and I don’t really have a problem with that.”
Well well well. Imagine that. First, a contemporary college student admits that people may want to attend a college because there are "people like them" there; second, we have an admission that real diversity does not matter -- at least to liberals.
Ms. Laufer confirms why there still exist HBCs -- Historically Black Colleges. People who attend these colleges are comfortable there, mainly because there are "people like them" attending. After all, if "diversity" (the college definition, not true diversity i.e. "viewpoint" diversity) was of such real import, HBCs would be dismantled, or at least these institutions would have a much greater magnitude push for "diversity" than they currently do. If other ethnicities' "viewpoints" were of such import (as we're constantly told, as if an ethnicity was some monolith with a collective ideology) HBCs would be working extremely hard to diversify their student body, wouldn't they? This is always an inconvenient fact to query of the "diversophiles." One to which you'll never receive an adequate response, mind you.
Ms. Burke exemplifies what liberal "tolerance" is all about. In other words, true diversity -- that is, viewpoint diversity -- is of no import to liberals. Only superificial "diversity" (race, ethnicity) is valued so at least they can appear as if they value the notion. Could you imagine the response of Ms. Burke had said "I think Vassar doesn’t attract a lot of minorities and I don’t really have a problem with that"? The Vassar administration would probably haul Ms. Burke from her stereotypically miniscule dorm room and drag her in for "sensitivity" training, followed by a "tolerance" seminar, followed by "diversity" classes.
Bravo to Tendai for bucking Vassar's groupthink and publishing this op-ed.
Nor do I think he was denying any other problems that deal with race. He's just stating that Vassar College, as a liberal sided institution, doesn't take kindly to conservatives or their viewpoint.
Which is true. The next time someone begins their point with "Well, as a Vegetarian I believe..." I'm outta here.
I just don't see how we can have black people being called "nigger" in classes (this has happened three times in my experience alone) and have the names and addresses of black students printed on a Neo-Nazi and still coddle the conservative population at the expense of students of color, rather than working towards building a community where we accept the ideas of ALL students regardless of political affiliation.