Blame ignorance for lack of diversity
Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Deka Motanya’s Sept. 22 letter addressed the stark lack of diversity on campus. The deficiency of minorities on campus is obviously an unfortunate situation; however, attributing the lack of diversity to people not attending the president of Nigeria’s speech is asinine. Furthermore, counting on “students drastically changing their mentalities” to bring more diversity to the school plays into every stereotypical portrayal of minority students. It fosters the idea that the reason more minorities aren’t attending prestigious private schools is because the minorities themselves have done something wrong.
The reason that more minorities are not on campus has nothing to do with the attendance of speeches and everything to do with the lopsided politics that we, as Americans, deal with on a daily basis. When the Federal Housing Administration was created, the government made it difficult if not impossible for minorities to get loans for homes. No loans translated into no equity and no equity translate into no borrowing power for minorities, which greatly affected minorities abilities to send their children to good schools. Perhaps this happened before most of us were born, but the effects remain today. Despite the University’s effort to recruit students, the sociological, economical and political boundaries keep many minorities at home.
Motanya was correct in one respect – diversity does need to be promoted on campus. There have simply been too many times that I have heard racial slurs, especially directed at the field during football games. Ignorance amongst the general populace is the culprit for the lack of diversity, ascribing the monotonous nature of the University to anything else is oversimplifying matters, and is ignoring the real problems that face us today.