Stephen Zerfas | Thursday, January 26, 2012
In the weeks before the Asiatic Gaze’s debut Race Monologues, a friend requested I reflect on diversity, race and multiculturalism.
As a white male, I have only one thing to say: Thank God.
Today, diversity, race, and multiculturalism are tainted words. Plagued by a history of man vehemently trying his best to limit his surroundings to the familiar and the comfortable, these words have become permanently attached to concepts of tension, frustration, alienation and violence. One has only to look in a child’s textbook, at the TV or in a newspaper to find proof that these words have become tainted.
What a shame this is. Somehow we have surrounded ourselves with things that solidify, on a daily basis, one of mankind’s greatest misconceptions: that diversity is a problem. Diversity, by definition, means little more than difference, and who would ever argue that difference is bad? Difference is what makes life exciting, whether it is seen in the exploration of a new academic subject or in meeting of a new person. It is in diversity, race and multiculturalism that we see the infinite number of ways in which one can be beautiful, intelligent, funny, fun, genuine or passionate. It is diversity, race and multiculturalism that make it possible for there to be more than one way to be human. If there is any set of words that we should permanently attach feelings of excitement, wonder and admiration to, is it not this set?
So whether you are a white male yourself or not, I would hope you have only one thing to say about these words as well: Thank God.