Request for apology is reverse discrimination
Observer Viewpoint | Friday, February 20, 2004
While scanning The Observer for grammatical errors to mock with my friends as usual, I came across yesterday’s story about The Observer’s editors defending the paper at the Student Senate. Shocked that The Observer did, in fact, have editors, I read the article with bemusement, and I was rewarded with the latest nugget of absurdity from the Politically Correct Police. In a frighteningly Orwellian twist of language, the Diversity Council, enraged by the multiple perspectives being expressed in the recent Viewpoint debate on affirmative action, asked the offending editors for an apology. Apparently, tolerance for the views of others applies only when those beliefs fall within the officially sanctioned orthodoxy of multiculturalism. This incident highlights the contradictions behind the diversity craze that has swept across America’s campuses. Advocates of diversity presumably support the free exchange of ideas among students with varying beliefs and backgrounds. Proponents of affirmative action and the Supreme Court’s decision upholding preferential policies at universities specifically invoke this educational benefit of a classroom charged with multiple viewpoints as a rationale for the pursuit of a diverse student population.Unfortunately, diversity as it is currently enacted in higher education rarely means actual, spirited debate among competing beliefs and arguments. Instead, a superficial diversity is practiced, where ethnicity is seen as the predominant influence on a person’s belief system. The faces of such a diversified classroom may accurately reflect the ethnic composition of the country, but the entire goal of such diversity is defeated when everyone agrees or when an opinion deemed potentially offensive is stifled, as the Diversity Council requested. As the ideology of diversity becomes increasingly institutionalized and entrenched in academia, actions to quiet dissenters, like those of the Diversity Council, will become increasingly common. Under the guise of sensitivity and tolerance, those who question the logic of diversity and multiculturalism will continue to be attacked as ignorant and racist troglodytes. The Diversity Council fails to realize that its hypersensitivity and/or eagerness to condemn and dismiss opposing perspectives undermine its ostensible purpose, and its request for an apology dilutes and perverts the true meanings of the terms diversity and tolerance. In the future, please don’t continue to proselytize from your Gospel of Diversity while threatening excommunication to those heretics who dare to disagree.
Patrick CarneyjuniorFisher HallFeb. 19