Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 19:09
I’ve come to notice in my brief time at UVM how important “diversity” is to the school, the state and, indeed, the country as a whole. As many academics here will claim, diversity is essential to the success of any institution. Columnist Joe Klein once said on the subject, “Diversity has been written into the DNA of American life; any institution that lacks a rainbow array has come to seem diminished, if not diseased.”
Yes, any successful modern university embodies these essentials: motivated students, caring and willing professors and a suitable quota of minorities.
Mind you, diversity to liberals doesn’t mean diversity of thought, perspective and ideology. Rather, liberals care only for diversity that is literally — that is, as opposed to metaphorically and not how Vice President Biden uses the word — skin deep.
The use of this magic buzzword, being in no shortage of supply here at UVM — it’s in the induction pledge, for crying out loud! — carries with it nothing less than a degree of carefully hidden bigotry under the false guise of tolerance, another word liberals love to parrot, but, alas, has been horribly perverted by well-meaning progressives.
Those who chant this word like some magic spell intend to convey the false belief that people should be judged according to the color of their skin, that things would be better if we gave people preferential treatment because of their physical appearance.
Defenders of this buzzword and its practices, like affirmative action, might argue that giving preferential treatment to a minority race would, in turn, promote a minority culture, thus enhancing the overall academic experience of any institution. They may be right, sometimes, but often not.
For instance, would the children of Barack Obama, who are schooled in an affluent private school, and parented by Ivy League educated parents, offer a culture distinguishable from that of northeastern, white liberals? Probably not. In fact, they probably have more in common with northeastern, white liberals than with African-Americans in rural Alabama.
Race is not always indicative of a unique cultural perspective.
Moreover, to make presumptions based on race is actually racism, even if you call it by a euphemistic term like affirmative action. It pains me to say, but the distinction between those who would bestow preferential treatment to a particular race for laudable social purposes and those who would do so for disgusting, racist ones escapes me.
If schools so desperately care about diversity, they should stop the morally reprehensible practice of judging people by the color of their skin. Instead, they should promote diversity of opinion and perspective, characteristics so often and sadly overlooked.
Noted columnist and economist Thomas Sowell once said, “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.” To paraphrase a great man, it’s about time we judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.
Class of 2016