I've been attempting to help the Atriosians dilute their KoolAid a tad by posting a bit in their comments section. Why, even Atrios himself has put my name on his page a couple times. Of course, it's real cute that he spells Lonewacko wrong and doesn't include a link.
One of the things I and my new friends were discussing is Ward Connerly and academia.
For instance, did you know that several universities hold separate graduation ceremonies for people of various ethnic and sexual groups? UCLA alone has separate graduations for "Latinos" (read: Chicanos), Filipinos, Asian Pacific Islanders, African-Americans, Iranians, American Indians, and Gays. It's like a census form come to life!
Actually, the Gay version, named the Lavender Graduation, in a munificent example of inclusion, encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and same-gender-loving students.
UCLA's "Latino" graduation is organized by the separatist organization Mecha, and has been going on for 25 years. And, other universities throughout the U.S. have been holding separate graduation ceremonies for blacks for the past few years. A poster at Atrios' site says:
The ancillary recognitions at graduation time were started as a way to increase the comfort level of some minority students and parents. A disproportionate number of minority students are the first to finish college in their families. Their parents, family and friends might feel less overwhelmed than at the larger ceremony. Also, the specialness of the students' achievement is recognized at the luncheons or dinners.
Well, while I haven't attended any of these wee little kaffeeklatschen yet, I get the feeling that, especially with a budget of tens of thousands of dollars, these aren't just little get-togethers, they're full blown ceremonies, paid for with taxpayer money. And, I don't think white people, or other Peoples Not In The Set of Peoples Of Color Or Other Oppressed Minorities would be allowed to hold their own ceremony. Here's my follow-up to "Mac Diva":
Look, MD, all I'm asking for is a fair shake. Many white people aren't "comfortable" around Peoples of Color. I'm just trying to increase their comfort level, and help them recognize the specialness of the event. That's all. They might feel a little "overwhelmed" when surrounded by all the peoples of other hues.
This is all old news to the blog-o-sphere, of course. Others have already raised the same points as I have, as pointed out in this article:
Predictably, white students have protested the event as separatist. As one wrote in a letter to the[Michigan State University] student paper, "What would happen if some students tried to organize an all-white graduation? All hell would break loose. They would be labeled bigots." Just as predictably, MSU is countering such criticisms with thinly veiled accusations of racism: "The response of critics is indicative of white privilege, because they don't really understand why this is a significant accomplishment for black students," said Nikki O'Brien, MSU's coordinator for African-American Affairs...
Events at MSU are following what is by now a set choreography of rhetorical and institutional moves. Black Celebratory will happen; campus conservatives will mock it as separatist and campus radicals will call the conservatives racist. Meanwhile, the administration gets to have it both ways: in supporting the Black Celebratory, MSU both demonstrates its enlightened understanding of the special needs of minorities while at the same time suggesting that without special programs and special events and special congratulation--without the institutionalized pity exemplified by comments like June's--minorities would never get anywhere at all.
Another interesting article is "Color-coded diversity":
Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, a former official of the NAACP, calls these practices of separation a "ghettoisation" of those campuses in the name of "diversity."
In 1997, for instance, about 300 students participated in the La Raza Graduation attracted, but according to University statistics, a total of 855 Hispanics graduated. And while Natalie Stites estimated that a majority of American Indian students participated, a similar pattern of low participation emerged with other ethnic graduations. 170 students participated in the 1997 ceremony for Asian students, for instance, while 1,874 Asians got their degrees.
In closing, I'll leave you with this article from the other side. Scroll down to the "Ethnic Studies Under Attack in California" section. The page itself is named "black power revival," and the article contains so many misstatements and emotionally-charged adjectives that I'm surprised it doesn't use words like Whitey. Examples: "oppressed groups," "so-called Ethnic Studies programs," "racial pride, which he feels has no place in public universities," "encourage the admission of Africans and other traditionally oppressed nationalities," "tremendous drop in freshman enrollment of Africans, Hispanics and Native Americans," etc. etc.
MultiCultiCult · Fri, 01/03/2003 - 22:12 · Importance: 1