City University of New York has taken diversity classification into new territory, and not everyone is happy about it:
CUNY’s 2011 and 2012 Diversity Action Plansinclude a new category, “White/Jewish.” The category appears on page six of the 2012 report, and on pages 1-2 and 61 of the 2011 report.
Apparently the new category sat there unnoticed for a year but has now begun to attract attention. On June 3, the New York Post ran a story headlined “New Minority Label at CUNY: ‘Jewish.’” The Post quotes several CUNY professors who take umbrage at the classification. Hershey Friedman, deputy chairman of the finance and business management department at CUNY’s Brooklyn College said the category was “an insult and idiotic.” Another of the critics quoted by the Post is David Gordon, a professor of history at CUNY who also is treasurer of the National Association of Scholars’ CUNY/New York affiliate. Via David, I have some of the back story.
“White/Jewish,” according to footnote 8 in the 2012 report, “was added because a number of faculty, who would be categorized as White for federal reporting purposes, noted that a Jewish category would better represent their identity group.” The Post reports that the label emerged from the work of a steering committee that “ran faculty focus groups based on ‘identity.’” The committee came up with at least one other categorization that looks a little outside the usual run of “diversity” identity groups: “Italian-American,” added–by court order stemming from “lawsuits alleging bias.”
Apparently the new ethnic classification only covers white Jews. What about non-white Jews?
Furthermore, one wonders, why didn’t CUNY give the White/Irish-Americas get their own box to check?
And what about White/German, Red-Headed, Hazel-eyed, Left-handed, Near-sighted-Americans? Don’t they deserve to have their own official identity group too?