It seems that nothing short of capitulation to their full agenda – however ambiguous it is – will satisfy some college diversity activists.
Vanderbilt Hustler columnist Joshua Everett writes that talking to people about your differences and seeking common ground is just the latest manifestation of “institutional racism,” apparently:
The emphasis on conversation promotes the illusion that progress can come through simply trying to change people’s feelings and emotions. What this notion misses is that we all exist within a racialized institutional framework that can’t be dismantled through shooting the breeze across color lines.
“Those in power” are the ones who benefit when we have conversations, and they use university funding to “co-opt” minority groups, Everett says:
Funding is something that every student organization needs in order to function, and being supported by the institution can boost the legitimacy of an organization. However, one should take precaution whenever a university office like the Dean of Students offers to sponsor a cultural event or advise a cultural organization, because funding is also a source of control for the funder. … Instead of pressuring the university from outside the power structure to expedite the pace of change, many organizations get absorbed into the bureaucracy of the institution. They lose their effectiveness as an advocate/activist group because they submit their ability to disrupt for a few more dollars and a stamp of approval from the 16th-ranked White folks in America. In the meantime, diversity and inclusion remain endlessly uttered and hopelessly shallow buzzwords.
Great, then student governments can just cut off funding to race-specific student groups with no repercussions, right? I’m sure they won’t protest.
Everett is also tired of “students of color” being pressured to “get outside of their comfort zone” by interacting with those who don’t look like them:
Meanwhile, White students are hardly ever given the responsibility to do the same. This belief works to construct “inclusion” as an invitation for cultural groups to assimilate into the dominant culture. It assumes that the dominant culture is the default to which everyone should aspire to adhere. … Many good-hearted White liberals, and others, at Vanderbilt broadly push this distorted view of inclusion that fails to recognize the value of other cultures while simultaneously ignoring the fundamental flaws that exist in White culture.
It’s a good thing we have brave students who are willing to broach the hushed topic of “the fundamental flaws” of white culture! Maybe one day we’ll even have a fawned-over movie about it.
IMAGE: Dear White People