Last week, a group of University of Chicago studentsof demands to the administration, designed to fight for marginalized students. The demands of the largely black students included segregated housing and racially-themed academic departments.
The move was done by a conglomeration of student groups calling themselves “UChicago United.” The fifty demands—laid out in specific detail were aimed at inclusion and diversifying the university’s community. In practice, it will turn the civil rights movement back about 40 years or so.
Some of the demands:
“The University hire more faculty of color. That a permanent Advisory Committee be established in each division of two (2) faculty members, two (2) graduate students, and two (2) undergraduate students for the purposes of holding the University and departments accountable to diversifying its faculty and class offerings.That at least one (1) faculty member, one (1) graduate student, and one (1) undergraduate student be a person of color (POC),” the statement reads.
Person of color? First of all, defining a person of color in itself is problematic. To attempt to even define it automatically creates racial bias. Secondly, the words came back, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The demands continue to say that they want diversity training to be a requirement for graduation. The contract stipulates that the training should be “primarily focused on any US-centric structural oppression, such as race, gender and sexuality.” They also want six new “cultural houses,” they are specified as, “a Black House, a Latinx House, and an Asian House.”
Then the multicultural group branched out into specific demands by culture. Each group, black, Latinx, African Caribbean, Arab Association, PanAsia Coalition, all each stated they wanted the university to hire more faculty in their race. So, race-based hiring quotas?
They also each wanted funding, staffing, and office space for their racial groups. Each group wanted the school to require studying their culture as part of the curriculum.
The most disturbing of the entire document was the black student groups demanding that the university “Establish an opt-in Black Housing Option for Black students in College Housing.” Would they be separate but equal?
The students also said they wanted a Community Engagement Oversight Committee that “should be composed entirely of black people from surrounding neighborhoods.” This is diversity, how?
Finally, they demanded that the university restricts the funding or place limits on any student organization that is found guilty of discriminatory behavior. Such as themselves?
While their demands may seem outrageous, it’s an interesting look at what happens when diversity goes too far. Human beings are a homogenous species. Is this what happens when we get to the other side of diversity? Do we find that we actually need homogeny?
Sun Tzu said, “Only that which is the other gives us fully unto ourselves.” This means, that we can only truly understand ourselves in the context we aren’t. So, diversity, by breaking us up, and attempting to dissolve the bonds that hold us together, in some ways erases who we are. We are then forced to homogenize to create an identity.
Further, when we destroy homogeny, we destroy our culture and our cultural fabric. Diversity aims at redefining American by stating American is nothing and everything at the same time. Then what is there to pledge? What is there to sing about and celebrate in our classrooms? What is there to reduce us to tears at the sight of Old Glory? What is there to die for? What is there to defend? Finally, is diversity how we undermine one of the greatest cultures to occupy this planet in modern history? When Rome fell, it was at the hands of barbarian tribes, after the complete infrastructure of the culture and Empire had imploded. Is diversity how we implode our culture?
Perhaps what these students are responding to is not stupidity, but a lack of connection to a culture that has been erased. Therefore, they are looking for something. And in doing so, they stand to undo everything their forefathers have done. It raises the question that perhaps we are nearing the downslope of this cultural nonsense.
The list was presented to the administration Friday during a diversity-themed rally. It is unclear how the university plans to respond. Although, this is not the first of such incidents. At UCLA, a black student group created a similar demand list for administration, although it was much smaller, comprised entirely of black student issues. One of the more outrageous demands was that black students should receive free tuition as a form of reparation.
In other news, cemetery officials have confirmed that Martin Luther King was indeed heard turning in his grave.
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