Over the past two decades, I have noticed certain changes happening in education which have turned us into a culture of diversity worship.
Back in high school, the undertones of all our classes were a message of acceptance. The word diversity wasn’t used nearly as much as it is in college, but we were taught the idea that we should not only accept people for different skin colors or sexual orientations but that we should praise them. As absurd as this may sound, we all feel this whether we acknowledge it or not.
A perfect example of this phenomenon happened one day when I heard some friends of mine boasting that they had a black person in their friend group as if they should have been proud of their acceptance of diversity.
I’ll just say now that being black has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Being gay has no bearing on whether you are good or evil. However, our society is conditioning us to treat these people with a sense of extra kindness or unearned respect.
When you hear the word diversity 50 times a day and all your professors ogle over the concept of having people from different backgrounds in their class, you subconsciously begin to associate feelings of admiration towards these people, and for what? Something that they can’t control.
Don’t take these ideas out of context and claim that I’m racist or xenophobic. Personally, I love learning about other cultures and experiences them. I’m both Italian and Middle Eastern. Half of my family is Hispanic and I voluntarily studied Chinese for 4 years. That being said—we can appreciate cultural differences, but we shouldn’t be worshiping them.
All around the country, diversity movements are getting more and more support from institutions and in the workplace. I have seen student leaders demand for more funding towards diversity programming, and chastise those anyone for being fiscally responsible when the country is in a state of such horrible and oppressive prejudice.
In a way, they are right. Prejudiced people do exist, but not nearly as much as they think they do. Right now, the people in power—at least on college campuses—are obsessed with increasing their diversity. Affirmative action programs all around the country offer easier admission and more scholarship money to anyone that could increase their diversity standing, and not based on the content of their character.
With desperate diversity attitudes growing more intense, many people are now trying to tap into this endless stream of praise by highlighting their own diversity instead of academic achievement.
I’ve even heard several of my professors complain about my university’s Honors Program because it’s not inclusive enough. They think that it should be shut down. I guess I’m the only one who is crazy enough to think that college is supposed to be about learning and not some grand social experiment, training us to be liberal activists upon graduation.
I have many friends from different ethnic backgrounds, but I don’t keep them around because that is where they were from. I am friends with them because I don’t see them for what they are. I see them for who they are.