Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Of color

CNN is on as background noise in my apartment, and I keep hearing what number of "Latinos," "whites," and "African-Americans" think of the different candidates in Texas. There has to be some middle-ground between pretending race is not an issue and repeatedly classifying Americans according to coloration or origins (or lack thereof) south of the border. Does repeatedly drilling into our heads the names of these three categories make them matter more or less? Shouldn't they ultimately matter less? It strikes me as one thing to be proud of one's own family heritage, but is anyone proud of such a huge segment of the national population? Are these crude, statistically-decided divisions the sort of diversity worth celebrating? (That is, if one believes in celebrating, not just accepting, diversity, which is itself another question).

Along similar lines, I got an email today from UChicago announcing the opening of a new building for "the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the LGBTQ Programming Office." This might explain why I don't consider myself on the left, but I do not see the reason why these two offices should be lumped together. But at any rate, the downside of this new building in terms of diversity is that the rest of campus will, at any given minute of the day, become disproportionately white and straight (or closeted).

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