Yes, Cornell’s conservative columnist is back. In honor of the freshmen who had to attend “A Tapestry of Possibilities,” I will dedicate my first column to the wonderful topic of diversity.
Based on the fact that I am Republican, people often draw the following “logical” conclusion about my views on diversity:
- Mike Wacker is a Republican.
- Republicans are racist.
- Therefore, Mike Wacker is racist.
But I thought it was bad to use stereotypes.
I do not hate people who look different than me. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dice-K pitch against Ichiro at SafeCo Field. Unlike Barack Obama, I would have appointed Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. And given a choice between a black candidate and a woman candidate, I would have chosen both; it is not my fault Condoleezza Rice did not want to run.
That paragraph alone was more enlightening than the entire “Tapestry” presentation. When I had to attend “Tapestry,” I remember one moment in the discussion portion when one person asked whether Ujamaa was causing segregation at Cornell.
Poor freshman. He did not see the backlash that was about to come. Nobody told him that diverse viewpoints were discouraged at a presentation on diversity. But at the same time, it is OK for Cornell to boycott D.P. Dough over false allegations of racism or for protesters to accuse a conservative publication, The Cornell Review, of racism.
In fact, after I wrote an article defending D.P. Dough, I ended up in a confrontation with some black students (I said some, not all; some of you are just waiting for an opening to paint me as racist). While I relied on logic and evidence, they mostly relied on identity politics. I was left with the following impression:
Imagine myself and other Republicans on the ice at Lynah Rink. Imagine these students and their supporters filling all of the seats in Lynah. Now imagine all of them chanting, “It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!” (Don’t worry, freshmen, you’ll pick up on that reference eventually).
For the record, it’s not all our fault. As it turns out, the person convicted last year of a racially-motivated West Campus stabbing wrote for Turn Left, not The Cornell Review.
Even Rush Limbaugh ran into identity politics when he attacked Obama on just about anything. But Limbaugh found an ingenious solution. It turns out his assistant Bo Snerdley is black, so he got a promotion to the position of “Official Obama Criticizer.” Basically, he has the same talking points as El Rushbo, but since he is black, he is therefore “officially qualified” to criticize Obama.
But at Cornell, Review writer Raza Hoda, who identifies himself as Muslim, ended up as the target of a protest for writing “racist” things about Muslims. Aside from how ridiculous that is, you cannot racially discriminate against a religion; invoking racism does not work if you do not even know the difference between the Muslim religion and Arab ethnicity.
Diversity has become a double-standard, not only at Cornell but on the national level. Imagine what would happen if you said, “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent,” or described Obama as, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
For a Republican, that is the end of a career. For a Democrat, that is a vice-presidential nominee — Joe Biden. Even now, the media is running stories on Sarah Palin and the female vote that it would never have run when Hillary was in the race.
This could be seen even during the Democratic primary. Even though her situation was not as bad as Palin’s, Hillary still had a rough draw. After all, she had to put up with some Ludicris sexism which received little attention in the media. On the other hand, Obama gave a big speech on race not in response to some blatant racism, but in response to his own pastor preaching “God damn America,” and the media pretty much fell in love with him.
The same divide between racism and sexism could also be applied to the incident at D.P. Dough. Was there racism involved? No. Was D.P. Dough at fault? No. Was sexism involved? Yes. Guess which angle got the least attention?
These discrepancies exist even in the domain of race alone. If you are black, Hispanic, or Asian, you are bound to get a lot of attention — and even your own community center. If you’re not one of these, for example Indian or Arab, you’re not going to get the full package that others get. One could even argue that a hierarchy exists among the former group. All minorities are included, but some are included more than others — sounds like the sequel to Animal Farm.
Additionally, when I attended Tapestry, the narratives on LGBT issues came off as insensitive to religion. Several religions find themselves at odds with LGBT rights. While their followers can certainly get along with LGBT people just like anyone else, asking religious people to accept their beliefs on a personal level is downright insensitive.
Furthermore, as Cornell’s history has shown, it is acceptable to express one’s disagreements with The Cornell Review by stealing and burning a bunch of copies of the newspaper. It is also acceptable to have speech-limiting codes which have received a rating of Red from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
So while Cornell does support a skewed and misguided interpretation of diversity, mistakenly confusing equality with certain political or personal beliefs, it struggles with diversity when it comes to religion, the press, and speech. Strangely enough the latter three items are all in the First Amendment.
And given a choice between the enlightenment provided by Cornell’s variant of “diversity” and the enlightenment of our Constitution, I would much rather choose the latter.
Mike Wacker is an assistant web editor at The Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wack Attack will appear alternate Fridays this semester.