Letter to the Editor: Those in power should not exploit diversity

By and


I’d just like to respond to Horton’s critique of my views (“The term diversity applies to everyone,” Sept. 11). First of all, I value diversity of opinion and perspective, as well as an academic atmosphere that fosters rigorous debate among its inhabitants. However, there is a stark difference between “diversity” and a call to tolerate intolerance. I believe that the group I was speaking out against would be more for the latter rather then the former.

Indeed, the rhetoric that this group espouses takes away any grounds for a civilized conversation when they just start naming and targeting groups as “decaying,” “detrimental” and “destructive,” without backing up their claims, even though such claims would be as ludicrous as the rest of their views.

Secondly, I always find it so amazing that it always falls upon the shoulders of the “liberal” to tolerate and accept conservative rants as a form of “free speech,” “free expression” and “diversity.” But, when you ask the conservative to do the same, well, let’s just refer to the letter you wrote, Mr. Horton. I believe it has all the explanation we need.

Thirdly, while your analysis of the dynamics of free thought and the allowance of diverse perspectives on campus is quite tenable, it misses a very important concept: power. Speaking against groups like the Historical Study Group does not take away from the privileges that conservatives already enjoy. Repressing liberal groups that try to balance out these unequal power relations would only exacerbate the very problems that we are attempting to address.

In your privileged position, Mr. Horton, it would be quite comfortable to invoke notions of free speech and free thought to justify the presence of such groups in campus. They don’t pose a threat to you. Imagine being in somebody else’s shoes for a while. It might change your mind.

Patrick Lagua

Senior, Political Science and Gender Studies.