Crofts: The Diversity Lie


(Courtesy Pixabay)

By Porter Crofts, Opinion Writer

On college campuses across America, including the University of Utah, the insistence on, demand for and enforcement of diversity has gone too far. Like most people, I am a supporter of diversity, but there is an unaddressed problem where people have started giving different treatment in the name of diversity and inclusion, while ignoring everything else. Strictly looking at people in terms of their race, gender or sexual orientation for the purposes of “diversity” is fundamentally flawed. True diversity is diversity of thought, not skin color or appearance.

The biggest joke of the “woke” culture we live in is that we still discriminate and exclude in the name of tolerance and acceptance. For example, the sole mission of the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Utah is to increase equity, diversity and inclusion, which sounds like a good idea at first glance. One would assume that if such an office exists, its purpose would be to make the campus at the university more inclusive. Its primary role should be to assert that all students have the same equality of opportunity, but unfortunately that is not always the case.

The Office of Equity and Diversity has created the Black Cultural Center, the LGBT Resource Center, the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, the American Indian Resource Center and the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion. That doesn’t even include the student groups, including the Black Student Union, Inter Tribal Student Association, Latinas Telling Testimonios and other student organizations. Yet, so much of what the Office for Equity and Diversity has to offer points out the open hypocrisy of its existence. These recent efforts on college campuses have done little for equity, and increase racial and cultural divides.

Why are we creating a system that separates students upon racial lines if we’re trying to include all people on campus? Many campus resources like ASUU and the University Union are already open to all people, regardless of their identification. To imply that they are otherwise exclusive does a disservice to all students. If such an office is to exist, it should be to help students and bring them together, not create a separate water fountain.

This is the exact thing that civil rights pioneers such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks fought against. MLK’s dream wasn’t for a black student union or to have a separate black cultural center. It was for people to be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

The most dangerous lie we are told when we arrive as college is that the only diversity that matters is diversity of color, sexual orientation and gender. In reality, this is the only diversity that is irrelevant. The diversity that we should relentlessly seek out is the diversity of thought, talent and experiences. What is the accomplishment of diversity if we have a group of people who all look different but think exactly the same?

College campuses need openness that allows ideas to flow and be exchanged. Instead we are encouraged to latch to our identity, to vote and think only according to that identity. What makes each of us unique is our ideas and thoughts. Diversity of thought, talent, temperament, conviction, experience and belief is what truly makes for a well-rounded student body and society.

A few months ago, Democratic Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts said, “If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice, we don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don’t even show up because we need you to represent that voice.”

This is a very revealing quote because it shows how those in positions of power actually feel about diversity. Nothing matters but the color of your skin. If you disagree with the narrative that is being pushed or dare to think outside the color of your skin, they will ask that you “please don’t even show up.”

We are living in a culture that attempts to stifle free speech. It would tell you how you should speak, think, act and feel about issues because of who you are. It would tell you how to see the world and events purely based off the color of your skin or how you identify. The goal of those in power is not to unify the country and its citizens, but rather to divide and conquer upon the lines of identity.

This is a dangerous and divisive game, but it is clearly effective. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that an office for enforcing diversity does not create a more tolerant and accepting group of people. It only builds up a façade of inclusion. When we enforce diversity on campuses based on anything other than thoughts and talents, we are reinforcing the same divisions we are trying to defeat.


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