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University to Hold ‘Segregated’ Diversity Workshops on Race

This month, to relatively little outrage or public notice, Oregon State University is holding segregated “diversity” sessions for students, staff, and faculty. At “retreats,” students and faculty will learn about identity and micro-agressions (for example: expressing a belief in merit, wearing an offensive Halloween costume, or having someone feel like she does not belong).

The Daily Caller reports that a total of four workshops will be held: one for non-white students, another for white students (to educate them about their “white privilege”), one for multi-racial students, and one for white faculty and staff called “Examining White Identity.”

The testimonials at the university’s website indicate that the sessions are sure to foster more “cry-bullies,” as we saw on campuses across the country in 2015. And it seems that among Oregon State’s 30,000 students, none raised significant objections to funding being spent on segregated sessions.

This same outrage almost happened in 2013 at Hamilton College, too. But that proposed segregated “dialogue” never went forward, thanks to students affiliated with the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI).

In 2013, from the lavishly funded on-campus Days-Massolo Center (ironically founded “to embrace the importance of supporting a diverse and inclusive community”), an email was sent inviting students to participate in a “dialogue about internalized racism.” The “dialogue,” however, was for “people of color” only. Another dialogue for white students and faculty was promised for the following semester, and the program would have culminated in a non-segregated session.

AHI students, led by senior Dean Ball, got the administration to back down.

Ball described what happened in a blog post at Legal Insurrection, a site run by Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson, a Hamilton College alum who has been dismayed by what’s been going on at the small elite liberal arts college.

Ball described speaking to Amit Taneja — Hamilton College’s “Director of Diversity & Inclusion” — and expressing dismay at this new form of segregation. Taneja, without any evidence, told Ball that his views were in the “minority” of the student body.

Ball pointed out that Taneja’s job description was to protect minorities.

Ball was a leader of the 150-member student body at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, an independent non-profit education corporation founded by three Hamilton College faculty members: history professors Robert Paquette and Douglas Ambrose, and economics professor James Bradfield. The three were concerned about the decline of academic standards and loss of freedom. As Paquette puts it, AHI upholds the “ethos of a liberal arts education,” countering the all-too common liberal arts college’s “political agenda that masks a totalitarian impulse in a utopian illusion.”

The AHI offers students educational opportunities they rarely get in college: exposure to Augustine, Plato, and Leo Strauss through reading groups; lectures on and off campus by distinguished scholars and writers; the opportunity to write for a student newspaper, Enquiry, that respects their opinions; and internships, directed readings, and social gatherings at the AHI building on the village square, about 1.5 miles from the campus on the hill.

The center was originally to be on campus, but found itself the target of a faculty-led hostile takeover attempt. The story is related in the New Criterion; I now live in the building as one of two resident fellows.

The AHI students contacted the media, prepared a petition for Hamilton’s board of trustees, and wrote an op-ed for the student newspaper. They also sent out a campus-wide email with the heading “RACIAL SEGREGATION AT HAMILTON.” The email stated:

“The Alexander Hamilton Institute believes that no safe zone is worth the price of segregation. All are welcome to join us for a conversation on race.”

That was enough to get Taneja to open the “dialogue” to all races. That victory, however, marked the beginning of the harassment of Ball and other AHI students.

That very night, Ball was threatened with violence and accused of white supremacy, almost entirely by students he had never met. His Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with “both fury and support over what the AHI had done.”

The following Monday, September 23, his character was attacked at the Student Assembly meeting, which, according to the SA president, drew more students than he’d ever seen. The next morning Ball found the campus littered with “hundreds of pieces of paper posted on trees, windows, doors, and everywhere else imaginable” with sayings about social justice from luminaries like Tupac Shakur.

Ball concluded:

“Hamilton’s campus was no ‘safe zone’ for me or anyone sympathetic to what the Alexander Hamilton Institute did.”

Now manager of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute, Ball recalls those days. Although it was a student-led initiative, “[w]e always knew we had the full-throated support of [Executive Director] Professor Paquette and everyone else at AHI.” The agreement was implicit: “Professor Paquette and I had been through enough of these incidents at this point that this dynamic between us was understood.”

Paquette had challenged Taneja from the time of the self-identified social-justice activist’s hiring. Paquette recalls sending the trustees a lengthy letter in 2011 that used Taneja’s own words to describe who he was and to inform of what he intended to do as director of the “so-called cultural education (indoctrination) center.” Although the trustees and administration did not heed Paquette’s words in 2011, in 2013 AHI students forced Taneja’s hand.

To be sure, places like AHI can’t cure political correctness on our campuses. But when 19 year olds are surrounded by guest speakers like performance artist Rhodessa Jones, are ridiculed by their professors in class, and are punished for failing to complete assignments to their political specifications, it just takes a professor or two and a handful of peers to give them the confidence to face down the mobs of angry students and hostile administrators. Per Dean Ball:

“The AHI connected me to all of the like-minded students on campus and the AHI gave me the intellectual firepower I needed in the first place to effectively counter the administration’s tactics.”

In 20 years of teaching college English, I’ve rarely seen such poised, polite, well-rounded, and confident young people. They are polished writers and public speakers. I also recognize the students giving testimonials for the Oregon workshops, ending statements on question marks and repeating slogans like zombies. Sadly, they are far more common and their numbers have increased in recent years.

It looks like there is a need for something like the AHI in Oregon. Surely, there must be enough students there to confront this new form of Jim Crow: campus brainwashing sessions.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on PJMedia.com.

Ideas in Exile: The Bullies Win at Yale by Diana Furchtgott-Roth

The student speech bullies have won at Yale. Erika Christakis, Assistant Master of Yale’s Silliman College, who had the temerity to suggest that college students should choose their own Halloween costumes, has resigned from teaching. Her husband, sociology professor Nicholas Christakis, Master of Silliman College, will take a sabbatical next semester.

One of the bullies’ demands to Yale President Salovey was that the couple be dismissed, and a resignation and sabbatical are a close second.

As had been widely reported, Erika Christakis said,

Is there no room any more for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious, a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.

At issue are costumes such as wearing a sombrero, which might be offensive to Mexicans; wearing a feathered headdress, which might offend Native Americans, previously termed Red Indians; and wearing blackface to dress up as an African American.

Dr. Christakis’s comment is so obvious that it hardly needs to be said. Students who are admitted to Yale are some of the brightest in the country, and it should not be the role of the University to tell them how, or whether, to dress up at Halloween.

The speech bullies want mandatory diversity training, rules against hate speech, the dismissal of Nicholas and Erika Christakis, and the renaming of Calhoun College because its namesake, John Calhoun, defended slavery.

If America is to be whitewashed of the names of individuals from prior centuries who fall short of the political standards of the 21st century, we will be a nation not only without names but also without a past. The names of our states, our municipalities, and even our universities would disappear. Elihu Yale was a governor of the East India Company, which may have occasionally engaged in the slavery trade. It is easy to condemn the dead who cannot defend themselves. But if we curse the past, what fate awaits us from our progeny?

Not all Yale students agree with the tactics employed by the bullies. Freshman Connor Wood said,

The acceptance or rejection of coercive tactics is a choice that will literally decide the fate of our democracy. Our republic will not survive without a culture of robust public debate. And the far more immediate threat is to academia: how can we expect to learn when people are afraid to speak out?

The Committee for the Defense of Freedom at Yale has organized a petition in the form of a letter to President to express concern with the bullies’ demands. Over 800 members of the Yale community have signed. Zachary Young, a junior at Yale and one of the organizers of the petition, told me in an email, “We want to promote free speech and free minds at Yale, and don’t think the loudest voices should set the agenda.”

Nevertheless, it appears that the loudest voices are indeed influencing President Salovey. He has given in to protesters by announcing a new center for the study of race, ethnicity, and social identity; creating four new faculty positions to study “unrepresented and under-represented communities;” launching “a five-year series of conferences on issues of race, gender, inequality, and inclusion;” spending $50 million over the next five years to enhance faculty diversity; doubling the budgets of cultural centers (Western culture not included); and increasing financial aid for low-income students.

In addition, President Salovey volunteered, along with other members of the faculty and administration, to “receive training on recognizing and combating racism and other forms of discrimination.”

With an endowment of $24 billion, these expenses are a proverbial drop in the bucket for Yale. But it doesn’t mean that the administration should cave. Isaac Cohen, a Yale senior, wrote in the student newspaper,

Our administrators, who ought to act with prudence and foresight, appear helpless in the face of these indictments. Consider President Salovey’s email to the Yale community this week. Without any fight or pushback — indeed, with no thoughts as to burdens versus benefits — he capitulated in most respects to the demands of a small faction of theatrically aggrieved students.

Yale’s protests, and others around the country, including Claremont-McKenna, the University of Missouri, and Princeton, stem from the efforts of a small group of students to shield themselves from difficult situations. Students want to get rid of speech that might be offensive to someone that they term a “micro-aggressions.” This limits what can be said because everything can be interpreted as offensive if looked at in a particular context.

For instance, when I write (as I have done) that the wage gap between men and women is due to the sexes choosing different university majors, different hours of work, and different professions, this potentially represents a micro-aggression, even though it is true. Even the term “the sexes” is potentially offensive, because it implies two sexes, male and female, and leaves out gays, lesbians, and transgenders. The term “gender” is preferred to “sex.”

What about a discussion of the contribution of affirmative action to the alienation of some groups on campuses today? Under affirmative action, students are admitted who otherwise might not qualify. In Supreme Court hearings on Wednesday, Justice Antonin Scalia said, “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to — to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well.”

The majority of students at Yale want an open discussion of all subjects, but the attack on the Christakises have frightened them into silence. Zach Young told me,

If the accusers’ intent was to enlighten and persuade, their result was to silence and instill fear. I worry that because of this backlash, fewer students or faculty — including people of color and those of liberal persuasions — will feel comfortable expressing views that dissent from the campus norms. Why risk getting so much hate, disgust, calls against your firing, just for the sake of expressing an opinion?

Why indeed? The answer is that arguing about opinions is the only way to get a real education. Let’s hope that another university stands up for freedom of speech and offers the Christakises teaching positions next semester.

This article first appeared at CapX.

Diana Furchtgott-RothDiana Furchtgott-Roth

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, is director of Economics21 and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Transforming Education Beyond Common Core: Games for Muslim Appreciation, Emotional Intelligence, Diversity and Masterbation

globaloria-overview-10-728Gaming holds huge money-making potential for crony capitalists as they seek to capture an $8 billion-textbook publishing industry and transform all textbooks into video game format. For the U.S. Department of Education and progressive educators gaming promises to end “achievement gaps” and to transform students into social change agents.

Games of challenge involving fighting, racing, or sports once offered young males a release valve to hours of stultifying political correctness and feminine modes of teaching in schools. Now educational games will impose politically correct lessons.  As the Games for Change event revealed, game developers, with financial support from the Department of Education, are producing games that provide lessons on Muslim cultural appreciation, bullying, slavery, Native American culture–and masturbation.

Such politically correct games are being promoted by politically connected people, such as the “powerhouse couple” of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (as they were introduced). They produced the celebrity-studded PBS documentary (and accompanying game), Half the Sky, about women who hold up “half the sky” globally.  Kristof claimed that such entertainment can change behavior by closing the “empathy gap,” which is at the root of racial and gender biases.

The couple praised the Department of Education’s early childhood education efforts. Kristof explained that this redirection to the “zero to five” age range came because Common Core is “toxic” and has polarized education reform.  He noted that Obama’s early education initiative was the only one applauded by House Speaker John Boehner at the State of the Union.  Kristof repeated his call for early education in his column the next day, writing, “Education inequity is America’s original sin.”

Ken Weber, Executive Director of Zinga.org and a board member of Games for Change, then introduced Saudi Arabian prince, “HH Prince Fahad Al-Saud,” a technology entrepreneur.  Weber noted that it was not often that he got to introduce a prince, whom he referred to repeatedly as “His Highness.”

The Stanford-educated prince, who spoke without an accent and was dressed like a hip-hop mogul, displayed his familiarity with lessons in academe about the “other,” as he repeated the word in reference to how the West sees the Arab world.

His games, he said, are intended to “build a celebratory narrative about diversity” and to end stereotypes about the Arab world: Osama bin Laden, Aladdin, the “evil and oppressive dictator of the day,” and especially the treatment of women. Claiming that 35 percent of tech entrepreneurs in North Africa and Arabia are women, he took the opportunity to point out gender inequalities in the U.S. While women might experience “movement restrictions” in Saudi Arabia, women in the United States earn less than men, he said.  (He did not specify which “movement restrictions,” but presumably they involve driving a car.)  According to Wikipedia, the prince has two wives, both princesses.

One of his companies, Na3M Games, part of the Arabic Renaissance, aims to develop the “culturally sensitive individual.”   It is operated out of Jordan and Denmark (the latter because it has the largest population of Arabs in the northern European countries).

A 2013 Business Insider article praised Fahad Al-Saud for foregoing the “high life” of a Saudi prince for the life of a “tech entrepreneur and social media evangelist” who had an impact on the Arab Spring uprising.  Most of his start-ups have focused on spreading Arabic culture through games, although he also developed a casino game.  He was quoted as saying, “In 10 years I want to see countries in the Arab world in their rightful place as global leaders and contributors.”  (Later, Rami Ismail, of Vlambeer, also made a pitch about appealing to an Arabic audience.)

Next was the Well Played Series with DePaul professor Doris Rusch.  While some of the games her lab has developed, such as understanding mental illness, seem good, others, for developing “social and emotional intelligence” and dealing with bullying, seem too psychologically invasive for children.  These games “assess” such things as empathy, social skills, impulse control, and cooperation, and are in line with recent efforts to teach social and emotional intelligence, and the Education Department’s focus on “non-cognitive skills.”

The session with Nordic LARP (Live Action Role Play), which originated in the Nordic countries in the late 1990s, continued the theme, as Bjarke Pedersen promoted emotionally “engaging stories” about racism, alienation, and oppression, and Cecilia Dolk likened their game, Celestra about fighting fascism in Europe, with familiar lessons in police violence and attacks on unions and workers rights.  Martin Ericsson of the same group promoted Inside Hamlet as an educational game (in three acts) of the Shakespearean play that has been interpreted in multiple ways, including as a Marxist parable of power.  The company is looking for a place in the U.S.

Michael Gallager, President and CEO of The Entertainment Software Association, as previously described, made an appearance again and waxed enthusiastically about the potential of transforming classrooms.

The “Pitch”

The afternoon featured a “pitch event” for prizes.  Emcee Jesse Schell of Schell Games presented an image of a game-dominated future, where teachers become “dungeon masters,” tracking their students as they play games. Among the five judges were two representatives from U.S. government agencies: Laura Callanan, Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (since November 2014), and Dr. Marc Ruppel, a senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public Programs.  Ruppel, who holds a Ph.D. in Digital Studies, once worked on sponsor Tribeca Film Festival-funded “Robot Heart Stories,” and held positions at the Maryland Institute in Technology for the Humanities and NASA.  Callanan had been a senior consultant, specializing in “social innovation,” with McKinsey & Company (former employer of Common Core architect David Coleman).

The other judges were Ron Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Kognito, a technology company serving state and federal agencies, and colleges and universities; Carl Robichaud, Program Officer in International Peace and Security at the Carnegie Corporation, focusing on “strengthening nuclear governance”; and Weber, of Zynga.org, a nonprofit that promotes “the use of social games for social impact.”  According to the website, from 2005 to 2011, Weber had been COO of The ONE Campaign, “a global grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization founded by Bono, Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver and others” that worked “in partnership” with the Gates Foundation (the major funder of Common Core) and international development NGOs for “poverty alleviation and global health issues, particularly in Africa.”

Unsurprisingly, the games pitched advanced the progressive agenda: Thralled is about a runaway slave; Never Alone is about Native culture in Alaska; The Sun Also Rises has nothing to do with Ernest Hemingway or Ecclesiastes, but focuses on the traumas of soldiers in Afghanistan; We Are Chicago “draws from real experiences to give a brief glimpse into the average life of a teenager living in the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago”; and Happy Playtime is “a sex-education game which aims to eliminate the stigma attached to female masturbation.”

Never Alone took away most of the prizes, but Happy Playtime, which has been banned by the Apple App Store, won the $10,000 dollar surprise prize from Schell Games.  Happy Playtime principal Tina Gong told the judges that she wanted girls ages 10 to 16 to know that women’s bodies “belong to themselves.”  She described in sexually explicit terms how points are awarded, and claimed that this game would produce good body image, less unwanted pregnancy, less abuse, and better sex.  Her plans include a multi-player format with data-gathering.

This event received virtually no press coverage.  Other similar events on university campuses and at conference centers have also gone on with little notice.  Game designers are courted with grants from non-profits (aligned with for-profit companies) and federal agencies. All are intertwined.

What they promise is a future of teachers as “Dungeon Masters” tracking students as they navigate games, games whose lessons parents are ignorant of.  Profiting are the techno-gurus, progressive educrats, and a political regime seeing the fruition of a plan to completely transform education.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research website.

Ferguson, Missouri is racially and economically integrated — So why are blacks rioting?

I grew up in Florissant, Missouri and attended McCluer Senior High School in the Ferguson-Florissant Unified School District. Jonathan Rodden, a fellow graduate from McCluer High School and a professor of political science and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, wrote a column in the Washington Post titled “Is segregation the problem in Ferguson?

What Professor Rodden found is that Ferguson is racially and economically integrated, more so than the surrounding communities.

Professor Rodden found that the racial divide and “lack of diversity” narrative is “wrong in several crucial respects.” “For starters, while St. Louis is indeed among the most segregated metropolitan regions in the United States, Ferguson and some of its North County neighbors are among the most racially integrated municipalities in Missouri and well beyond,” notes Professor Rodden.

So why are blacks rioting?

To illustrate his points Professor Rodden uses several maps. The first map below uses data from the 2010 Census to place Ferguson in the larger context of the racial segregation of St. Louis. While most of the region is completely segregated, note that Ferguson is part of a patch of integrated inner suburbs in North St. Louis County.

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For a larger view click on the map. Map courtesy of the Washington Post.

The second map zooms in on this region, shows Ferguson in fine detail. In the southeastern appendage of Ferguson, there is a dense, overwhelmingly black apartment complex where Michael Brown was killed. However, the rest of the city is, by the standards of American suburbia, striking in its level of racial integration. Ferguson and the proximate sections of Florissant and Hazelwood are composed of modest single-family houses on streets where blacks and whites live side by side.

imrs

For a larger view click on the map. Map courtesy of the Washington Post.

Professor Rodden found, “While most of St. Louis County’s residents live in municipalities that are either homogeneous or internally segregated or both, Ferguson and its North County neighbors stand out for their relative heterogeneity and internal desegregation. Moreover, the income gap between blacks and whites is smaller in these municipalities than elsewhere… Lost in the tale of woe about Ferguson is that while the entry point was often cheap multi-family housing such as Canfield Green, many blacks came from North St. Louis City for single-family houses, better schools and lower crime. While there are pockets of poverty and Section 8 renters that dominate the media reports, there is also a resilient black middle class, though it has been hit hard by the great recession. While a large number of whites departed for homogeneous St. Charles County over the last 40 years, many have stayed.”

Ferguson rioters have no justification for their actions. Rather they should be embracing Ferguson as an example of racial and economic integration and balance.

Perhaps the rioters have a political bone to pick? Perhaps the rioters are rioting for the sake of drawing attention to themselves? If this is the case, and it appears so, then the media needs to call the demonstrations out for what they are – lawless.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ferguson Activist Lauded by Media is Muslim Convert & Child Molester

Florida High School promotes Godlessness in the name of ‘Diversity’

Dena Sturm

Dena Sturm, IB Program Adviser, Spanish teacher Riverview HS.

Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida has an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Under the Riverview High School IB program is a category titled “Service Organizations.” One of these organizations is the Coexistence Club. Dena Sturm is listed as the Docent Program Adviser for the IB Program Coexistence Club.

According to EmbracingOurDifferences.org:

The Embracing Our Differences partnership with Riverview High School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Program continues to be the jewel in our crown.

Under our Docent Program, IB students and members of the Coexistence Club serve as docents and mentors to other students participating in our education program. Our student docents work in the parks daily leading groups and inspiring youngsters to recognize the messages delivered through the art and quotes. With their guided questions and planted seeds of inquiry, our young visitors are led to make realizations of their own about diversity and acceptance of others, including those different from themselves. [Emphasis added]

Learn more about Embracing Our Differences.

andrea rankin

Student Andrea Rankin the creator of Life’s Library.

What are the ” inspiring messages” being planted like seeds into the minds of youngsters at Riverview High School?

Perhaps a large 30’x30′ banner titled “Life’s Library” by Andrea Rankin can give us a clue. The banner hangs prominently on the wall at the entrance of the high school directly across from the school’s administrative offices. The banner is in full color and sponsored by the Coexistence Club Riverview High School.

Rankin, a student at the Sarasota Technical Institute, created the “Life’s Library” based upon “her own experiences.” Rankin’s Life’s Library won the Best-in-Show and People’s Choice Award at the Embracing Our Differences 2012 art exhibit.

The “Life’s Library” book titles are solely Rankin’s view of the world. It is her view that is being viewed daily by Riverview High School students, faculty, staff and visitors.

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The titles of the books in Rankin’s Life’s Library show exactly what is being promoted in the name of “diversity” by the Coexistence Club. Here are just some of the book titles:

  • Divorce was the best thing for my son.
  • I have two mommies.
  • I am not the 99% and it makes me feel guilty.
  • My brother is now my sister and I still love her.
  • People say I am skinny but I hate my body.
  • Sober 3 years, two months and 3 days.
  • Born this way (with gay flags).
  • I Love My Bubber with Star of David (a bubber is a wino or junkie)
  • I am not sure who God is or if there even is a God.
  • Being Muslim in America is hard.
  • Human – everything else is irrelevant.
  • Every tattoo has a deep personal meaning.
  • My tribe was the original homeland security.
  • My piercings make me pretty.

Diversity now means embracing an anything goes mentality when it comes to family, marriage, sexual behavior, tattoos, body piercing,  science and God. Rankin’s titles confuse nature’s gender differences with unnatural sexual behaviors. It compares real differences based on ethnicity and applies them to human behaviors. It creates cognitive dissonance in the young and impressionable by mixing metaphors. It equates Muslim life in America without addressing Muslim life in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. Rankin takes morality and turns it on its head in the name of coexistence.

Perhaps the Sarasota County School Board should look into what exactly the Riverview High Coexistence Club is pedaling to the Riverview High School students?

The absurdities listed on this poster are quickly becoming the norm in our public schools, much to the detriment of our community. That is the reality. Our public schools, with the support of the Sarasota County School Board, are creating a generation of Godless children, who have no moral basis upon which to make life’s critical decisions. The only thing being embraced is Rankin’s view of the world, but then again she is a product of our Sarasota County School system.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience…without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure… If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under… Government should uphold–and not undermine–those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded: religion, education and, above all, family.”

Perhaps the “jeweled crown” of diversity needs to be replaced with one made from the vines of a thorn bush and placed upon the head of a Nazarene who was crucified by a people who embraced many of the ideals displayed on this banner.

You see, there is one book you can judge by its cover – The Holy Bible – for it is the library for life. Its lessons are conspicuously absent from Rankin’s Life Library.

EDITORS NOTE: Below is the original “Life’s Library” by Andrea Rankin.

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Diverse Ways of Viewing Diversity

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld made some comments last week about not caring about “diversity” in Hollywood, especially in the area of comedy, and set off some very heated conversations across the country.

Seinfeld was on CBS This Morning being interviewed about his Internet-based show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Seinfeld has been criticized in the past, as he is now, for having no minorities on his hit TV show “Seinfeld.” When asked about this by the reporter from CBS, Seinfeld said, “People think it’s the census or something? This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that…It’s more about PC nonsense than are you making us laugh or not?”

I happen to agree with Seinfeld. I have never watched his TV show nor have I watched his webcasts. He has absolutely no obligation to have a diverse cast on any of his projects. If that really bothers you, then why do you watch his shows? It’s called choice. Turn him off and tune him out.

Maybe, just maybe, you are not his intended viewer. Have you ever thought about that? I don’t support diversity for the sake of diversity.

The rap group, NWA has no Whites in it; should they be required to have at least one White person in the group? The Delta’s have no men in their sorority; should they be required to just for the sake of diversity?

If you want diversity, then it must be sought across the board. But who determines what is diversity and how do you know when you have enough?
America, as a nation, has yet to come to grips with its diversity. Unfortunately, far too many view our diversity as a liability – as seen by the reaction to the interracial Cheerios TV that ran during the Super Bowl.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Whites are 72 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics are 15 percent, and Blacks are 13 percent. For the first time in American history, the White death rate outnumbered White births in 2012. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

So, this continued march towards diversity will only become more pronounced. How that will be reflected in our society is an open question.

The Census Bureau projects It is projected that Whites in the U.S. within three decades. What will be the impact on America when this happens? What will be the legal definition of minority? Will it be Whites who will be making demands of us – the newly constituted majority?

The winds of change cannot be stopped or slowed. Diversity can and should be embraced. Globalism has shrunk the world. World travel is more affordable than ever before. More Americans should take the opportunity to visit a foreign country this year.

Diversity can be an asset or it can be a liability, depending on whether it is embraced or resisted. Certain things must be embraced in order for diversity to be an asset. English must be the language that binds us together. Knowing and understanding America’s “total” history is mandatory to understanding how good we have it. Believing in America’s promise of freedom and opportunity, while never forgetting your heritage, helps you to fully embrace the American dream.

But, in this pursuit, we must resist the temptation to self-isolate based on country of origin, race, or religion. I fail to understand how a person can live in America or any country for years and not speak the native language as too many immigrants have done. Far too many people have never been to a church outside of their own denomination. Far too many people have never been to an ethnic restaurant in their own city.

America is far from perfect; but sometimes we spend so much time focusing on that which divides us that we forget what unites us. Remember, we can’t have unity without “u-n-i.”