Saturday, April 02, 2011

Homogenized Diversity

By the inimitable Mike Adams

I don’t get angry very often but this morning I got so mad I nearly dropped my assault rifle. I was writing another column in my camouflaged pajamas (no one saw me) when I got an email from a critic of one of my recent columns on campus diversity. The reader corrected my reference to the campus “LGBTQIA Resource Center” noting that it was only an “LGBTQIA Resource Office,” not an actual center. Since getting that email I haven’t slept a wink.

It appears that, at least on our campus, the African Americans get a “Cultural Center,” the Woman Americans get a “Resource Center” and the Hispanic Americans (although some of them aren’t actually Americans “yet”) get a “Centro.” But the LGBTQIA Americans only get a “Resource Office.” This is the kind of inequality that makes our institution look bad. So I think it’s time to call for a Queer Resource Center on campus that will help foster a sense of true equality.

In addition to giving an appearance of equality, re-naming the LGBTQIA Office will help to unite the Ls with the Gs. In recent years, there has been increasing tension concerning which one should go first in the alphabet soup of diversity. To date, they have been falling back on the antiquated notion that the ladies should go first. Calling them all Queers (as some schools already do) will have a unifying effect -unless, of course, they decide to break into a spontaneous game of dodge ball. In the name of tolerance, “smear the queer” will not be tolerated.

Note that my proposal says a “Queer Resource Center on campus … will help foster a sense of true equality.” I did not say it would actually achieve true equality. In order to have true equality we will have to do something about the funding discrepancies between all the different victim groups on campus. In recent years, the African American Cultural Center has been the beneficiary of the most victim-related funding. (Note: Women come in second place with Hispanics, Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts, Qs, Is, and As trailing far behind).

So I propose a new way of allocating the money to our various centers of hyphenation and victimhood. Under my plan, we will simply dump all of the money into one fund and divide by four. This will give each of the major victim groups an equal allocation of the money. But I would caution against doing this before we officially open the new Queer Resource Center. Otherwise, there may be an effort to divide the present “Office” into separate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Inter-sexed, and Allied Offices. It may sound Machiavellian but queerer things have happened.

Under my plan, the African American Center will lose a good bit of funding. But our African victims will stand to gain with another component of my new “homogenized diversity” plan. Under my new (Ok, it’s actually really old) plan we will have separate “colored” and “white” bathrooms. The term “people of color” is making a comeback on our college campuses and it’s time to make it part of a new and comprehensive bathroom expansion plan.

Under the current oppressive regime of diversity, women are the only victims who get their own bathrooms. That needs to change and it will when we start providing separate restrooms – not just for African Americans – but for Hispanic Americans and Queer Americans, too.

Some may think my new plan is too expensive. But that is a simplistic view that fails to take account of certain long-term benefits. For example, we presently spend a great deal of money filling “glory holes” in our campus men’s restrooms. These holes are drilled (into the walls separating bathroom stalls) by gay men looking for casual sexual encounters in between classes. We have to fix them every time a heterosexist complaint is leveled by a straight man who prefers to (go #2) in privacy – as opposed to having sex with a complete stranger. But once we have Queer Restrooms those glory holes will be inoffensive (and useful) to those who encounter them.

At first glance, giving separate bathrooms to those who call for inclusion is like giving the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who bombs third world nations with regularity. But overt actions should never be taken as a sign of hypocrisy. The feelings behind them are the only thing that matters.


British schools failing to promote the classics

Classic literature risks dying out in schools as hundreds of thousands of pupils are allowed to complete GCSEs without studying a single book written before the 20th century, Michael Gove warns today. Fewer than one in 100 teenagers who sat the most popular English literature exam last year based their answers on novels published prior to 1900, says the Education Secretary.

Only 1,236 out of 300,000 students read Pride and Prejudice, 285 studied Far From the Madding Crowd and just 187 completed Wuthering Heights as part of the test, he claims. At the same time, more than 90 per cent of answers were based on the same three books – Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Mr Gove says the disclosure underlines the extent to which England’s “constricted and unreformed exam system” fails to encourage children to read.

He says Britain also has some of the best modern children’s writers in the world, including Philip Pullman, JK Rowling, Michael Morpurgo and Anthony Horowitz, but many young people are “growing up in ignorance of their work”.

It follows the publication of a major international study in December showing that reading standards among British teenagers had slumped from 7th to 25th in a decade.

“We’re not picking up enough new books, not getting through the classics, not widening our horizons. In short, we’re just not reading enough,” he says.

Mr Gove’s comments were made after a tour of independent “charter schools” in American last month. He claims that a love of reading is promoted in many schools opened in tough inner-city areas, praising one that issued children with a challenge to read 50 books in a year.

But in a dig at the teaching establishment in England, Mr Gove says many children in this country are held back by an “anti-knowledge” culture that prevents them from reaching their potential. “The children I met were smart and lively. But they were also, overwhelmingly, from the most disadvantaged homes,” he says.

“That didn’t mean their teachers lowered the bar. Quite the opposite. They wanted to give those children a chance to enjoy the glittering prizes – so they set expectations high.

“I want the same culture here. I want to take on the lowest-common-denominator ethos, the 'let’s not be too demanding', 'all this smacks of targets', 'the poor dears can’t manage it', 'the idea of a canon is outmoded', 'it’s all on the internet anyway' culture which is anti-knowledge, anti-aspiration and antithetical to human flourishing.

“Instead, I want a culture in which the more you read, the more you are celebrated. "That’s why I have said we should set our own 50 Book Challenge. And that’s also why I want to develop a stronger and more durable culture of reading for pleasure.”


Australian Catholic school bans gay 'cure' seminar

Some ideas may not be expressed -- even ones that the Holy Father would endorse!

A CATHOLIC school has kiboshed a "curing homosexuality seminar" set to be held at their Caboolture college.

The meeting sparked outrage on Facebook, with a protest page set up against it.

But the group holding the meeting has accused Catholic Education of discrimination over the decision.

A statement released by Brisbane Catholic Education says St Columban's College at Caboolture "immediately" withdrew permission for its hall to be used as a venue by the Miracle Christian Center when they realised what the meeting was about.

"Permission was given by the school, on the basis that the nature of the meeting would need to be in line with the college's Catholic Christian values," the statement said.

Principal Ann Rebgetz said the group had deliberately withheld from the school the real nature of the event.

But Miracle Christian Center president Dorian Ballard denied the accusation, saying when they hired halls they didn't advise what they would be preaching about.

He denied the group was homophobic. He said they had been discriminated against and the case was now with their lawyers.

"We are not homophobic, many of us have come out of the homosexual lifestyle," he said.

"We are not afraid of homosexuals; we love them, we've ministered to them for years.

"This topic is always up for debate. It's great to hear a lot of different views in the broad spectrum and we have been silenced, we have been discriminated against."

Former student and Facebook "Protest against the curing homosexuality seminar" page organiser Lexi Ryan said the school had done the right thing and she had cancelled the protest, which had 353 people who had replied they would be attending.


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