Two of these stories in one week—something’s happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear, however.
I’m sorry, I start channeling old Sixties songs at times like this.
Not one but two colleges have advocated segregation in their policies this week:
- Hampshire College explains on its website that it allows students to reside in “identity-based” housing communities, provided they have a “unique social identity” that has “historically experienced oppression,” arguing that such residences “give support to members of our community with social identities that have been historically marginalized in this country, and strive to counter systemic oppression.” The Massachusetts school’s confident promotion of such living arrangements “arises from our commitment to fostering diverse, socially just, and inclusive communities.” An informational booklet explains that “identity-based housing is an institutional structure designed to assist members of historically oppressed groups in supporting each other,” and “helps to create an added level of psychological comfort and safety for those who choose to live in those spaces, often providing the foundation for those students to be able to engage fully in the greater community.”
Translation: Black students don’t want to live with whites, but prefer “their own kind,” because whites are viewed as potentially dangerous. And that’s okay!
- In Illinois, Moraine Valley Community College has restricted certain sections of a mandatory introductory course to black students only. Jessica Crotty, Moraine’s assistant director of communications, justified the segregation by arguing that the school periodically reserves certain course offerings for various demographics of students, and doing this for black students is no different.
“The focus can be on specific issues they face,” Crotty explained. “Students feel comfortable and are more likely to open up because they’re with other students who are like them.”
Pop quiz: What are whites called who demand that in the interests of safety and their “comfort,” they should not have to be in class with blacks?
I am curious about how this particular ethics alarm—you know, “racism is bad”?— got deadened to such a point that this blatant and destructive double standard is even possible. It is undoubtedly illegal, though I seem to have missed the immediate response of the Obama Administration condemning it. Ethics, as I have written here from the beginning, is evolutionary and dynamic. Through experience, study, reflection and eventually enlightenment, society and civilization tend to move in an ethical direction, constantly learning that what was once thought of as right is wrong, and vice-versa. Laws and cultures absorb these changes.
Sometimes, however, whole societies forget what they have already learned. Like now.
This could have been seen coming the second black student groups on various campuses, egged on by the racist rhetoric of Black Lives Matter and emboldened by enabling white progressives who gave the groups’ grievances respect and legitimacy they did not deserve, began “demanding” increased segregation on campus. You can peruse a list of hundreds of such demands” by black student movements at universities on WeDemand.org. Many of the demands include calls for reductions in white faculty and the establishment ”safe spaces” for black students.
This is straight up racism. Why does it receive anything but scorn and condemnation from the Democratic Party, alleged advocates of diversity, and the news media? My suspicion is that the inherent hypocrisy of affirmative action, obvious racial preferences in high places and the tolerance for the activities and pronouncements of Black Lives Matter and similar racists groups have created a retrograde movement toward segregation, now favored by blacks rather than whites because they perceive it as a route to political and social power.
The development is dangerous and divisive, and the culture needs to speak clearly, first by saying “NO” through its leaders, and second by eliminating policies and institutions that have the effect of eroding the societal consensus that racial segregation, for “safety” or any other reason, is per se unethical. That means killing affirmative action, and eliminating the cynical “disparate impact” justification for finding discrimination where there is none. It also means finally treating black colleges like Howard exactly as “white colleges” would be treated. Organize a wave of white student applicants to those schools, and declare them in violation of the law if the student bodies are disproportionately made up of one race.
Moreover, this has to happen quickly. The presidency of Barack Obama has been the worst disaster for race relations since Woodrow Wilson, and the chasm between the races is widening rapidly.