The news stories yesterday in various conservative sources that Columbia University would be holding six segregated graduation ceremonies based on ethnicity, income, and sexual orientation in fealty to “multiculturalism” sounded like a Babylon Bee gag to me, except that it isn’t funny. The story also seemed to epitomize The Great Stupid in so many ways, but something stopped me from rushing to the keyboard and writing a KABOOM! story. I don’t know why: this week has had one news flash after another showing the Left has not only gone bonkers, it is no longer trying to hide it.
So I went to Columbia sources (unlike, say, Fox News) to clarify “What’s going on here?,” and part of what’s going on is that conservative media and social media are misrepresenting the story, but not what’s wrong with Columbia’s conduct. What’s wrong with the story is that it isn’t news. The University has been doing this—segregated, group-identification ceremonies— for quite a while.
I haven’t checked to see if the groups or their names have changed: in 2021, the six are called the “Latinx Graduation,” the “Black Graduation,” the “Asian Graduation,” the “FLI Graduation” (for “first-generation and/or low-income community” students), the “Native Graduation” for Native-American students, and…I kid you not… the “Lavender Graduation” for the LGBTQ students.
“Lavender Graduation’? Really? Heck, why not the “FABULOUS! Graduation”?
If this were a new disgusting and embarrassing innovation for what is supposed to be an elite educational institution, I would have designated it as the perfect embodiment of “The Great Stupid” : separating groups in the name of inclusivity, segregating groups while celebrating the diversity of the whole, returning to “separate but equal” while demanding civil rights. But it is not new, and therefore not news.