... are usually a colossal waste of time. La Shawn Barber notes the latest cutesy lexicon among the diversiphiles -- "Difficult Dialogues." The Ford Foundation, through which grants are given to establish the "Dialogues," notes
Difficult Dialogues was created in response to reports of growing intolerance and efforts to curb academic freedom at colleges and universities. The goal is to help institutions address this challenge through academic and campus programs that enrich learning, encourage new scholarship and engage students and faculty in constructive dialogue about contentious political, religious, racial and cultural issues.
First, you can thank the supposed "growing intolerance" square on the shoulders of the universities themselves. Separate this, separate that, limited speech for fear of "hate speech," free speech "zones," liberal indoctrination by professors, racial preferences ...
Second, "efforts to curb academic freedom"? Such as? Are you serious?
Third, let's face it -- all those "issues" will be "dialogued" in the following manner: America is a racist country and white people need to understand and accept it. If not, you're "racist," "classist" and a "xenophobe."
I love these titles, too. "Difficult Dialogues." Just like the "Courageous Conversations" I'm familiar with at the school level. Ask just about anyone (mostly teachers) who attended one of these "conversations" to find out just how "courageous" they really were. In other words, you were really courageous as a white person if you attempted to voice an observation about (various) minorities. Why? Loud denunciations. Yelling. Shouting. Epithets. They're not conversations. They're lectures. Lectures to whites about their "privilege" and lack of empathy for minorities. Minorities "must be understood" properly and then action taken accordingly.
Get it? Neither do I.
UPDATE (9:10pm): SCSU Scholars has more. King notes Charlotte Hays' observation of DD:
My own most recent experience with dialogue was a meeting to discuss why there aren't more women working on editorial pages. When I suggested that editorialists aren't hired on the basis of their sex, I learned that if you stake out a heretical position, nobody really listens.
The University of Nebraska, Omaha, has boldly named its initiative "Breaking Silence." It will aim at "open, productive dialogues on issues of religion, sexuality and race." Yes, the silence on all those subjects has been deafening. No doubt the Omaha dialogues will aide participants in "understanding the complex roots of bigotry," as Ford's grant prospectus puts it. And if participants are lucky and someone in the room announces his opposition to gay marriage, students will productively be told that they have real live bigots in their very midst. (My emphasis.)
Exactly. A "one-way" dialogue is all this is.
King also notes how the Ford Foundation has tied its grant for DD to "academic freedom."