January 03, 2006

Race "talks" by any other name ...

... 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."

Posted by Felix at January 3, 2006 03:43 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I'm guessing it was a decade or more ago, I remember a Doonesbury that was uncommonly sensible. It had the black students at Walden demanding their own dorm. The punchline was that they demanded their own water fountains.
I don't know why, but your post reminded me of that.

Posted by: David Gerstman at January 3, 2006 05:52 PM

Felix: Courageous Conversations. Ugh.

I know why, David. Because that cartoon you speak of just demonstrates the inanity of the whole "diversity" industry. It's getting way too easy to point out their inconsistencies and logical flaws anymore.

Posted by: Hube at January 3, 2006 06:40 PM

You know, it's not all bad out there, and I'd like to cite an example. Everyone in my MBA class was required to take a course in business ethics, which was taught by a professor from the philosophy department. This guy was a total socialist, and we were subjected to all the usual lefty tirades about how we need quotas and reparations, and how corporations are immoral or amoral, and how inheritance should be abolished. I guess he felt like an evangelist - you preach to the sinners, right? Anyway, he and I got into some pretty heated debates in class, and eventually other students got into it as well. You'd expect him to have given me low marks for opposing his dogma, right? Nope, I got an A, and he actually thanked me for participating so vigorously and making the class more interesting for everybody.

There are plenty of horror stories about rampant academic terrorism, but I wanted to show that there are a few bright lights on the left.

Posted by: G Rex at January 4, 2006 10:38 AM

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