July 21, 2005

Tom Wolfe: Diversity = Dispersity on Campus

From Wolfe's novel I Am Charlotte Simmons, in which Charlotte's friend Laurie describes diversity at North Carolina State:

Mr. Thom said there was certainly a lot written about multiculturalism and diversity in colleges these days. How did they manifest themselves in everyday life at Dupont?

"I don't know," said Charlotte. I just hear about them in speeches and things."

Laurie piped up again. "At State, everybody calls diversity dispersity. What happens is, everybody has their own clubs, their own signs, their own sections where they all sit in the dining hall -- all the African Americans are over there? ... and all the Asians sit over't these other tables? -- except for the Koreans? -- because they don't get along with the Japanese, so they sit way over there? Everybody's dispersed into their own little groups -- and everybody's told to distrust everybody else? Everybody's told that everybody else is trying to screw them over -- oops!" Laurie pulled a face and put her fingertip over her lips -- "I'm sorry!" She rolled eyes and smiled. "Anyway, the idea is, every other group is like prejudiced against your group, and no matter what they say, they're only out to take advantage of you, and you should have nothing to do with them -- unless you're white, in which case all the others are not prejudiced against you, they're like totally right, because you really are racist and everything, even if you don't know it? Everybody ends up dispersed into their own like turtle shells, suspicious of everybody else and being careful not to fraternize with them."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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