May 12, 2006

Diversity Doings at the University of Chicago

A reader writes:

I thought you might be amused by an event I recently attended here at the Univ. of Chicago. I'm gay ... I recently went to a gay student meeting where a new student center was being discussed. The U. of C. is building a new and expensive minority center, for blacks, gays, latinos (the most expensive construction per square foot on campus, we were told, even after including the advanced nuclear research facilities we have).

The meeting, thrown by a university bureaucrat, and apparently the nth meeting on this subject, was at first obscure to me as to its purpose because the language was so indirect, pc, and esoteric. Eventually it came out: the blacks don't want the gays in the same building with them...

It took fifty minutes for the word "homophobia" to be raised in connection with "persons of color."

An uncomfortable pause.

Then an immediate backtrack: perhaps it's only that a few individuals failed to see how their actions could be perceived to be homophobic. There was also some unpleasant ruminations as to why the black student association did not raise objections until after the project and funding had been approved. Could it be that they calculated they'd be more likely to win approval for the project that way--but that they never had any intention of sharing the building? (gasp). No, it couldn't be.

Long disquisitions on the difficulties of being black, and how what is making them uncomfortable is losing their safe space--with their people, people of color: sharing it with queers is not the issue, but once again not having a safe space (i.e. it's not that you're gay, but that you're a cracker).

Some unpleasant discussion of floor plans followed: But we'd be confined to the third floor--wouldn't they be okay with that? (Apparently not.)

Somehow this hasn't made it into the press, and as the bureaucrat said, this is "not one of those issues that would be helped by a vote."

Also, one has to have some respect for the virtues of the bureaucrat in steering through this minefield. At one point he said, people of the two communities need to talk with one another, and of course there are a wide variety of views in each group, it's not monolithic, and there are many who belong to both communities, and he looked around. Unfortunately, there were no persons of color in the room. I think that took some face to pull off.

I wonder when this thing will finally get so ridiculous donors will stop giving money, but South Park hasn't caught up with the donors yet.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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