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Diversity and Inclusion

To be cultivated, obviously, with racial segregation

In order to create a safe space, this programme is open to people of colour only. A similar conversation for white students, faculty and staff is planned for the spring semester. 

You see, it’s a “conversation,” one that’s all about “healing and mutual respect” and “engaging with diverse views.”

I’m actually rather tickled by the notion of students needing a “safe space” at Hamilton College, an elite New York liberal arts college with an endowment of around three-quarters of a billion dollars and where tuition is a mere $46,ooo, excluding room and board. This, after all, is one of the most cossetting and exquisitely PC environments on the face of the Earth. One that boasts an extensive, indeed prodigious, “diversity” apparatus, spanning Kwanzaa, Diwali, Multicultural Week, GLBT History Month, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and a “diversity and social justice project.” Not to mention numerous identity-affirming groups, among them, a Feminists of Colour Collective whose activities include workshops, naturally, and, also naturally, “periodic flash mobs.” Oh, and a Womyn’s Centre – yes, spelled womyn’s - whose “Womyn’s Energy Week” reveals the “creativity, progressiveness and deep thinking” of its participants.


Following unexpected public attention, the segregated “diversity” class has now been cancelled. Says Hamilton’s Director of Diversity Amit Taneja, “My intent was to be inclusive but my phrasing suggested otherwise.” The mistake, you see, was merely one of phrasing and how things may have appeared, i.e., to the uninitiated. Racial segregation being a cornerstone of inclusion, apparently. Despite being obliged to ditch his achingly sensitive ‘no white folk’ policy, Dr Taneja is of course undeterred in his mission:

I think it is a good idea now to pause and reflect on how we structure conversations about race. As a result, I invite all interested members of the community to come to a re-envisioned dialogue this Thursday at 4:15 p.m. to address two central questions: What does a meaningful dialogue about race look like? How can we best structure such a dialogue?

Because if there’s one thing students of the liberal arts really, really need - and need to be billed for - it’s another “dialogue” about race. Or rather, a dialogue about how a dialogue about race might be structured and what that dialogue might look like, should it actually happen.

Update 2:

More background on Dr Taneja and his acolytes can be found here. It starts off sounding clownish, as such people generally do, but a note of authoritarian creepiness may soon become apparent.

Via Kate