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Taken from SFPA on January 27th, 2011.
Following last year’s free speech debacle and backlash from the ‘Compton Cookout‘, UC-San Diego vowed to combat hate and discrimination while promoting diversity, social justice, and equality. Along those lines, UCSD will host its Teaching Diversity Conference today.
Chancellor Marye Anne Fox praised the conference:
“Diversity is an integral part of UC San Diego’s excellence and this event helps illustrate the university’s commitment to social justice and equality,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “As we celebrate UC San Diego’s 50th Anniversary, we continue to focus on programs and policies that enhance the campus climate and broaden the richness and diversity of our community and curriculum.”
Interestingly enough, the press release mentioned this:
The Teaching Diversity Conference, hosted by UC San Diego’s John Muir College and the Cross Cultural Center, is an all-day event where educators, students and alumni will discuss how to create and sustain a community that acknowledges and respects the diversity of all students.
“Many of the people attending the conference want to know how to be more effective in teaching diversity,” Lin said. “We will be asking students how their perspectives changed as a result of having taken diversity courses. Teachers will share their best practices and alumni will describe how they how they used knowledge about diversity in the work world. Our goal is to help UC San Diego sustain a culture of inclusion, respect and excellence.”
The university’s claim that it wants to respect the diversity of all students is blatantly false. It certainly does not extend to those who espouse conservative or pro-Israel views on campus.
I have seen firsthand how the administration fails to promote equality and diversity since hosting David Horowitz last May during Israel Apartheid Week. My cohorts in Tritons for Israel see inconsistency in this rhetoric as well, as the administration has been reluctant to admit the growing threat of anti-Semitism here, at other UC’s, and at campuses nationwide.
While conservative students and Israel advocates see a double standard, many at this campus dismiss it. The Guardian published an editorial last May trivializing the aftermath of the Horowitz-Albarhi exchange:
In retaliation, Young Americans for Freedom, an otherwise unknown, politically conservative student org, invited slimeball pro-Israel commentator David Horowitz to speak on campus that same week. During a question-and-answer session, Horowitz dodged a legitimate request from MSA member Jumanah Albahri to back his claim that terrorists fund her organization. He also bullied Albahri into agreeing she would support a mass genocide of Jews, simplifying the issue into “for or against” language. …
Of course, Jewish students are entitled to feel threatened or upset by recent events on our campus, but it takes quite an imagination to believe that MSA members are out to kill off UCSD’s Jewish population.
But when the Black Student Union and Native American Student Alliance are threatened, the university jumps in to rescue them, even at the expense of free-speech and promotion of well-being for all students. If a conservative or pro-Israel group is being threatened, officials shield themselves off to their concerns.
Students need to wise up about conferences like this one. We are all unique and diverse in our genetic make-up, talents, preferences, viewpoints, and hobbies. It is common sense that everyone is different and diverse. Labels that place us into broad racial categories are demeaning and unnecessary.
Instead of identifying–and thus dividing–people among racial and class lines, why not embrace intellectual diversity–the true diversity that exists in society?
Gabriella Hoffman is the Advertising Manager at The California Review. She studies at the University of California, San Diego, and is a member of the Student Free Press Association