The Weekly Peeve

By on February 11, 2009

The Webster’s dictionary defines diversity as “the inclusion of different race and cultures.” I’m all for the action of diversity at QU, but I can’t stand when people overuse the word. In fact, the word “diversity” does more to separate the community than it does to bring us together.

Don’t get me wrong here, I do think QU should be as diverse as possible, but when different organizations or people start to overuse the word, it does more harm than good.

While wandering Quinnipiac, I often see signs for the Black Student Union or Multicultural Affairs. Now, just for a second, can you imagine if a group of students wanted to start a “White Student Union?” Or perhaps we started celebrating a “White History Month?” What would happen? Would the school allow it? How quickly would the press show up on campus? Would the group host events for the Caucasians on campus to collect and congregate (whew, that was a lot of C-words)?

Picture WET, White Entertainment Television, continually running episodes of “MacGyver” and “Walker, Texas Ranger” for 20 solid hours every day. (The other four hours are designated to Billy Mays infomercials.)

Seriously though, I think that the fact that more and more groups are founded to remember a heritage or to promote a race or tradition does more to segregate. If we were to just forget about “diversity” and live life together, wouldn’t that make for a better community? In my mind, the answer is yes.

Whomever you voted for last November, it’s hard to ignore the fact that President Barack Obama racked up the African-American vote.

If he wasn’t half African-American, would it have turned out the same way? We will never know, but it’s something to think about. Race plays such a huge role in our culture, but is usually taken for granted.

I can say without a doubt that at least once a day, with or without you knowing it, you encounter the use of race in some way. “Oh, you know that guy that was in our class.the black one.” or “Which teacher? The Asian one?” or even “That white chick over there!” These aren’t racist in the least, but without the idea of “diversity” we could just as easily say “The one with the green shirt,” and everything would be understood.

I really don’t want this to be a sappy love story where students gather on the quad for one giant hug, but more of a mind-scratcher.

Is “diversity” as beneficial as everyone plays it up to be? Could it really just be another thing standing in the way of moving forward as a community? Whatever your color, creed or beliefs (because it really doesn’t matter), take a moment to think about the role of “diversity” in your life, at QU or elsewhere.

The more we draw lines among the human race, the more we grow apart. The more we isolate ourselves, especially with people that are just like us, the less we can identify with the rest of the population.

It should be universally known that the roles of race, classes and roles in a society are only an issue when a certain group of people are being stepped on or cast aside.

If we can blur the lines that “separate” us all, we would be better off as a world.

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About Andrew Vazzano

The general manager and publisher of The Quinnipiac Chronicle.