Being in the haven of liberalism that is Northern California, and being a college student, every day I walk past at least 20 posters and flyers imploring the students at Stanford to actively strive for more diversity in our professors and grad students.
This never bothered me, until today.
Why did this suddenly bother me? Instead of passively ignoring the posters, as I normally do, I read the poster that someone who was running for student government posted. One of the main things that this girl was promoting, was that she would devote her efforts to try to make sure that the university would try to diversify the professors and graduate students.
What did I do after reading this?
I though about what professors I have had in the 3 quarters that I've been here.
Here are the nationalities of the professors I've had so far:
How about the TA's that I've had?
Apparently, I'd be wrong in calling this diverse
Obviously, my experiences are different from people at other colleges, but why are people calling for more diversity in a school that, as demonstrated above, is very diverse? Closer inspection of the posters leads to the understanding that 25% of professors are female, and that Blacks and Native Americans are supposedly underrepresented.
Although the people who posted the posters are free to disagree, diversity is more then black and white, or male versus female. Isn't it more important that a population has had a diverse set of experiences, instead of having an equal mix of caucasians, blacks, asians, and other races? As an example, I am white. My roommate is black. However, we are both rich, privileged kids from the suburbs.
I might not know everything about diversity, but that right there sure as fuck isn't diversity
Additionally, does anyone ever tell historically black colleges to diversify? For what reasons is a school that is 75% white not diverse, but a school that is 75% black fine? The problem with a lack of diversity is that one is not exposed to enough viewpoints. This is a problem that America needs to address, as it fuels the fire for hatred of Islam, anti-Semitism, racism, classism, xenophobia, and many other problems that we have in our society currently.
The guise of diversity shouldn't be used as an excuse to blindly prevent one group of people from attending college, yet allow another group to attend. If one wants to be surrounded by true diversity, one would need to look at a person's actual experiences and lack of experiences, and what they have and haven't learned in their life, and what they have and haven't seen, not whether they're a member of an underrepresented minority, whatever that exactly means. Diversity isn't a tool for improving the societal position of a group of people, but instead, it should be a tool for educating people, encouraging dialog, and reaching a greater understanding of people who are different from you.
Note: This node isn't about the merits of affirmative action, it is solely about the realization that the type of diversity that American colleges strive for isn't really diversity.