Cavalier Diversity

, Andrew P. Connors, Leave a comment

A lot is said every day about the obstacles that minorities
face in our society. A homosexual may walk around in fear
every day hiding his orientation, hoping that no one notices
that he is different from most others. An
African American, likewise, may feel like an outsider in a
country that is predominantly white. Being neither gay nor
black, I cannot make any claims as to the validity of these
feelings, but unbeknownst to most I am a minority in my own

You see, a few years ago I was smitten with what
many in academia might call a sickness. One day I awoke to
find myself thinking that the Communist Manifesto was a
steaming pile of crap. The next day I found myself reading
Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. In the following
weeks, I read every Ayn Rand book I could get my hands on.

When I reached college the affliction grew much worse. I
came to Mr. Jefferson’s university expecting to find
students and faculty accepting his self-evident truths and
embracing their logical ends, but instead I found students
and faculty embracing intolerance and ignorance. Every day
I go to work in a climate that finds my ideas and my very
existence to be a showcase of intolerance and injustice.

In many ways I am just like the homosexual—with the
important exception that I am not attracted to other
men. But like the homosexual that asks for acceptance, I
too ask for the same. Today I am coming out of the closet.
I am a conservative, and I reject the ultra-liberal slant
prevalent in every facet of my college life.

At the University of Virginia, you can see it everywhere
you go. The omnipresent Minority Rights Coalition seems to
be preaching Marxism at every turn, and there’s not a day
that goes by that I don’t see a flyer promoting (implicitly or
explicitly) the eternal class struggle.

problem extends well beyond student groups, and this
ultra-liberal invective has firmly planted its roots within
the institution itself. University subdivisions like the
Office of African American Affairs, the E-school’s Office
of Minority Programs, and the Office of Equal Opportunity
do nothing more than dole out privileges to a select group
under the malevolent guise of the ultra-liberal rationale;
meanwhile, administrators do everything possible to promote their skewed goal
of “diversity” without understanding what actual diversity is.

Meanwhile, intellectual discussions are constantly mired in
liberal name-calling. At the inaugural meeting of the
Individual Rights Coalition, Student Council President
Daisy Lundy made an appearance so that she could compare
everyone in the room to the Ku Klux Klan. There is no
tolerance or respect for my views from those like Ms. Lundy
that disagree with me; while those people have every right
to disagree, it would be much more conducive to an
educational atmosphere if they used reasoned persuasion and
argumentation rather than resorting to elementary-school

In conjunction, it would also be nice if the
administration would drop the doublespeak and start
accepting real diversity of all sorts. They should truly work to
achieve a non-combative atmosphere in which tolerance (but
not necessarily agreement) is a virtue and name-calling is
left on the elementary-school playground where it belongs.

Perhaps the administration can take to heart the fact that
people are legitimately offended when a person is removed
from a university-sponsored event because of his skin
. Perhaps organizations like the Minority Rights
Coalition can stop looking at arbitrary characteristics and
start looking at individual character. Instead of a
Cultural Fluency Center, perhaps this university needs an
Analytical Thought and Reasoned Discourse Center. It could
really be something: one room at the university where
people could actually discuss, debate, and learn in a
tolerant atmosphere, unlike the rest of the university.

Connors is a 4th-year undergraduate in engineering at the University of Virginia.