Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Racially segregated college graduation ceremonies: Are we nuts?

In one of its early school desegregation decisions, the United States Supreme Court expressed the hope that the day would come when there would not be black schools and white schools, but just schools. Now, nearly 70 years after the Court’s historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, America is drifting back toward racial segregation.

In recent years, colleges have begun sponsoring segregated graduation ceremonies for favored racial groups. At least one school even has a special graduation ceremony for LGBTQ students.

Of course, the colleges don’t describe these ceremonies as segregated. Rather, in the spirit of the Nazi propagandists, these racially exclusive ceremonies are called affinity events.

Of course, minority students can attend the general graduation ceremonies that are open to everyone, but only the favored groups get their own special graduation celebration.

When I was a child, the movie theater in my hometown was racially segregated. African-Americans could only attend the movies on Sunday evenings. I still remember groups of Black kids walking across the railroad tracks from the north side of town to watch movies that I could see on any day of the week. Could these racially segregated movie nights be properly labeled as affinity events?

Of course, woke academics would say there is a big difference 
between racial segregation in the 1950s and today’s racially segregated graduation ceremonies. But I am not so sure.

Once a university begins offering benefits and privileges to students based on race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, where does it stop? ? How different is a racially exclusive graduation ceremony from a whites-only fraternity or sorority?

A college education has become very expensive. It can cost a quarter of a million dollars to get a degree from an elite university. How do you suppose students in non-favored groups feel about their tuition money being used to subsidize race-based graduation ceremonies for students in favored racial groups?

It is the mission of the universities to prepare their students to thrive in a racially and culturally diverse society. Holding special graduation ceremonies based on race, ethnicity or sexual orientation is contrary to that mission.

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