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“Diversity talk” is no longer effective

The over-emphasis of ethnic diversity does not effectively combat racism.   |   flickr.com
 

 

A dialogue over the importance of diversity has been prominent on Biola’s campus for months now, if not years. Any student who has taken part in this conversation has been left to process a flood of information pertaining to their impact on race relations in America. After eight years of our first African-American president, one would think positive race relations would be at an all-time high. But is this the case? No matter how you may view our previous president, we can all agree race relations in America are regressing to a period when the equality, liberty and justice of all Americans were not upheld.

A divided nation

While quoting Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln famously declared, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.” In the spirit of his statement, our civic duty requires us to reconcile with one another. However, our duty is not just to the country. Jesus claimed in Matthew 12:25, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.” Not only are we charged with a civic duty to restore relations between races, but as followers of Christ, obligated to address the regressive ideology eating away at the inside of this country. However, the way we as both Americans and Christians have have approached this parasite is only deteriorating what progress we have made.  

Refusing to acknowledge a problem with a friend eats away at the foundation of the relationship. The same is true when it comes to relations between groups of people. Through the last few years, students across America have been told the solution to restoring relations is to regulate our actions. Colleges across America have regulated the actions of their student body to avoid any chance of public offensive behavior. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, nearly 40 percent of college campuses hold their students to policies which infringe on first amendment rights. Trying to suppress an ideology does nothing but strengthen it in the shadows. In the same way, refusing to address a tumor only leads to the growth of something despicable, refusing to combat racism brings about the same end.

The root of the issue

Censorship is not just thriving on college campuses but ravaging students’ lives as well. The rise of political correctness has validated a fallacy that we as both Christians and Americans have fallen for. This false narrative asserts that being a victim grants moral superiority to an individual, purely based on their victim status. The easiest way to claim a victim status is to demonize the other side. If everyone else is an oppressor, then the only logical conclusion is you are the oppressed. The rise of diction like “toxic-whiteness,” “white-privilege” and “white influenza” only demonizes those of a race, bestowing moral authority to anyone without white skin. But is not this the essence of racism? The claim white voices must be shut down within this conversation in order to end the problems of this nation is ineffective in addressing the root of the issue. Unfortunately, this millennial America has regressed to a haven of safe spaces and censorship, where those combating racism have done it by preaching the intellectual exclusion of contradicting ideas.

We cannot continue to combat racism by creating division through demonization. As both Christians and Americans, our job is to continue to live alongside one another showing the love of Christ, and diligently pursuing truth above all else by ending this censorship and division which allows racist actions to thrive, unexposed, in the dark.

 

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Sarah

    I would encourage the author of this piece to speak with people of color on campus about their lived experiences, before declaring that "diversity talk" is no longer effective. I would propose that race relations are not "regressing"...the injustices that minority communities experience have always been great, however, the white community is now being forced to pay attention to these realities in the age of the internet/cell phone. March 31, 2017

  2. N/A

    Dear author, 

    Thank you for unequivocally showing the Biola community why MORE and consistent "diversity-talk" and actions are completely necessary to dismantle and understand the toxic, ignorant, arrogant, obstinate, harmful, ethnocentric AND biblically incompatible views expressed in this article. As a person of caucasian descent, I'm concerned that this article is less about a humble posture of understanding and articulating the issues at hand and rather more about expressing one's vague, cursory, illogical opinion that seeks to be heard rather than to listen.  

    April 1, 2017

  3. Kylea

    This article reads as if no person of color was consulted. If we as white people cannot handle criticism in the way that we regard race, what does that say about us? Before we can claim we are the victims of conversations about race, we need to hear the why the conversations are happening because our brothers and sisters of color are hurting. We need to be humble enough to listen even if that means hearing things that make us uncomfortable. We are not regressing, we as white people are simply just no longer able to turn away from issues of race that make us so uncomfortable. April 1, 2017

  4. Leina

    Unfortunately, this article just reinforces the feeling that Biola is okay with turning a blind eye to the issues that plague so many brothers and sisters while also claiming to think biblically about everything. Racism has been and always will be an issue, so we should always be vigilant and willing to engage in conversation about this topic. Furthermore, we should always be searching for our own biases and prejudices in our own lives. April 1, 2017

  5. Josh

    As a white male and a recent grad of Biola I find this piece to be extremely misguided and I'll-informed and, if anything, this point of view proves the exact opposite of what you are trying to argue; you plead to get to the center of the issue, but how do we do that without engaging in talks on diversity? I'd like to say more but I feel as if doing that in this particular arena would do little good. April 2, 2017

  6. Steve

    Jackson, you nailed it. The problem is very evident when the previous comments are read, "This false narrative asserts that being a victim grants moral superiority to an individual, purely based on their victim status. The easiest way to claim a victim status is to demonize the other side. If everyone else is an oppressor, then the only logical conclusion is you are the oppressed. The rise of diction like “toxic-whiteness,” “white-privilege” and “white influenza” only demonizes those of a race, bestowing moral authority to anyone without white skin. But is not this the essence of racism? The claim white voices must be shut down within this conversation in order to end the problems of this nation is ineffective in addressing the root of the issue."
    It would seem that if all White people (who are certainly guilty of racism because of their skin color) would just shut up, and let themselves be abused by all "People of Color", then they would be free from their sin. I don't know, but that just sounds like pure racism to me. April 5, 2017

  7. Joseph

    To say it is "no longer effective" might be a step too far. The tone it has taken in recent years certainly reflects one of destruction more than construction. There appears to be little space for a conversation to occur as certain sides insist their points must be accepted in order for dialogue to begin.

    All in all, for such a short piece, very well done. I would like to think this would encourage more discussion on campus but other comments do not seem to indicate as much. April 6, 2017

  8. Alex

    Okay, for one, I am white (no way around that). I'm not racist. Therefore, being white ≠ racism (in any manner).

    That said, comment 2 - can I challenge you to explain the logical fallacy presented with this article? What's biblically incoherent?

    Seriously, I would like to hear/understand the statements your are making. May 24, 2017

  9. Sammy

    This article is GREAT! Offended readers need not look further beyond their own biases for what needs to change. I'm not white, nor black, but I have white friends and I have black friends. There is some hidden political agenda that wants to push our country back into a race war and spark anger among both sides. Somehow Millennials feel entitled speak about slavery because they WERE TOTALLY THERE AND UNDERSTAND IT better than any other generation.

    Why is that children of different races, skin colors and backgrounds can all get along on the playground, regardless of having serious conversations on race relations? Have they engaged in serious racial dialogue prior to freeze tag? Are they learned in black and white American history? NO. These are all ideologies developed, taught, and instigated by groups who want people to categorize others based on their skin color, both whites, and blacks.

    Dear people of darker skin color, do you think forcing the lighter-skinned people of today to acknowledge your increased melanin levels will really make you feel any better about your life, ancestors, reality, God or Jesus?

    Dear people of lighter skin color, do you think holding "special" dialogues and giving people "preferential treatment" based on their higher MELANIN counts makes you a superior human? Or do you just like treating MELANIN-dense people differently, because in your mind they "really are different" & they "really need you to make it."

    So who are the real racists here? Who really makes differentiating others according to skin-color the issue? July 28, 2017

  10. colored person you're probably afraid of

    There isn't racism towards white people. Our problem is that White people claim that there is no problem because it's the 21st century and everyone is equal. Open your eyes morons. Our country is in the midst of a race war because ya'll keep trying to be color blind. January 17, 2018

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