Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

each has won, and all must have prizes

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 30, 2006

Aggie Klansman: Why are you burning that cross on your front lawn?

Aggie Affirmative Action Officer: Because it wouldn't fit in the sun porch.

Texas A&M University has a Department of Diversity featuring a refreshingly candid on-line dictionary of terms relevant to its mission. No smudge of pretended even-handedness mars the purity of its moral vision. By definition, the pertinent sins can be committed only by whites against non-whites, only by Christians against non-Christians, only by straights against gays, only by the Right against the Left. Whatever else might be said about this position, it certainly simplifies matters. Some specimens:

Institutional racism: The network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that create advantages and benefits for Whites, and discrimination, oppression, and disadvantage for people from targeted racial groups. The advantages created for Whites are often invisible to them, or are considered "rights" available to everyone as opposed to "privileges" awarded to only some individuals and groups.

It's tough being part of a secret plot that creates invisible advantages, but it works very well indeed. Come to think of it, almost all the advantages produced by this racket are invisible -- as is the conspiracy itself -- which only goes to show how skilfully managed it is. No wonder they're on the defensive.

White privilege: The concrete benefits of access to resources and social rewards and the power to shape the norms and values of society which Whites receive, unconsciously or consciously, by virtue of their skin color in a racist society. Examples include the ability to be unaware of race, the ability to live and work among people of the same racial group as their own, the security of not being pulled over by the police for being a suspicious person, the expectation that they speak for themselves and not their entire race, the ability to have a job hire or promotion attributed to their skills and background and not affirmative action.

Let's see if I have this right: in a racist society, one of the rewards the beneficiaries receive is the ability to be unaware of race. So, Your Honor, can you please tell the defendant what behavior could possibly call for a plea of not-guilty?

Collusion: Thinking and acting in ways which support the system of racism. White people can actively collude by joining groups which advocate white supremacy. All people can collude by telling racist jokes, discriminating against a Person of Color, or remaining silent when observing a racist incident or remark. We believe that both Whites and People of Color can collude with racism through their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

OK, it appears non-whites can sin, in a sense, by failing to denounce the sins of whites forcefully enough. If that doesn't show open-mindedness I don't know what does.

Stereotype: A preconceived or oversimplified generalization about an entire group of people without regard for their individual differences. While often negative, stereotypes may also be complementary [well, yes, we might agree that the spelling in this dictionary predictably complements the ideology]. Yet even positive stereotypes can have a negative impact and can feed into prejudice.

Ain't that the truth?

Identity Politics -- of which affirmation action and enforced diversity are two repellent outgrowths -- is, as the old saw has it, the disease for which it purports to be the cure. In a curious way it reinforces the denigration it deplores. To heap all blame for society's ills on Group X is in effect to restrict moral responsibility to Group X, which is tantamount to saying that only Group X are fully human persons with the dignity of moral discretion. That Group X in this case should be white heterosexual Christians is more than ironic, it's a joke never meant to be made.

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Sep. 23, 2010 11:07 AM ET USA

    Good Lord above! Is this the way these people think all the time? Oh, yeah, I remember...I used to be an atheist, too. Ewww...

  • Posted by: voxfem - Sep. 22, 2010 7:55 PM ET USA

    May God have mercy on their souls. Not so much for the slander against Pope Benedict (Jesus said that would be ours and we should rejoice) but because they reject the Truth so completely.