Letter: Race-based awards wrong

I am amazed at such open, aggressive, and state-sponsored racism as described in “Blago signs for more diverse school staff” in Friday’s DI. The legislation in question suggests the skin color of our faculty is as important (or more important) than accomplishment, intellect or ability. Giving incentives to individuals purely based on skin color is blatantly racist, and the ideals behind such actions are a total sham.

In the article, Representative Kevin McCarthy says, “(With diversity) the students will be able to see things through many different viewpoints and backgrounds that they may not have previously experienced, and that’s what college is all about,” suggesting that we, as students, need to see things from “black perspective,” “Hispanic perspective,” etc. This proves the idea of “diversity” includes all the horrific elements of racism – that an individual’s identity is dependent on ethnic heritage and is the source of one’s ideas and beliefs. The idea that an individual’s value is prescribed by race is exactly the mentality possessed by the Nazis, the slaveholders or any ethnically cleansing regime.

We cannot continue to treat individuals as part of an ethnic whole and still expect the public to become racially colorblind and at the same time not confuse the perfectly valid concept of racial integration with diversity. The idea that “college is all about” segregated viewpoints is particularly vile.

To achieve a truly racially integrated society, we must become colorblind, and the government cannot pander to minorities by giving away race-based scholarships and incentives. To believe people cannot earn these scholarships on their own because of racial status is revolting. Just as we would be repulsed by state-sponsored white-only incentives and scholarships, we must be equally repulsed by any program meant to treat individuals as part of an ethnic whole. To reduce a man or woman to his or her skin color is exactly opposite of what college really is about: Knowledge, reason and equality.

Ryan Dawson

sophomore in engineering