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celebration of diversity poll

In celebrating diversity, we are...
going too far
 20%  [ 1 ]
getting it just about right
 40%  [ 2 ]
not going far enough
 40%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 5

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Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1324
celebration of diversity poll  Reply with quote  

Immediately after the Sept. 11th attacks, when most people were reeling in shock and disbelief, I had to shepherd my classes through that horrible time.

I first heard about it from a fellow teacher who calmly said, "It's fuckin' World War III, man. They're flying planes into the World Trad Centre." People were talking 50,000 dead. There were a few TVs around the school that were showing those horrific shots of the planes hitting, people jumping, and all the rest.

Everyone was in shock.

I counselled my classes through it. I told that them somehow we would get through it. You get the idea, I'm sure.

In the middle of it all, Abdullah -- no, I'm not making the name up -- volunteered that the attacks were justified, the U.S. had it coming... He really upset some of the other kids.

I sent him to the office.

Later on, I got called on the rug for even raising the subject. Directives came from the school board and the principal, telling us not to allow, let alone initiate any discussion of the issue -- that included Current Events classes.

It truned out that somewhere between a third to a half of the student body thought the attacks were justified. I heard kids bragging that they were related to bin Laden. A couple of times I said something because I wouldn't be able to look at myself in a mirror if I didn't, but I knew that I could get in a lot of trouble for disobeying the directives. The Board rationalised the gag order by fear of "diviseness".

Celebrating diversity?

Yes, I know that I am using an extreme example to make a point, but sometimes I miss the sense of living in a coherent society. True, virtually every society is a de facto multicultural society, which is nice, but I think we've gone too far in our de jure celebrations.

Let me clear, this post is NOT about whether diversity is "okay"; it's about what lengths we should or should not go to in "celebrating" it.

Big difference.

Post Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:43 am   View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
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Your example has nothing to do with celebrating diversity. It has more to do with the fact that Canadians and other non-Americans are raised to dislike or hate America. I was raised (in Canada) to believe Americans were a bunch of ignorant assholes, oblivious to the real world since they're so self centered. I'm not exaggerating.

The culprit here is media coverage on both sides of the border. In America, you only hear about what's going on in other countries if there's a disaster, if we're attacking them, or if something remarkably stupid happened. In Canada especially, there's a barrage of American media interspersed with Canadian media. Canadians know what's going on in the States, but the Americans are so oblivious to Canada, it's easy to think they're self centered idiots. (many) Americans are oblivious to the world because they aren't exposed to it.

Now, had the 9/11 attacks occurred when I was in school, would I or any of my friends said they had it coming? I don't think so. Maybe the class clown or rebel would have said something along those lines, but I think the kids in your classes today are growing up more callous and less caring than kids when I was growing up. And kids are cruel bastards to begin with.

If your classroom truly had a diverse mindset, they'd embrace the differences in Canada and America (there are a few, but sometimes you have to squint to see them) and realize that no one "had it coming." They would also, however, realize why some psychotic religious extremists would feel justified in their suicidal attacks.

Disclaimer: there are certainly plenty of ignorant self centered assholes down here in America, but after living here for 12 years or so, I've come to learn the people here are not much different from the people back home.
White and feathery, yet crude and noisy, the chicken is the backbone of our farming community.

Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 6:54 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 301
Location: brooklyn
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A friend of mine said much the same thing, that we brought the attack on ourselves. And while I agree that our presence overseas is an invasive and destructive force much of the time, spreading our culture is a natural byproduct of our prosperity. As such, I couldn't believe the words coming out of her mouth.

Saying that is exactly like saying a girl that wears a short skirt is asking to get raped. It's a horrible thought to have, and I was ashamed that my friend was even capable of it.

However, regarding diversity. We do have problems with moral relativism. For some reason a lot of people refuse to accept that one culture is better than another. And yet it is hard for most to deny that a culture that attempts to integrate and equalize both genders into society is better than one that denies one gender even the most basic rights. Making a value judgement like that is an important thing, something hotly debated. Respecting other cultures is one thing, but when two filipino? -i think it was filipino- men nearly get off a murder convinction because beating the woman they beat to death was somewhat acceptable in their culture, we have a major problem.

it is important politically and legally to make a distinction between good and bad. too much diversity can blur those lines. It can mean the difference between a judgement because of moral convinction and a judgement because of fear of seeming insensitive.

too many chefs spoil the soup. i think there's merit to the argument. however, i acknowledge that the us has made it where it is today by mixing, embracing, even stealing ideas from other cultures.

I think diversity should be celebrated, but perhaps we should also be celebrating knowing ourselves. That doesn't mean heritage, not exactly. But it does mean embracing and reinforcing certain mores that all can agree upon.

I don't know. just thining here. Tammy Bruce wrote quite a bit about diversity/moral relativism is The New Thought Police and The Death of Right and Wrong, both of which I reccommend.
"Methaphors are not to be trifled with."

Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:19 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
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