Thursday, May 8, 2008

What is diversity?

The question posed in the headline is one I have asked myself over the last few days upon my return from New Hampshire on Tuesday afternoon. The University of New Hampshire inducted 17 alumni, including myself, into its Diversity Hall of Fame last Sunday in a ceremony that was followed by a gala dinner on campus in Durham. I reconnected with two classmates I had not seen since I moved to New York. My parents and good friend Adam joined me at the ceremony, and I truly felt honored to attend. That said; I was shocked and somewhat puzzled to receive a Facebook message from one of my fellow inductees that implies his concept of God disapproves homosexuality.

This person made the argument in the context of people following the "logic of the "Social Justice" movement" and how "this movement is not always aligned with GOD!" This person further pointed to how "the Social Justice movement is now being used to push forward the agenda of homosexuality." And this person concludes the "Bible is clear with this issue, and it is important that we do not start to out-think GOD whose ways and thoughts are much higher than ours!"

The UNH administrators who organized the Diversity Hall of Fame certainly have the best of intentions. They are honorable people with the noblest of intentions to raise the profile of non-white heterosexual people in a state where the population remains more than 90 percent Caucasian. This charge is very honorable. But I do question the process through which the nominees are chosen in the context of this person's homophobic comments. I am a 26-year-old gay man who grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire. I am proud of who I am. And I am equally as proud of the work I did during my undergraduate career to advance inclusion and diversity at UNH. But I fear, however, this person's nomination threatens to make a farce out of an event that promised to celebrate those who advance inclusion and diversity in their respective post-UNH communities. These comments fail to deliver on both of these promises. And university officials should look beyond their fundraising and recruitment goals in future attempts to define diversity. This alum expects nothing less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This story does not surprise me at all, and this is why I'm always frustrated when it comes to discussions around immigration (a left wing cause) because I sympathize with immigrants but I also know that, statistically, a boatload of homophobia comes with those migrations, and from what I've heard they vote homophobically when given the chance on ballot measures.
It is also perfectly logical that the person in your article attacked the social justice movements, because in traditionalists minds God's laws transcend man made laws-- they don't see the struggle for equal rights as a part of their religious practice, but the enforcement, without question, of "God's laws" (usually archaic nonsense from thousands of years ago). But from progressives' standpoint, the struggle for equal rights and nonviolence towards the earth and the animals-- that IS, or is integral to, our religious practice!
John Lennon once wrote a brilliant song called "Women is the Nigger of the World" but it seems to me someone should write a song called "Gays are the Niggers of the World" because people from all over the world love to come to the liberal West and explain how we should be excommunicated from the society. ---=- om=-=-=- Nick