Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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A Hope-Giving Comment from Dr. Kim
Kim is a sharp critic of prevailing approaches to diversity at colleges and universities because they overlook the fundamental role of cultural identity in how people see the world and apply their intellect and creativity. He cites, among other examples, the largely racially based method of measuring and describing population mix — black, white, Asian, Hispanic — and the prevalence of “political correctness” which, according to Kim, stifles honest engagement and hides issues that ought to be aired.
“The way we deal with diversity on American campuses is so superficial that it is dangerous,” Kim says. “The worst of it is that smart young people can see through the superficiality and conclude that diversity is not important or that the shallow, stylized way we deal with cultural competence is sufficient. It is not. In the end we have to understand each other’s humanity.”
May I suggest a paraphrase of this remark:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
All that said, one of the first ways that Dr. Kim can implement his vision is to cease the sorting of incoming students by their race, as is currently done:
And his next step would be to restructure OPAL (Dartmouth’s regrettably — and misleadingly — named Office of Pluralism and Leadership that had a budget somewhere north of $1M the last time that I saw figures) so that it helps us “to understand each other’s humanity” rather than actively working to reinforce the false distinctions that Dr. Kim decries.
We’ll keep an eye on this topic to see if the walk follows the good talk.
Note: Having been in classes with students from China, India and Africa, I wonder how the Admissions Office classifies them? Students from China and India are not Asian-Americans, and students from Zimbabwe are not African-American, are they?
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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