OUR VIEW: Diversity is necessary for UA to progress

OUR+VIEW%3A+Diversity+is+necessary+for+UA+to+progress

CW Editorial Board

Recently, a SOURCE-registered organization called Students for America First announced that they invited a white nationalist academic named Jared Taylor to campus. They did so in the interest of “ensuring that all social and political views, regardless of how offensive they seem to the general public, are accounted for in the free marketplace of ideas that ought to exist on the university campus,” according to a press release via the organization’s Twitter account. Taylor’s ideas, however, don’t just seem offensive, they are incredibly offensive, and they should be soundly discredited by anyone with a conscience and a basic understanding of science.

The talk has been billed with the subject line “Diversity: Is It Good For America?” Though it is incredibly frustrating and disheartening to live in a time where this must be stated with such frequency, this Editorial Board would like to provide a resounding “yes” to answer Taylor’s question. We wish only to emphatically deny his disgustingly hateful claims that he shrouds in the language of courtesy and academia.

Taylor describes himself not as a white supremacist, but rather, as a “racial realist.” He believes in voluntary racial segregation and that there is a marked difference in the intelligence of the races, with Hispanic people and black people being at the bottom of his totem pole of his pseudo-science. He has directly stated that “when blacks are left to their own devices, Western civilization – any kind of civilization – disappears.”

Diversity benefits each and every one of us at this University in countless, immeasurable ways: it expands our viewpoints, our ability to empathize, and our understanding of the world around us. We come to college to learn and to challenge our existing perspective, which we cannot do if we only interact with people who are like us. A racially-homogenous college experience simply would not be a college experience.

At UA especially, diversity within our student body is a critical component of moving forward as an institution. In a recent email to the student body from President Stuart Bell regarding Taylor’s invitation to campus, Bell stated that “hate and bigotry have no place at The University of Alabama.” Unfortunately, though, this has been disproven time and time again.

Hate and bigotry are alive and well at UA; it seems we have to ask an unabashedly vocal racist to leave the student body at least once a semester. We sit in buildings named after slave owners and eugenicists. Students of color on this campus could tell you the incidents of both casual and overt racism that they have had to endure while enrolled. UA has a long way to go before it becomes the beacon of equality and acceptance that Dr. Bell wants it to be, and recruiting and maintaining a diverse student body is an instrumental part of that journey. How could we move forward without the voices of people actually tangibly affected by racism, anyway?

Jared Taylor’s event will happen, and students should acknowledge the event however they see fit – by not attending, by protesting, by holding a counter-discussion. Whatever we choose to do, though, we should remain united as a student body, sure in the knowledge that Taylor’s views are abhorrent and incorrect. Diversity has made UA what it is today, and we cannot achieve any forward progress without it.

Our View represents the consensus of the CW Editorial Board.