Saturday, October 22, 2005

True Diversity/Multiculturalism

I am reading like 8 different books right now. One of them is The End of Education (Redefining the Value of School) by Neil Postman. In one section, he talks about how ridiculous it is to teach people of different ethnicities about their ethnic historical figures simply because of their ethnicity to enhance the students' self esteem.

Postman states, "we do not read Gabriel Garcia Marquez to make Hispanic students happy, but because of the excellence of his novels." "We read Whitman and Langston Hughes for the same reason, not because the former was a homosexual and the latter African American. Do we learn about Einstein because he was Jewish? Marie Curie because she was Polish? Aristotle because he was Greek? Confucius because he was Chinese?..."

I like how he concludes this line of thinking..."In the story of diversity, we do not learn of these people to advance a political agenda or to raise the level of students' self esteem. We learn about these people for two reasons: because they demonstrate hot the vitality and creativity of humanity depend on diversity, and because they have set the standards to which civilized people adhere. The law of diversity thus makes intelligent humans of us all."

For me, this is especially relevant because I work in the public school system, but I think it applies to many in this "diverse" world we live in particularly with the cultural relativism and Political Correctness around nowadays. Now, some would dismiss my comments (and Postman's) because we were part of the racist problem-we're both white, and therefore racist. But I think this would be unfair, and definately not the case for me. Well, at least for the racist part.

We mus tcelebrate greatness in humanity no matter what the color, sex, or creed of a person. There are many artists that produce good art, but that I would not endorse there lifestyle. I think there must be some sort of distinction (or discrimination?) with this [I do not think all discrimination is bad-check the definitions]. Just a few thoughts.

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