Were there too many people at your graduation?
These days, ceremonies are sometimes small.
That’s because they’re separated by race.
And income level.
So it goes at New York’s prestigious Columbia University.
For the Class of 2021, the private Ivy League research university will offer (supplemental) virtual graduation ceremonies for each of the following:
- American Indian
- First-generation and/or low income
The school calls the events “Multicultural Graduation Ceremonies.”
As noted by The College Fix, the proceedings cover graduates from Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, General Studies, and Barnard College.
Columbia’s webpage invites intimacy-lovin’ participants thusly:
This registration page is for any graduating seniors of our undergraduate schools who would like to participate as graduates in our virtual ceremonies. Complementing our school- and University-wide ceremonies, these events provide a more intimate setting for students and guests to gather, incorporate meaningful cultural traditions and celebrate the specific contributions and achievements of their communities.
The concept of community has certainly changed.
It used to reference a shared geographical area where people looked out for one another. Now, it seems, the term refers to complete strangers with possibly nothing in common but the shade of their skin.
Nonetheless, the communities will be coming online the week of April 25th.
And what if you’re gay and Asian and low-income?
- Native Graduation: Sunday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. EDT
- Lavender Graduation (LGBTQIA+ community): Monday, April 26 at 4:00 p.m. EDT
- Asian Graduation: Tuesday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m. EDT
- FLI Graduation (First-generation and/or low income community): Tuesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. EDT
- Latinx Graduation: Thursday, April 29 at 6:00 p.m. EDT
- Black Graduation: Friday, April 30 at 4:00 p.m. EDT
Despite the call to community and the flexibility of the schedule, not everyone’s psyched:
Racially and sexually segregated graduation ceremonies. One of the 'best' universities in the world. 2021.
— Mercy Muroki (@MercyMuroki) March 6, 2021
Society’s taken an interesting turn: Previously, segregation was considered catastrophic — Dr. Martin Luther King called it “morally wrong and sinful.”
Also once again out of favor: colorblindness.
Per antiracism (according to CNN), failure to see color is a “microaggression.”
Cartoon Network seems to agree:
As the video instructs, “See color. Be antiracist.”
Online response to Columbia’s veritable smorgasbord of ceremonies varied:
So what? It is a multicultural event: one culture per day.
— Neal Sutherland (@Nealbrus) March 7, 2021
These are secondary graduation events per affinity/support groups. These groups matter, because they show one is not alone. I attended mine at Harvard, after the main graduation ceremony, and it was wonderful! Maybe a little research from your part would help.
— J😷se! (@jandrade) March 7, 2021
This is a bit misleading. These are cultural ceremonies that occur as smaller, informal events alongside the general commencement ceremony for everyone. Though my dad thought it degrading, as a low income student at my US uni I attended the FLI ceremony & it was awesome!
— Matt J. Allen (@Matt_J_Allen) March 7, 2021
Ooh wow so progressive. Cant really understand the hate to be honest. If people of color, low income and gays don’t want to associate with dirty whites they shouldn’t have to. Go New York
— Code Butcher (@code_butcher) March 7, 2021
This surely is fake. I can’t believe this is really true. Really?
— JK (@JoshuaGeorgia) March 7, 2021
Whatever your thoughts on the enactment of diversity via…university(?)…don’t expect it to trend down any time soon:
It’s on other campuses as well. https://t.co/BQjbbina5v
— Mojave (@Mojave19) March 7, 2021
America’s communities are communing.
Call it a community college.
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