How do you achieve unity?
And do many people still want it?
Among some who espouse togetherness, it appears they hope to accomplish it via division.
(A) A society that wants to be unified
(B) A society that wants to be segregated
(C) A society that plans to be unified by being segregated
Whichever one you picked, this story’s for you.
At Orange, California’s Chapman University, students will get to graduate in July among their own kind — not as Americans, but as races and those bound by shared challenges or interests.
Per the ad, over two weekends, six graduation ceremonies will be held for these particularly-positioned people:
- Black Graduation Celebration
- APIDA Graduation Celebration
- Lavendar Graduation Celebration
- disability Graduation Celebration
- Middle Eastern Graduation Celebration
- Latinx Graduation Celebration
If you’re unfamiliar with “APIDA,” here’s the Library of Virginia:
We use the term APIDA, which stands for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, as a pan-ethnic classification that intentionally includes South Asians (Desi) as part of the community. There is a great diversity of identities and ethnicities encompassed under the APIDA umbrella, including East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander.
The Instagram ad calls out, “Class of 2021, don’t miss out on our annual Cultural Graduation celebrations — coming at y’all this month…”
“Cultural graduation celebrations are additions to the university-wide commencement ceremony,” it states. “Students are free to register for these additional celebrations to share the joy of graduation with their friends and family if they choose to.”
Not everyone on social media was into it.
One user commented, “Segregation is not inclusive. This is the opposite of inclusive. You’re literally dividing people into their group identities. Straight out of the Jim Crow playbook.”
Another defended the school:
“Chapman is trying its best to incorporate more minorities into their school, and right now it’s trying to showcase those who have systematically been at a disadvantage their entire lives and thinking that’s something that shouldn’t be celebrated and is ‘segregation’ is quite dense of you. Sure, opinions are fine, but once you start to go against your hardworking classmates, that’s when things get sticky.”
Someone made the correction, “It’s literally not segregation…you wouldn’t understand because you probably have never been a POC in between full of white people.”
In defense of the offering, school Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jerry Price commented to Campus Reform as follows:
“[The services are] held to honor the dedication and resilience of students from underrepresented communities. … [There are] no restrictions on student participation.”
“Students of any race who identify as allies of these groups,” he explained, can attend.
But College Republicans President Justin Buckner sees it as a bad sign:
“There is no separate graduation for exceptional academic achievement, but one for someone’s skin color. The lack of attention to exceptional individual achievement while simultaneously only looking through the prism of race is concerning for our future.”
Chapman, as you may know, isn’t the first to separate graduates according to race.
As I covered in March, New York’s prestigious Columbia University hosted ceremonies categorized thusly:
- American Indian
- First-generation and/or low income
And segregation seems to be surging:
Ivy League School Offers Rock Climbing Class for Everyone But White Students
— RedState (@RedState) February 28, 2021
NYU Student Group Petitions for Black-Only Housing So They 'Can Feel Included' https://t.co/UNvzuFu9FJ
— RedState (@RedState) August 25, 2020
Apropos of being exclusively inclusive, President Joe Biden ran as the candidate who would unite America.
As referenced at the start of this article, some national figures have curious ways of going about that:
Biden on the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre: “Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today.” pic.twitter.com/5F7lGI7Dv6
— Axios (@axios) June 1, 2021
On the other hand, if white supremacy’s so pervasive, it should be recognized and ravaged.
Back to Chapman, if you’re wondering what a “Lavendar’ ceremony is, the Human Rights Campaign lays it out:
Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions…
As for the “disability” group, an Insta follower was upset:
“Why is every ceremony capitalized but Disability? It comes off as unintentionally offensive.”
The school responded, “This title was made in collaboration with our disability studies minor faculty to raise awareness of the use of “people first vs identity first” language, as many individuals who have a disability are not only defined by it…
They weren’t impressed:
“Great, glad they collaborated, but the non-capitalization feels exclusionary to some disabled people (like me) too. Also when explaining disability, try to assume you’re not talking to abled people.”
Eventually, will everyone come together over being apart?
I’d say chances are at least as good as them uniting over not being separate.
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