Intelligent letter

I just so happened to be patronizing our campus publication The Northern Star, today (Sept. 28) and noticed in the “Issues” section that John Hausmann was pleading, actually begging, for someone to write an intelligent letter to the editor. Today I shall kill two birds with one stone and oblige Mr. Hausmann with my reaction to Kevin Lyons’ article.

The article focused on the proposals of the administration to add a multiculturalism course to the required curriculum as well as institute a plan to add more minority faculty to help further diversify the campus across racial and ethnic lines.

I concur with Mr. Lyons on the opinion that a required course in multiculturalism is a step in the wrong direction. Since my mother is white and my father is black I feel I’m already an expert on the subject. I live the experience daily and a class on the subject would be like a course in breathing. I know exactly how things work on both sides of the coin. Believe me when I say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It doesn’t matter if the dog is white, black, yellow or green.

Before the administration can ram such a requirement down our collective throats they must try to figure out who really needs it. There is an enormous amount of diversity already on campus. Students are here from all over the place. Not all of them wear the blinders that cause cultural ignorance, a.k.a., racism, bigotry, and prejudice. A large percent of students are from the greater Chicagoland area and have criss-crossed past cultural lines all their lives, choosing their mind frames about the other ethnic groups based on their own experiences, not on what they could have learned in a school course. What benefit would they receive from such a course?

Although I agree with Mr. Lyons that a required multiculturalism class would be an exercise in futility I must voice an opposing opinion when he questions whether or not an increase in minority faculty would help to achieve the goal of unity through diversity. I am of Irish, German and African heritage. The dominating factor of who I perceive myself to be is the fact that my skin is one of the many shades of a black man. Mr. Lyons sees the superficial at best. He obviously doesn’t understand that plight of a young black male in today’s society. He doesn’t understand the inherent benefits one has when he can identify with his professor. I see you don’t realize that to a college age black man (who has a better chance of being incarcerated or killed by another black man, than graduating high school let alone making it to and through college) alleged role models come a dime a dozen. One only need look at the NBA, NFL, or the major leagues. A realistic everyday role model would be a professor whose class would inspire success in a young student. Who cares who can dunk a basketball? Even I can dunk a basketball. It would impress me a hundred times more to see a 6’6″ black man who could teach my calculus class. Let me ask you this Mr. Lyons, “Do you think you could do as well in your studies, let alone even feel comfortable, if you were in a class with all black students and you were the only white kid?” I dare you to say it wouldn’t affect you in the least, because then I can call you a liar.

An increase in minority faculty members would inherently lead to an increase in minority student self-esteem, which would translate to an increase in minority graduation rates, which in turn would increase overall graduation rates, which is what the administration wants, isn’t it?

Minorities as authorities is what would serve this campus best, at least from my multicultural perspective.

Daniel Sorge


Finance major