Friday, November 02, 2007

"And now let's confess our sins..."

University of Delaware had a freshman diversity program, which was stopped yesterday after the media started talking about it.

The program materials featured such jewels as describing a racist as "one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States . . . " and saying that "white culture is a melting pot of greed, guys, guns and god. It is a deadly brew.".

Well, isn't it nice that the people who wrote the diversity materials are not some silly multiculturalists claiming that all the cultures are equally good?

Anyway, the main idea of the whole thing was to confess to how bad one was, and then show some improvement.

The program was aimed at all the 7000 students who lived in the dorms. It was totally voluntary, except that everyone seems to have forgotten to mention that to the students. Quite the opposite, resident advisors told the students that it was mandatory. Michael Gilbert, the university's vice president for student life, called the RAs "overzealous". Because excessive zeal is, of course, what all the RAs are usually known for.

(For those who don't know, a RA is usually a senior or grad student who keeps order in the dorm where he or she lives and looks after the other students for money or free lodging. They tend to have classes, social lives and occasionally real jobs, and IME are rarely inclined to do anything they don't absolutely have to do.)

They also asked rather prying questions on students' sexuality. Mind you, at the time when I was a freshman, if any Powers That Be demanded that I open up and answer some overly-inquisitive questions about my sexuality I would have indeed opened up until the Powers That Be first asked me to shut up and then ran out of the room screaming and covering their ears, but you can't do that nowadays anymore. Sexual harassment, you know.

Since the whole thing makes me think about the Soviet culture once again (many things nowadays do, unfortunately), I just have to quote Timur Shaov. My apologies to everyone who cannot read Russian.

Вреден я, не отпираюсь.
Утопил Му-Му я, каюсь.
Всё скажу, во всём сознаюсь,
Только не вели казнить.
Это я бомбил Балканы,
Я замучил Корвалана,
И Александра Мирзаяна
Я планировал убить.

А как выпью политуру,
Так сажусь писать халтуру.
Постамент родной культуры
Я царапаю гвоздём.
Клеветник и очернитель,
Юных девушек растлитель,
И вообще я - врач-вредитель,
Приходите на прием!

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