Tuesday, December 17, 2002

How not to reduce campus tensions

This is the title of an article long ago prepared by the National Association of Scholars. Now the New York Civil Rights Coalition agrees. In a Washington Times article yesterday, this group concludes a study of programs designed to help minority studies students is harming them instead.

Segregated housing, courses, and programs disseminate poisonous stereotypes and falsehoods about race and ethnicity. They limit interaction between minority and non-minority students, and reward separatist thinking They deny equal interaction on campus. Although they claim to have minorities' interests at heart, these colleges in fact take the civil-rights movement giant steps backward.

"Colleges and universities have a mania with group identity," said Thor Halvorssen, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "Colleges are underlining the differences between students instead of building bridges. What they are doing is promoting Balkanization, not a humane environment."