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Cultural centers propagating, not ending racism

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2003

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08

"If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it."

This quote, by the esteemed Reverend Jesse Jackson, can be found on the African American Cultural Center's homepage. What I find puzzling is the fact that the AACC would want to put up an "inspirational" quote from a minister who's openly admitted to having an illegitimate child. Why on Earth would you want to be associated with such hypocrisy?

Of course, that's not all the AACC does to puzzle people these days. Under the guise of a cultural center, they've managed to hold such pointless activities as "Mr. and Ms. Black UConn."

On the AACC's web page, they claim that the contest is "a fun-filled competition for UConn's African American men and women maintaining a G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher. The event is held during Black History Month and consists of a talent segment, casual wear, evening wear and a question and answer period. Everyone is encouraged to participate."

First of all, by "African American," they mean black. Do not confuse these two terms. For instance, if I had immigrated from Africa yet had the unfortunate coincidence of being white, I would not be allowed to participate.

In fact, the problem with this activity is that it is based entirely upon the color of your skin. If you're black, you're in. If not, you're not allowed. Now let's say that I were to start a contest here on campus called "Mr. and Ms. White UConn." Out of curiosity, how many people do you think would protest this?

The simple fact that you belong to a minority should not entitle you to be racist and get away with it. The AACC should no more be allowed to base entries upon the color of their skin then anything else.

Worse yet, as far as I could tell, the AACC was meant to be some sort of celebration of culture and diversity (and what better way to celebrate being different than by segregating yourselves?). Yet what in Allah's name does Mr. and Ms. Black UConn have to do with anything?

Last I checked, the University of Connecticut was known as an "educational" institution. I don't have a problem paying my money (in the form of my fee bill) to cultural centers that explore the past and celebrate the future. I don't have a problem funding clubs that allow people to express themselves (like the Daily Campus).

I do, however, have a problem when the AACC wastes my time and money with a pageant to pick the most attractive black person on this campus. I fail to see how this constitutes a educational activity. I understand that some contestants talked about the African American culture (again, they mean BLACK, NOT African American).

In order to level the playing field, I've decided that I will be creating a new cultural center: The European American Cultural Center. We will hold such amazing contests as Mr. and Ms. White UConn and White History Month (how does March sound to you?).

Plus, we can all sit around and talk about how much it sucks being a white male. You don't get any special treatment. You don't get any special scholarships. You don't even get a day dedicated to your history. You just get a sexual harassment lawsuit every time you try to talk to a girl.

Of course, if you're black, you can't possibly expect me to let you join and celebrate MY culture.

I know what you're thinking: what about that chick from the Real World: London who was European AND black? Well she's definitely not white, so I'm going to have to say no to that one.

But wait a second - if I turn her away because of the color of her skin, doesn't that qualify as racist?

Yes, but only because I'm white. In reality, it's no more or less racist than the African American Cultural Center (which, from what I've gathered, should be called the Black Americans Cultural Center).

Hey, speaking of hypocritical racism, why don't we instill a new policy here like at the University of Michigan? Except that we'll add an extra 20 points to all white applicants' scores so they have a better chance of getting in. After all, it's not fair that some white people have to grow up in urban environments but don't get any of the extra points that black people do.

So, in conclusion, I'd like to say that I have finally found a way to end racism: I will be completely and utterly racist. When I meet someone with a different color skin than I have, I will make a point to make them feel different than me. That way, they'll know that we're equal.

Now I leave you with a different kind of quote: "Until you become really, in actual fact, a brother to every one, brotherhood will not come to pass."

That one was written by a white guy named Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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