Separation suits the separatists

Kevin Clark

First, let me say that I believe in diversity. I was born in Akron and raised in Kent. Diversity is all that I have ever known. I attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School, instead of its public school counterpart, Davey. I went to Kent Roosevelt High School, which is much like Kent State when it comes to its percentage of black students versus whites. This is why when matters of “diversity” come into play, particularly, Shelley Blundell’s piece, it raises a few red flags.

In her piece, she states that “I propose Kent State and any group associated with it does away with ‘separate’ awards.” What awards are you talking about? The most recent awards event was the Alpha Kappa Mu induction ceremony and the Ebony Achievement awards. I do understand the rationale of believing that competition should be fair across the board, that the person who wins should truly win on the strength of overcoming all competitors. But what do you do when the deck is stacked? How can you win if the dealer has all four aces and another one up his or her sleeve?

Individual organizations such as Black United Students and Alpha Kappa Mu exist to give its members a feeling of adding to a legacy. Integration has led to forward progress among the races, but it has left a lot of traditions in its wake. Bluntly put, the “majority” here in the United States owns the free world. That is why most people wouldn’t bat an eye if there were a “White United Students.” There’s already something like that in existence. It’s called Undergraduate Student Senate. Hell, 90 percent of the curriculum at Kent State is of European descent, so who’s separated from whom?

Individual awards and organizations were created to help recognize the people that mainstream society either deems too controversial or doesn’t give any attention at all. This has been a long-standing thought with the whites in this country. If separation is truly self-imposed, when will someone tell the School of Theatre and Dance to saunter over to Oscar Ritchie to enjoy their plays? When will the Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternal Council take in their black and Latino Greek brothers and sisters? Those organizations have created a distinction for themselves because they’ve gone without.

When a need goes unmet, people take steps in order to fill that need.

In a book titled, Black Theatre, Carlton W. and Barbara J. Molette discuss objectivity and universality. They write, “Eurocentric evaluators assume their own concepts about reality, truth and beauty.” They go on to say that if anyone else has concepts different from the Eurocentric evaluators, then they’re wrong. In other words, like the saying goes – “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.” If you think I’m wrong, ask Chi Omega.

Everyone has already read, watched and blogged on the situation about the sorority and their “blackest Chi Omega” award. If Blundell is correct in her assumption, then this act wasn’t separation – it was inclusion by all means. Something to be accepted and appreciated for the consideration that a white organization would be “ahead of the curve” to appreciate one’s African roots. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Sounds like BUS without the U, huh?

Kevin L. Clark is a sophomore journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].