- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 16, 2021

In the old days, they’d call it segregation.  Nowadays separate but equal is considered woke – especially on college campuses.

Take for example Columbia University. Fox News reports that in addition to its official commencement ceremony, the Ivy League school is hosting six different graduation ceremonies this year based on things like income level, race and ethnicity.

“The New York City school’s website details graduation ceremonies for Native, Asian, “Latinx” and Black students taking place for Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, General Studies and Barnard College at the end of April,” Fox News reported. “Another dubbed ‘FLI Graduation’ is for ‘first generation and/or low-income community.’ The school also hosts a “Lavender” graduation for the “LGBTIAQ+ community.”

Students can identify with whatever persecuted group of their choosing — instead of uniting under the banner of seeking truth and finding a common purpose. 

In 2019, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) published an investigation, “Separate but Equal, Again: Neo-Segregation in American Higher Education.” Out of the 173 public and private schools it surveyed, 43% had residential segregation, 46% had segregated orientation programs, and 72% had segregated graduation ceremonies.

That year, Harvard University held two segregated ceremonies, one for black students, and the other for Latinos, and Brown University celebrated “Blackalaureate.”

Last year, New York University approved its first racially segregated resident floor out after demands from a student activist group dubbed “black violets.” Their petition read: “Black students should not be forced to do the labor of explaining cultural touchstones (like hair rituals) and advocating for their humanity within their own homes. There is not one space on campus entirely dedicated to Black student life. Black Lives Matter cannot be reduced to a slogan sent in university-wide emails. Now is the time for NYU to create tangible change to support its Black students. We are hoping that Black Living communities can spark a new effort towards comprehensive Black inclusion across NYU.”

NYU was apparently late to the program of cultural wokeness.

Wesleyan University embraced residential segregation back in 1968 when it created the Afro-American House, which is now named the Malcolm X House. Cornell, Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University and Amherst College all have instituted separate housing for black students who have “personal knowledge” of the black experience.

Sixty-seven years after the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. the Board of Education forced higher education to achieve racial integration, these very same institutions are practicing neo-segregation.

The New York Times praised Harvard’s segregated commencements as celebrating diversity. The school’s editorial board described them as an acknowledgment of “the challenges faced by students of color on a historically white-dominated campus,” where students “from all backgrounds feel welcomed, valued, and safe.”

After last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, the segregation demands on college campuses are getting more pronounced. In addition to having separate housing and commencement ceremonies, students are demanding minority professors teach minority-issued courses, and that separate counseling services are offered depending on one’s sexual orientation or background.

Civil rights leaders would be appalled. Their vision for America was a color-blind one, where people could unite based on their common goals and aspirations – not grievances. Martin Luther King Jr.’s articulated his dream where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Diversity is only achieved when people of mixed races, backgrounds, ethnicities and socioeconomic means are allowed to interact and share their personal stories. Separate but equal was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and it’s a shame it’s making its way back on college campuses under the guise of woke activism. 

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