February 2, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 25°F


Letter to the Editor: “What does diversity mean?”

Letter to the Ithacan regarding the article, “Ideological Divide Pervades Higher Education Climate.”

No one opposes intellectual diversity – that’s the problem. The absence of an opposition suggests something is awry. I too worry about the lack of intellectual diversity. Mostly missing from our campuses, for example, are the millennia long intellectual traditions that emerge from, say, China, India and Yoruba culture in West Africa. Missing too are the aboriginal ways of living with an alternative conception of time and the AmerIndian cultures that treat Nature’s inanimate objects as fully alive. Even within the confines of modern European history, academia largely ignores the rich potential of anarchism, fails to locate the everyday appeals of fascism, and mostly bypasses mystical religious traditions.

The purveyors of the claim that college campuses lack diversity cannot open up this issue to the full scope of history, culture, and geopolitics because doing so would further beleaguer their commitment to “conservatism, free-market ideas…and classical liberal theorists.” The Ithacan missed the real question that would have produced antagonists and therefore debate: What does diversity mean?

Naeem Inayatullah