Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Inclusiveness Hinders Black Student Unity

Inclusiveness Hinders Black Student Unity

By Kendra Blackett

This column is partly in response to Omekongo Dibinga’s column on the need to change the name of the Black House (The Hoya, Nov. 3) as well as a personal observation on multiculturalism. As the Resident Director of the Black House, I sincerely agree with what Dibinga put forth in reference to changing the name of the Black House. Truthfully said, the Black House no longer serves the interests of primarily black students. Because it is run by the Center for Minority Educational Affairs, the house, in all reality, can no longer serve primarily black interests. Dibinga raised a very important issue. I would like to call it the plight of multiculturalism on college campuses.

ALL ARE WELCOME!!! Multiculturalism, this new fad across college campuses, has only inhibited unity among the black race in the interest of a “greater good.” Since returning from a year abroad, I am very surprised at how far away black students on campus are from reaching our supposed goals of unity. We as a group are not unified yet – the organizations on campus that are designed to serve our interests are faced with the burden of being all- inclusive. Why should they be faced with such a burden? Although others may disagree with me, multiculturalism seems to me a plot by university officials to place all “minorities” into one pool. In this manner, they will claim that they are representing our interests because they relate to the interests of the “minority community.” I do not believe in this. Every group on campus has its own unique problems. Although one might find certain similarities, we are not all the same. Nor should we be placed in the same broad pool of “minorities.” For example, I am a black woman on campus and I have very different issues than a Latino man.

None of the other groups that serve non-minority interests try to be as inclusive as we do. By design they are open to the public. They are not allowed to be either inclusive or exclusive. It is a shame that every time I see a flyer up for an event that may have something to do with black people like a discussion on “What is Black?” that it is followed by “Everyone is encouraged to attend.” Unity, a much-proclaimed goal of the non-white organizations on campus, is only stunted by everyone’s desire to be all-inclusive. We cannot even begin to foster unity among ourselves if we are always trying to include everyone first. I have never heard of any movement or organization that unifies from the outside in and not the inside out.

Black students in general have refused to stand up against this travesty. They refuse to accept their uniqueness in the face of the all-encompassing “multiculturalism.” They are the first to invite everyone else before they even try to invite the intended population – black students. It is unacceptable to say that black people are not interested in certain events. It may just be because certain organizations appear to be “elitist” and not inclusive of black people. If we work on uniting ourselves, attendance from the black population will increase. It is something seriously worth contemplating.

The black students on campus no longer have any one body or organization that will stand up and fight for them. Not even the Black House can say that it deals with black interests. In all reality, we cannot only look to black interests because the residents of the house are not all black. While Dibinga’s article suggests that the name of the Black House be changed, I do not believe that the name of the Black House needs to be changed. It would be a blatant sign of disrespect to that group of black students who fought for us to have the house in the first place. However, I do believe that the every group of color should fight for their right to have their own house. I suggested this to the Center for Minority Educational Affairs. However, they are not willing to take up this type of battle. Not only do they not have the resources but they also cannot stage a fight without the interest and backing of the students. The students, if they really want it, need to take this to the Administration to see if they will cover some of the costs of the respective houses.

I strongly believe that before I can truly unite with individuals of other races, I have to first take care of my people on the homefront. I think that it is important to get to know one another but not at the expense on my uniqueness and individuality. ulticulturalism, if allowed to get out of hand, will seriously jeopardize all that our forefathers fought for. We want our interests heard, not marginalized in the interest of the all students of color and the call for “diversity.” Think about it.

Kendra Blackett is a senior in the School of Foreign Service.

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya