The retirement party for a longtime colleague happens tomorrow, but I’m not welcome to attend. That’s because she thinks I’m a racist.
After working together for 14 years, she hasn’t spoken to me after I wrote last year about how five teenagers surrounded me, harassed me, and spat on me.
The teenagers were young African-American women, and I wrote about how troubling the event was. Fortunately, I was able to defend myself because of my martial arts training.
Here is the column: http://datechguyblog.com/2018/11/20/i-am-a-racist-not-a-victim/
I note at the time that some of my colleagues might consider me a racist for writing about the incident.
Nevertheless, I was surprised when I stopped by this colleague’s office, and she shut the door in my face.
Subsequently, Temple police told me that my comments, including my disagreement with the no weapons policy, could lead to dismissal. And some bonehead group supporting another colleagues anti-Semitic statements wrote a letter to the student newspaper calling for my dismissal.
Temple University has often been called “Diversity U” because of the breadth and depth of the various types of students who attend the college, which is located in the middle of urban Philadelphia.
Indeed, diversity of color, creed, and culture is a touchstone at Temple. In fact, the Klein College of Media and Communication, where I teach, recently won a national award for diversity. My department, which is among the most ethnically diverse at the university, recently passed a new diversity policy. Moreover, we have a diversity expert coming to our next departmental meeting.
What’s lacking about all of these initiatives is another type of diversity: diversity of opinion.
My conservative views don’t matter much to many of my colleagues, including the one who’s retiring.
Earlier this week, I sent a note to her in which I wished her a happy retirement and success in any future endeavors.
The response: “Renounce racism, and we can be friends again.”
It’s absurd that I should be required to renounce racism–something I have practiced throughout my life from the streets of Beirut to the streets of Philadelphia.
But I will do it again. I renounce racism!
Nevertheless, I don’t want a friend who so totally misconstrued what I wrote and makes such absurd demands.
I remember when friends disagreed and then discussed the issue in an attempt to resolve it. I guess that’s not possible anymore when it comes to diversity. If you don’t toe the diversity line, you’re immediately dismissed as a racist.