LGBT favoritism

Becky Fenger Fenger Pointing

We do this to ourselves, people.

Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois, is on the cutting edge. According to their Office of Communications and Public Affairs, this year they made a change to their admissions process which garnered widespread attention: They became the first school in the country to ask applicants about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So far, the question is optional, just as are the questions about religion or what language is spoken in the home. But it behooves the prospective student to fill in the blank, since scholarships could be awarded if he or she considers himself or herself to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered) community.

The dean of admissions stated that asking the question falls in line with their mission statement to increase diversity. Elmhurst President S. Alan Ray said the step was taken in order to better serve the student as a unique person. He added: “It also allows us to live out our commitments to cultural diversity, social justice, mutual respect among all persons, and the dignity of every individual. These are among the core values of this institution.”

Campus Pride, a national organization, congratulated Elmhurst for setting the bar for other institutions to follow. (Actually, the most underrepresented minority on campus today is the conservative professor.)

I could be wrong, but rewarding the LGBT applicant with a scholarship worth one-third of tuition will likely lead to resentment over this favoritism shown to one group over another in the name of diversity. Then we wonder why the Maricopa Community Colleges, for instance, feels the need to add gender identity to the list of groups now protected from harassment.

This month Maricopa Community Colleges governing board will vote on whether to add the “transidentified” —-those students and employees who are of one gender but identify themselves as the other, who may or may not have completed the medical change to their private parts—- to the list of protected campus groups. One of the board members would like to move in the opposite direction and eliminate all the identifying labels instead of adding more. The suggestion was made to adopt a policy that simply states: Maricopa will not discriminate nor tolerate discrimination. That sounds so reasonable that I doubt it could pass the board.

Although it has reached a fever pitch in academia, this headlong push to force diversity is nothing new. I can remember back over thirty years ago when Scottsdale zoning attorney and civic leader Lou Jekel told my friend that he wanted to bring in more Mexicans (meaning Mexican-Americans) to live in Scottsdale, Arizona, so that it wasn’t so lily “white.” It wasn’t one of Jekel’s best moves.

Nor is it one of MSNBC’s brightest moves to bring in race-baiter Al Sharpton (I cannot bring myself to call him Reverend, since he has perpetuated way too much evil to wear the title) to diversify their lineup of TV hosts. Sharpton is now hosting his own weeknight hour on a program called “PoliticsNation,” wherein he can wax eloquent. Wait a minute. No, he can’t. In fact, his use of the English language is so garbled that I’m surprised MSNBC President Phil Griffin, who has “tremendous respect” for Sharpton, doesn’t order the use of subtitles so we know what the hell he’s saying.

My favorite Al Sharpton quote comes from a speech he gave at Kean College, New Jersey, in 1994: “White folks was in caves while we was building empires. We taught them philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got round to it.”