I was enjoying reading the recent Reunions and Commencement issue of PAW (July 11) until I read about “the Pan-African graduation ceremony” and “special ceremonies for Latino and LGBT students.” What?
On what basis did the University decide which groups are worthy of a special ceremony? Are Asian, Jewish, and Catholic students, for example, members of less-worthy groups? And how about those who consider themselves members of other groups such as East Coast intellectuals, West Coast liberals, or Southern crackers?
Supposedly one of the most important aspects of a Princeton education is the opportunity for students of diverse backgrounds to come together for an intellectual and social experience that helps them learn to respect individuals for their personal qualities, instead of viewing others through the lens of group stereotypes. Special ceremonies for favored, politically correct groups perpetuate the very mindset that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke against so eloquently when he dreamed of a society in which individuals were judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.
Surely the sanctioning of such historically troublesome divisions in our society is antithetical to the University’s goal of “Princeton in the nation’s service.” Indeed, it is a display of political correctness unworthy of a respected university and is a disservice to our country.