Past editorial raises concerns about perceptions of diversity

Monique Medina, Staff Writer

Although the attempt to approach the touchy subject of race in “Damaged by lack of diversity” is admirable, it stands as an article written for, effectively but solely, the Caucasian majority of Staples’ student body. The claim that Westport cannot provide diversity may be true on a larger scale, but it is a claim certainly not supported by the student body, which is 10 percent non-Caucasian. I am not willing to round this 10 percent to 0.

I agree that diversity provides perspective that a large majority of Staples students have not gained. And while escaping the Westport bubble will enable these students to do so, I believe that it is inappropriate to focus on this hardship of the white student body when the non-white minorities at Staples remain silently bullied.

I have been bullied for my Asian face. Yet beyond that, it is the simple action of being overlooked that hurts me the most. “Damaged by lack of diversity” places a value on non-white cultures found outside of Westport, yet fails to even mention, much less appreciate, all of the diversity that is present at Staples.

And this is not a stand-alone event. Staples keeps records of each and every student’s personal data. These records include names, genders, birthdays, and ethnicities. Yet the premade choices for ethnicity span a record low of four. This, of course, creates complications, and worse, compromises in how one categorizes him/herself. Our urge to categorize human beings is bad enough. Our tendency to stick them in pre-determined boxes is inhumane.

Then there’s me.

Categorizations like this lead me to call myself a mutt. I must be a dog, after all, since I am more than one race. Humans, of course, fit into one of four categories. There is no box for me. I must choose a box, I am told. I must fit in. I must objectify myself.

This is why articles like “Damaged by lack of diversity” anger me. I agree with its overall message. I do. But it is plain offensive to be told, however accidentally, that the white student body is suffering from a lack of non-whites when non-whites continue to be overlooked and objectified, daily.

Perhaps you are being “damaged” by a lack of diversity. But I am being ripped apart by it.