My simple experiment involved recording the races of the first 20 people I saw featured in the pictures that rotate in and out of the front page of http://www.uncw.edu/. The final count was three Asians (15%), eight Whites (40%), and nine Blacks (45%). The problem, of course, is that UNCW has always been around 90% white with a black population in the single digits – usually around 6%. (Author’s Note: There was a brief drop from 6% Black to 4% Black after the university spent its first one million dollars on improving diversity).
Those who believe that the discrepancy between a) the actual racial distribution of students, faculty, and staff at UNCW, and b) the distribution represented on the website is accidental are free to do so. They are also free to believe in the existence of Bigfoot and the validity of professional wrestling. I couldn’t care less. I’m just excited about a new idea inspired by this experiment.
My new idea is an official “Change Your Ethnicity Day” at UNCW. Actually, I got the idea from the Leadership Institute in Washington, DC. But, I’m not going to give them any credit. I got that idea – stealing people’s ideas without giving them credit – from Ward Churchill.
The Leadership Institute’s decision to launch a “Change Your Ethnicity Day” probably really was inspired by Ward Churchill. And knowing that Churchill got a job as Director of an Ethnic Studies program by saying he’s an Indian - without any actual proof, of course - will inspire UNCW students to participate in the event in massive numbers.
All UNCW students have to do on (Change Your) Ethnicity Day is to stop by the Registrar’s Office to have their race changed from White (or Asian, or Hispanic, or Native American, or “Other”) to Black. Once they do so, they will be eligible for lots of free stuff without having to earn it.
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