Did you hear the one about the Polish gay guy?

Posted: Jun 20, 2005 12:00 AM

Dear Director of Diversity:

Ten years ago, I wrote to you with a plan I considered to be well-thought-out and just, though not necessarily easy to implement. As a black lesbian and, thus, a member of three historically marginalized groups, I was seeking a modification of our university's policies towards minority faculty, students, and staff. Now that I am looking back as an alumnus, I realize what a disaster my plan has become.

At the time, I thought I was at the top of the victim hierarchy. Being a very dark-skinned black woman, I had been a victim, not only of white racism, but also of racism from light-skinned blacks who saw themselves as superior because of their mixed heritage. It is a sickening form of racism few people really understand.

It was sort of the same with my sexual orientation. I was openly lesbian since I was a child. Therefore, I thought of myself as more of a victim than those who came out of the closet in high school or college. Such people never had to endure the taunts of children on the playground. To be sure, they suffered. But they never suffered as much as I did in grammar school.

And that is when it came to me. To call someone black, and, hence, a victim was an oversimplification. To call someone a lesbian, and, hence, a victim was an oversimplification, too. I decided these crude nominal categories should be replaced or supplemented with a system that measures victim status on a continuum.

I thought it would be best if affirmative action programs, either for hiring or admissions, were available only to women, gays, and non-whites. Additional spots could also be awarded to people from foreign countries, as long as they spoke a foreign language.

But, under my plan, once you demonstrated minority status, your work was only beginning. For example, you had to provide documentation of specific victimization experiences in order to get a significant number of points added to your SAT or GPA. I thought the extra work was well worth it, since, as a dark-skinned, long-term lesbian, I had had it so rough for so long. I also thought it was just. Light-skinned blacks who only recently came out of the closet deserved next to nothing, in my book.

After my plan was implemented, things went well for a while. But, then, a tragic case blew my system wide open.

His name was Elton Grabowski. He was a first-generation immigrant from Poland. Needless to say, Elton was also gay. These two factors helped get him into the school despite his less-than-stellar academic record. Later, he used an email from ?another student? to win a scholarship from the Office of Campus Diversity. It read as follows:

?Hi Elton, I thought you would enjoy this joke:

?Did you hear the one about the Polish gay guy?

He slept with women!?

Good one, huh? See you in class!?

Of course, Grabowski said the joke offended him on two separate bases-national origin and sexual orientation. Undoubtedly, he never would have received a scholarship without the email. And, eventually, it was revealed that the email was forged. Grabowski wrote it from a fictional account in order to move ahead of other victims in the victimization line.

After the story broke in the school paper, I thought that such forgeries would soon be a thing of the past. First, the Office of Campus Diversity established a special task force to detect false claims of victimization. They did this over the objections of the Reverend Al Sharpton, who marched on campus in protest with some woman named Tawana. But, then, something even more unusual happened.

The student?s name was Spencer Herbert. He took out an ad in the student newspaper, selling racist, sexist, and homophobic letters for $100 a piece. He even took out ads in local high schools offering the following money-back guarantee: ?My notes will be so vile, and so hateful that I guarantee your admission to college. If not, your money will be refunded in full!?

I had already suspected that my system would produce an incentive for blacks, women, and gays to act like victims. But all victims need perpetrators. And the law of supply and demand was right there; ready to fuel an increase in racism, sexism, and homophobia to keep my system going strong.

And this is where you come in, director. You are the only one that can stop this disastrous experiment in social engineering. There is now more victimization and bigotry than when your office was established. But, of course, you will not intervene. That?s because those of you in the diversity movement are the only ones benefiting.

As campuses have become more divided around the nation, offices like yours have remained the sole beneficiaries of the growing division. With each new problem, there is a perceived need for your expertise. The worse things get, the more your budget expands. And that is why, towards the end of this letter, I am convinced that my appeal is an exercise in futility.

Maybe I lack the moral authority to criticize the executives of what I now call ?diversity incorporated?-those who profit so richly from the status quo. You are only considering your own selfish interests. I guess that, in the beginning, I was only considering mine.

Mike S. Adams (www.DrAdams.org) is not a black lesbian (not that there's anything wrong with it). He just likes writing satire liberals are not Swift enough to comprehend. Sometimes they are written in present tense, sometimes Or-well into the future.