Author's Note: The following is part two in a column series. Part one, Brown Shirts at ECU, can be found by clicking on my column archive.
Hi Mike. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is also Mike, although that may be about the extent of our commonalities. But that is okay. Our strength in in our diversity! Indeed, I am writing to offer a diverse perspective on an email you sent to numerous subordinates using your East Carolina University email address. It follows in its entirety:
“Hi All: The LGBT Resource Office is hosting the program stated below. I would like to suggest that all of us (or as many of us who want to) volunteer for this and get T shirts and have our photo taken as a group representing the HCAS. Alan has said we can do it if I organize it (or something like that). So, are you interested? If so, please email me as soon as you decide and send me a T shirt size. I’ll order the T shirts and then we can get more info on the photo shoot. Thanks for your consideration, Mike.”
As a full professor and an associate dean, you should know that many of your subordinates look upon your "suggestions" as authoritative. You should also know that many of your subordinates disagree with the notion that the homosexual lifestyle is somehow morally neutral. Among those dissenters are, of course, fundamentalist Christians.
This may come as a surprise to you but research shows that homosexuals are not the most un-welcomed group on college campuses these days. The evidence suggests that fundamentalists are the ones who often bear the brunt of academic intolerance. Please allow me to back that claim with a little evidence.
Sociologist George Yancey wrote a great book called Compromising Scholarship. In his survey of sociology professors, he found that nearly half admitted to negatively taking into consideration the fact that a prospective job candidate was a fundamentalist. By contrast, 90% said the fact that someone is homosexual does not matter when evaluation ing him as a prospective job candidate.
This is important because Summer Wisdom is a sociologist who is well aware of such bias. And Summer Wisdom is the one who suggested that you a) pass out "Gay? Fine by me" t shirts to your subordinates, b) photograph those who choose to wear them and c) use the photographs in official university promotional materials.
For the record, the bias against fundamentalists isn't limited to sociology. Among English professors, two-thirds in Yancey's survey said they would penalize religious conservatives were they to seek employment in their department. Clearly, bias against people with religious objections to homosexuality is far greater than bias against homosexuals or any other group that sees itself as a minority based upon sexual proclivities or practices.
It is also clear that the bias against fundamentalists has become more than simple bias. Professors are now admitting, in scientific surveys no less, that they would be willing to actively exclude fundamentalists from the university community. They no longer seek tolerance of homosexuality. They are now adopting the goal of intolerance toward those who refuse to affirm homosexuality. That is something completely different.
Given that professors are now coming out and admitting their desire to penalize fundamentalists, we must do two things: 1) we need to stop any and all campaigns to identify those who refuse to abandon their beliefs and affirm homosexuality. 2) We need to start a campaign to actively combat intolerance of fundamentalists.
My plan is simple. But it will involve printing more t shirts and taking more photographs. That is why I am writing you today. I have printed up t shirts that say "Fundamentalist? Fine by me." I am printing up enough of these t shirts for you and all of your subordinates. I am also offering to send the t shirts to you free of charge. Furthermore, I am also willing to send a photographer to your department if you are interested in having a group picture taken of you and everyone else who is willing to support diversity by wearing one of the shirts. You may also feel free to use the picture in your official promotional materials.
So, are you interested? If so, please email me as soon as you decide and send me t shirt sizes. I'll order the t shirts and then we can get more info on the photo shoot.
Thanks for your consideration.Mike S. Adams
Associate Professor, UNC-Wilmington
Community Disorganizer, at large.
Author’s Final Note: The ECU administrator never responded. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that “diversity” at ECU really means intellectually conformity. And “inclusion” really means excluding those who refuse to conform.