Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Don't Forget to Sign the Diversity Pledge

Now sure, there are some questions about the enforceability of the diversity pledge, but don't forget why we have it in the first place. Unless you hate diversity / don't want to consent to thought control / agree with Eugene Volokh that it's "vapid", you'll sign. And wear your shirts on Thursday (we'll rocking some 2k7 throwbacks).

What do you think?

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vapid doesn't even begin to describe this. As a dog lover and volunteer to the SPCA perhaps I should have started a movement when I was a lawhoo to have the entire class sign a pledge not to kick puppies.

Anonymous said...

(1) Is puppy-kicking, or has puppy-kicking ever been a problem at UVa?

(2) Do people routinely misunderstand, ignore or under-appreciate certain facts of puppy life at UVa?

(3) Can puppies understand concepts as sophisticated as those reflected in the pledge, and can they appreciate the power of statements made by a community?

(4) Does your flippant analogy help make your point in any way at all?

Anonymous said...

1. Doubtful, but how does a big sheet of meaningless platitudes prevent future problems?
2. Doubtful, but how does a big sheet of meaningless platitudes help us understand others?
3. Statements like "I wanted a free t-shirt" or "Oh, this isn't where I go to vote for SBA?"
4. Does yours?

Anonymous said...

I love free tshirts!

Anonymous said...

Has diversity ever really been a problem since the mid-90's (I'm aware of the foxfield "incident")?

If anything UVALaw was one of the most tolerant, liberal places I've been, and I lived in Chelsea (NYC)for two years.

My point is this vapid (and ultimately toothless) gesture does nothing good other than giving some people warm fuzzies yet puts out the vibe that people smart enough to get into UVA law have diversity issues that they need to address that only a t-shirt can provide.

What the $&%@ is question 2 about? Is there something about [X] life at UVA that warrants all of this attention? I have news for you, when you get out of your bubble and into the real world, no one will give a s--t about underappreciating anything about your life regardless of what your issues are. And for 3, those concepts aren't sophisticated, its called being a productive and tolerant citizen. Tolerance doesn't mean advertising on a freaking t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

Good thing we live in America, if you don't like the pledge, don't sign. If you think it's important you sign. Considering our school's history and the events at UCSD a few weeks ago, not sure the t-shirt pledge is a bad idea.

Sure there might be better methods to show tolerance, if you're interested in fixing the problem apply to be chair of diversity next year.

Anonymous said...

"Considering our school's history and the events at UCSD a few weeks ago"

you mean the noose left by a "minority" student?

Did Elie Mystal take over this blog? Do people realize that many supposed "hate events" on college campuses are hoaxes...even at UVA?

Anonymous said...

I would really like to sign it, but the language about "thoughts... having no place" precludes me from doing so. I wish the word "thoughts" wasn't there because I think the sentiment (both in the pledge and in the wearign of the t-shirts) is otherwise very good.

Anonymous said...

4:04

So a minority student putting up the noose all of a sudden makes this shit irrelevant? The pledge applies to everyone not just the racial majority.

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE ALL VIRGINS!

Anonymous said...

4:35, no it just makes the points about UCSD irrelevant. It was a hoax, just like one or more hoaxes at UVA.

There are likely as many "diversity hoaxes" on college campuses as there are actual hate incidents. You have the Duke lacrosse hoax. You have the Columbia noose hoax (what is it about nooses?), you have the Claremont McKenna hoax (the professor that violated her own car), you have the Guilford College hoax, do I need to keep going?

Hopefully people of all backgrounds understand that it isn't that difficult to get along and respect everyone else. A t-shirt shouldn't make a difference. This is common sense. Contrary to some belief, it isn't that difficult to pay your tuition, go to class, respect others and live normally, regardless of your background.

Anonymous said...

4:51

I agree with this, too bad it is actually pretty difficult for people to get along.

Anonymous said...

12:36:

How about you refrain from saying anything that doesn't have the immediate effect of producing massive change? Notwithstanding the fact that I often wish Eugene Volokh did the same on his blog, saying things matters to people, and we are all better of when we feel free to say things even when what we say in some larger sense doesn't matter.

Moreover, saying things matters more when what is said is a statement. Making statements tends to be important to the process of self-definition, and is perhaps equally important to guide the outside perception of oneself.

Statements are perhaps even more important when they can be said to have been made on behalf of a community, because communal identities are harder to forge, harder to change, linger well beyond the tenure of any set of members, and simply matter a great deal to a large and even growing number of people (students, faculty, alums, future students who have yet to attend).

The Pledge means something to the people who say it, and to many people who read it. The fact that it was said means something to people who may never have read it all. These are all empirical truths that are all quite hard to deny. It amazes me that people continue to give the "vapid" argument the time of day when it's almost absurdly false.

Anonymous said...

As important as "statements" might be, the question boils down to who gets to establish consensus within the UVa Law community. The diversity pledge, like many well-intentioned efforts of its ilk, is not only vapid but vague, self-righteous, and authoritarian. Flippant comments of the nature of "don't sign the pledge if you don't want to" miss the point, and all intelligent people can see that. It is one thing to have a coordinated demonstration of solidarity in the wake of a hate crime incident of some sort. It's another to have an annual school-wide campaign -- loudly touted by the administration -- that seeks to corral people into signing some personal code of conduct. Ultimately, "thoughts of prejudice" do have a place in the UVa Law community -- as they should in any purportedly free community -- and any person with an interest in autonomy and self-respect should agree with that.

Anonymous said...

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=1240375&forum_id=2#14291595)

Anonymous said...

Someone was encouraging water-boarding puppy supporters. This sort of intolerance cannot be tolerated at UVa!!!

Anonymous said...

7:44
You can't honestly believe in the unanimity requirement you just suggested, which, though slightly less so than your "don't speak but to effect meaningful change" principle, is still absurd on its face. Where is this argument headed next? To a dissection of whether "school resources" were used or to what extent the school name was used-- a move undoubtedly meant to dodge one of the several obvious problems with your suggestion, which is that you're essentially suggesting that people do not speak their mind? Stop trying to silence me!

In sum, chill the f. out. The anti-pledge position is obviously the position of the unthinking, instinctively contrarian in us all. We're all law students, attorneys, professors-- we have that skepticism built into us. But we should be pretty good at knowing when such an instinct remains just that-- an instinct, as opposed to a defensible posture worthy of our advocacy. I'm going to sign the pledge tomorrow because it sincerely means something to me (and for the free t-shirt).

Anonymous said...

8:25 -- I'm not 7:44, but what the hell are you talking about? I didn't see anybody trying to silence you -- if anything, 7:44 was complaining that some people might feel silenced by the pledge, but other than wishing the admin didn't promote it so heavily (do they, though?) I don't know what you're all upset about.

I just don't get what the point of this thing is. Somebody said, "The fact that it was said means something to people who may never have read it all," and I honestly don't know what that means. I mean, if LGBT people, or African-Americans, or whoever else feels more welcome at school because a bunch of us (though not all) are wearing "Diversity Day" t-shirts, then I'm glad -- UVA is a welcoming place and I'm glad more people feel included, even if I have no idea why. But other than that, to whom does the pledge mean anything? (I'm making the assumption -- and I don't think it's a big one -- that nobody in the community will have their mind changed by the existence of the pledge. Almost everyone here is friendly with everyone else, regardless of majority/minority group status, and any that aren't must have so far resisted 22-30 years of basic social skills, so what's going to change them?)

Anonymous said...

calm down white people. its a free tee shirt.

Anonymous said...

"I mean, if LGBT people, or African-Americans, or whoever else feels more welcome at school because a bunch of us (though not all) are wearing "Diversity Day" t-shirts, then I'm glad "

POINT MISSED.

I mean, if anyone NORMAL, that respects and tolerates people of all persuasions and backgrounds feels like this is some sort of attack on their "non-tolerant" point of view, regardless of how inapplicable and frankly how STUPID it is - who thinks that UVA is some sort of weird place where everyone is deemed to be a bigot if they don't sign an Orwellian pledge, that isn't good for the school.

By the way, in case you haven't noticed, we're in an employment depression. I think most of you should be concerned about paying back your student loans and not worrying about what someone in Section "H" might think.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that they finally added religion this year. Good.

How about next year they add viewpoint?

What value is there in "diversity" if everyone still thinks the same way?

Anonymous said...

I'm black and I think the diversity pledge is a trite, hollow attempt at making the university appear less racist than it really is.

Anonymous said...

10:46 - lol@ your whine re: "viewpoint" diversity, that perpetual phony conservative grievance.

most of the discussion abt this = mindless political claptrap. the 'thoughts' wording is dumb, but what's dumber is the handwringing about 'thought-control' by the bashers of alleged/so-called 'political correctness'.

but white heterosexual conservative elites (i'm profiling; this is the type of person i assume is most likely to get worked up abt this stuff) need to feel victimized and put upon and persecuted. the cognitive dissonance does not make their heads explode b/c (and im generalizing again) they seem to have an immunity to irony (most probably couldn't define it let alone recognize it)

most reasonable thing written here = "Good thing we live in America, if you don't like the pledge, don't sign."

or you could just keep inveighing against this phantom orwellian enslavement of your impressionable minds. if you do the latter, could you do me a favor and include in your rants a description of what the view is like up on your crosses?

also: don't use 'orwellian' so much. or at least go read 1984 and use it correctly; plenty of orwellian shit going on in the world (the man was a prescient futurist). but these are not the things/infringements on ARE liberty that concern you so shut up (or don't shut up; sorry, i was about to chill your speech again and TRAMPLE on your rights GLENBECK4EVER)

Anonymous said...

12:07, I want to give you a high-five for managing to combine incoherent psycho-babble, unintelligible sentence structure, and an allusion to the "real" Orwell all in one post. Conceding the straw-man fallacy underlying your whole argument at the start of your rambling diatribe only made me want to read further.

Anonymous said...

time for all the offended and corralled people to make an anti-diversity pledge!

Anonymous said...

11:23

You want to find a better way to fix the diversity problem? Easy to complain, harder to actually be involved in the solution.

Anonymous said...

8:25
The "silence me" thing was tongue in cheek

Anonymous said...

12:07 sounds like something Sprigman would post on his Facebook. (Which makes it all the more impressive that he stays so unbiased in class. Seriously.)

Anonymous said...

Who is responsible for the diversity pledge? I for one have no idea whatsoever. How does one who is concerned with the wording of this pledge and wants to improve it for future years go about doing so?

Anonymous said...

Could be worse, they could make you write the whole thing out and sign it to get your free tshirt. All in all a signature isn't that bad for a free tshirt.

Anonymous said...

wgwag

Anonymous said...

1:38

The Diversity Pledge is HURTING UVA law school more than helping it. A suggestion to get rid of it is helping. You are not. No one thinks you're cute for being "pro-diversity." We all think you're cliche and living in your liberal, late-teens, undergrad years.

Get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

If a person signs the diversity pledge can the law school legally bind that person to supporting affirmative action?

Anonymous said...

They ran out of shirts, so I didn't sign. What a sham.

Anonymous said...

9:46, I'm in the same boat. If the shirts had been orange I would have signed the pledge.

Anonymous said...

lol, 7:28 is f'ing hilarious ... oh the sweet irony, it's too rich, too delicious

"The Diversity Pledge is HURTING UVA law school more than helping it."

yes, friend, i agree: the diversity pledge is HURTING ARE lawschool.

is there no end to the torment that is heaped on white heterosexual conservative elitists?

more specifically, the diversity pledge is hurting ARE students who are forced to, um, ... decline to sign a piece of paper that others voluntarily choose to sign

"A suggestion to get rid of it is helping. You are not."

yes, friend, again we find agreement. a suggestion to get rid of this oppressive tool is helping us.

ty for protecting ARE liberty and autonomy in the face of this relentlessly creeping totalitarianism.

this pledge, this symbolic speech voluntarily engaged in by some of our peers, must be STOPPED to protect ARE right to, um ... not be put in the PAINFUL position of, um ... choosing not to speak if we don't want to!

"You are not [helping]. No one thinks you're cute for being "pro-diversity." We all think you're cliche and living in your liberal, late-teens, undergrad years.

Get over yourself."

LOL.

Anonymous said...

@8:00 PM: "If a person signs the diversity pledge can the law school legally bind that person to supporting affirmative action?"

wtf does this even mean?

Anonymous said...

8:00 here, it means absolutely nothing. Just trying to see if somebody would get offended.

People seem to really get fired up about this pledge that most people sign to get a free T-Shirt...

Anonymous said...

12:47,

Are we FRIENDS?

Anonymous said...

I think UVA gets some extra cash out of the deal. Part of this diversity pledge coming about was the foxfield incident but part of it was the S&C / Charney thing. I always assumed these firms donated a little extra to UVA beyond the cost of the shirts for the publicity. So we get some free tshirts, UVA gets some cash and looks less racist, and S&C and these other firms look a little less homophobic.

Anonymous said...

we are indeed FRIENDS, 8:02

Anonymous said...

Um, what's with all this ARE garbage? I assume the commenter intends to make fun of a particular regional dialect that pronounces "our" more like "are" than "hour"... or, to go a logical step further, to imply that everyone that speaks with such a regional dialect is opposed to diversity. Such superiority and/or stereotyping from someone claiming to support diversity is more than a bit discouraging.

Anonymous said...

Um, what's with all this ARE garbage? I assume the commenter intends to make fun of a particular regional dialect that pronounces "our" more like "are" than "hour"... or, to go a logical step further, to imply that everyone that speaks with such a regional dialect is opposed to diversity. Such superiority and/or stereotyping from someone claiming to support diversity is more than a bit discouraging.

Anonymous said...

Um, what's with all this ARE garbage? I assume the commenter intends to make fun of a particular regional dialect that pronounces "our" more like "are" than "hour"... or, to go a logical step further, to imply that everyone that speaks with such a regional dialect is opposed to diversity. Such superiority and/or stereotyping from someone claiming to support diversity is more than a bit discouraging.

Anonymous said...

@4:19 - u mad?

Anonymous said...

12:47 is clearly the same person who posted at 12:07 earlier in this thread. This person obviously gets sauced, pops onto UVa Law Blog, gets incensed, and then posts an incoherent argument littered with not-so-subtle quips that are neither insightful nor comical. He or she most likely thinks that they are about 50 times more intelligent than they in fact are. Easy to mock, impossible to actually engage.

Anonymous said...

@2:46 - u mad?

Anonymous said...

To 4:19, re: "are"

see: http://www.thisisarecountry.com/
scroll down to botttom of page

Anonymous said...

I'm a "minority" at the law school and I could care less about the diversity pledge. Either people are accepting of me and don't consider race when it comes to personal relationships or they aren't going to change. I don't sign the pledge nor wear a t-shirt; it's meaningless gesture to me.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know where The National Review Magazine is coming from:

Will Herberg, "’Civil Rights’ and Violence: Who Are the Guilty Ones?", The National Review Sept. 7th, 1965

It did not come easy for us in this country, under the weight of the vast influx of immigrants and the residual effects of the frontier tradition, to consolidate a secure internal order based on custom and respect for constituted authority; but finally we managed. This internal order is now in jeopardy; and it is in jeopardy because of the doings of such high-minded, self-righteous “children of light” as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates in the leadership of the “civil rights” movement. If you are looking for those ultimately responsible for the murder, arson, and looting in Los Angeles, look to them: they are the guilty ones, these apostles of “non-violence.”

Anonymous said...

and

"For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the “cake of custom” that holds us together. With their doctrine of “civil disobedience,” they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes — particularly the adolescents and the children — that it is perfectly alright to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance; in protest against injustice. And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted “school strikes,” sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit defiance of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed — and, no doubt, with the best of intentions — and they have found apt pupils everywhere, with intentions not of the best. Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind."