12 Oct Supremacy Question!
What happened in UVA campus, Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday and a demonstration within the UVA campus on Friday evening opens up several questions. To my mind, at least, one of them is about how should Universities respond to the ideas of racial supremacy?
Civilization is on the side of migration & cultural assimilation. American history is on the side of immigration and cultural assimilation. If there is one voice that has considerably diminished in the history of America, then it is the confederate’s voice. If so, who should be afraid of whom? Who has failed to see the tipping point? To a large extent American Universities remained as islands of liberal thinking showing no leadership to engage the other side. Now other side is coming into the campus challenging the University’s position.
Racial supremacy ideas are not surfacing in the American history for the first time. It has strengthened whenever they are not listened to, whenever there is overt application of virtue to the opposite. Whenever, beholders of such voice feel threatened by dominant social discourse. Whenever, beholders of such ideas feel marginalized both socially and economically. And whenever, they feel emboldened by a political leadership that is on its side.
Should openness to a marginalized idea be conditioned by our judgement on its virtuosity? Is our faith in virtuosity so fragile that it cannot withstand a weak, marginalized opponent?
Being open means being open to hear other voices be it from within ourselves or in others. Even when an individual deals issues that are within moral boundary, individual cannot suppress an occasional, subtle immoral thought. Recognizing, validating and bringing them to the realm of reason is the path towards individual’s development. An opposite of that is not recognizing them, invalidating them, hushing them.
If universities are on the side of individual’s development, favoring inclusiveness, then they will be better off by encouraging debate rather than avoiding a debate. Perhaps, those opposing the white supremacists would have found a platform to reason with their tormentors. A life could have been saved on that Saturday.