Donning of the Excluded

Dear, to those it obviously concerns at Emory & Henry,

I doubt you know who I am, but I am a graduating senior this semester, and I just wanted to let you in on a little something.

The avocation and approval of the “Donning of the Kente” ceremony by you and the “Diversity Task Force of Inclusion and Equity” this year is perhaps the most hypocritical, stupid, and downright racist ideas of this school year (in the midst of other supposed racist and exclusive incidents on our campus this year, that’s really saying something).

This event is, by its very nature and its structure, an exclusive gathering. Aren’t we trying to be inclusive? Yet the school is holding a special ceremony just for African-American students. African-American students are going to receive special Kente cloths from the country of Africa with my tuition money? I sure wish Emory & Henry College honored my ethnic background enough to order me a personal scarf from my home continent. Holding this event is literally recognizing the achievements of a select group of students based on their race.

By the way, I hope to be seeing that in the near future that you will be advocating in the future for a Chinese ceremony, a Japanese ceremony, and a Russian ceremony for the students at our college that are those races. I’m sure that those people feel very “included,” you know, since that’s what we are all about here at Emory & Henry College.

To quote Martin Luther King Jr, a man that this college so greatly deems worthy of admiration and recognition,

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

King wanted us to be color blind, not: “blind to those except the minorities.” It’s about there not being any minorities to celebrate, recognize, or advocate for. It’s about not recognizing anybody’s color or race apart from another. That is what it is about. Everyone will be recognized by the content of their character at the regular graduation ceremony. So why do we need another ceremony especially for African-American students?

You are more than welcome to share this with the Diversity “Task Force,” who, let’s be quite honest, has been doing such meaningless and quite frankly, terrible work, this semester. Even though the creation of the group was entirely unnecessary in the first place.

I don’t care if I offended you or if you think I am a bigot or a racist or just simply a jerk who doesn’t know how to be “inclusive.” But if you are offended by this, then by all means try to tell me truthfully, that the Russian students, the Chinese students, the Japanese students, the white students, and the Hispanic students and any other grouping of races on this campus that I’m forgetting to mention don’t feel offended that their background and heritage is not being especially celebrated with cloths from their homeland and a ceremony especially for them.

The one thing the task force is supposed to be doing is creating inclusiveness, but yet it created an event that is exclusive in nature and by structural design. And that is truly the saddest part of all this. Those in that task force group and those in charge with leadership roles at this college don’t even know that they are failing. They think that they are making progress or that they are justly doing the correct thing here. In honor of exam week, if this were a class, the task force as well as yourself would all be getting failing grades.

a Euro-American. Not a Caucasian. Not a white man. But a Euro-American. That is since everyone else has to call blacks “African-American” even when they were not born in Africa to begin with.

We are all and simply should be known as – Americans.


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