Phi Beta Cons

Majoring in

We’re told that “hate studies,” an academic program being developed on campuses nationwide, is the latest intellectual response to racism. Raymond Reyes, director of diversity at Gonzaga University, is trying to establish an entire major in Hate Studies. 
Do we need it? A Nov. 16 article from Inside Higher Ed about racism on college campuses says we do.
Prof. Nina Lerman of Whitman College talks about what the “typical” middle-class university student thinks about racism: “They believe in equality and they think we have it,” says Lerman. “We’re teaching them a very happy, diverse, multicultural American history, but we’re not actually teaching them very much about hate.’”
This is “where higher education fails individuals,” says Devin Dobson, coordinator of a college diversity awareness group. Dobson “thinks institutions need to incorporate mandatory courses focusing on diversity and continuously sponsor programming and dialogue on diversity issues.”
A class on hate studies would “have to let students emote, not just stick to raw facts like much of academia,” says Bill Leipold, assistant dean in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. “It would have to be a different kind of class.”
Here at Gonzaga we have just that. My class is required to take a “social justice” course, and the year after I began a “diversity” requirement showed up. The classes that satisfy the social-justice requirement are diverse in a more comical sense: Modern French Cinema, The Vietnam War and Christian Morality, Jazz History, Feminist Christian Doctrine, Sex, Gender and Society, and Intro to Literature, to name a few.
Of course hate should be examined. Of course studies and research would be helpful. But a class examining class or racial hatred is the intellectual property of psychology and other disciplines, not a field unto its own.

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