Phi Beta Cons

On Thernstrom and Black Fraternities

Abigail Thernstrom writes cogently and critically of Eric Holder’s outrageous ”nation of cowards” speech. But while she refutes the idea that black and white don’t mix outside of the workplace by citing convincing statistics to the contrary, Thernstrom does mention that there are black churches and fraternities. In her view, this is acceptable, since these organizations are voluntary.
This raises an interesting question. If there is any official or semi-official segregation these days, it seems to be on the part of  blacks. Needless to say, if anyone tried to form a whites-only fraternity, he would soon find himself in a lot of hot water. And if Holder is thinking of the most segregated spaces in America, he might consider our college cafeterias. Likewise, we have black music awards, a black Miss America contest, all-black productions of plays, and other black-only endeavors.
I suppose this is all right, but as long as this double standard exists, doesn’t it suggest that some are more equal than others? Or, the other side of the same coin, that blacks are not quite up to joining the country as a whole? What should be the ultimate standard for our country? What would we ideally like to see on our college campuses, for example?        

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