Intercultural Diversity Center is one step forward

A cynical romantic. It is an odd hybrid of conflicting philosophies, but an accurate description for my view many of things in my life at this point: dreams, love and Alabama. Sweet home Alabama. Bittersweet home Alabama. The Tide has its rises and its falls.

A recent advancement for the University is the installment of the Intercultural Diversity Center to open in Riverside today. Its development is the result of progress made by the “We are Done” organization on campus.

It is undoubtedly a step towards improvement on campus and was desperately needed. Relics of our dark history are woven in paintings, names and buildings on campus and not much was to be shown for many other cultures. The overdue occurrence of such a center is necessary.  And still, I don’t know how much things will change as a result.

The hateful rhetoric of our critics illuminated the continuing presence of bigotry on campus and that we are still a long way off from realizing our ideal campus despite such progress.

Education aids, but it isn’t a cure. If it were, we could have educated ourselves to perfection by now, but it has been three centuries since the Enlightenment. We’ve had three hundred years to educate ourselves to a better world, and we’ve yet to make it happen. It could be argued that the men who founded the Age were less than savory, but that is my point. We’re terminally ill as a society, and sometimes I just believe that everything else is treatment but not a true antidote. As much as I wish it did, knowledge won’t abolish hatred.

I’m not saying that we don’t continue to educate, inform and teach or that we stop attempting to make advances. We don’t stop trying, but humans don’t have the greatest of records and at times it can seem like Alabama lags behind the rest of our already degenerate planet. We have a long way to go, and sometimes I don’t know if we’ll make it there.

I don’t want to be misunderstood. I am so happy that the goals of the "We Are Done" activists are beginning to be realized. I just wonder how much it will change the environment. You can lead a horse to a trough. It may even be on the verge of collapsing, but it still has to drink the water itself. Students and faculty members still have to make the choice to walk into the Intercultural Diversity Center. They still have to decide what to do with the knowledge they gain. While I hope for change, I know that it won’t always happen immediately, and for some, unfortunately, it may not happen at all. I for one look forward to visiting the center, and I would encourage others to do the same. I hope that I am wrong.

Erin Mosley is a junior majoring in studio art and German. Her column runs biweekly.

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