Letter: Promote race relations

May 14, 2014 

It appears that many colleges and universities are now de-emphasizing the teaching of race and ethnic relations and emphasizing multiculturalism. The major difference is under-emphasizing the study of prejudice, segregation and bigotry and over-emphasizing the foods, dress and traditions of any and all cultures.

Clearly, a better understanding of the processes of hate, genocide and discrimination is more beneficial to promote world peace and inclusion than appreciating select characteristics of cultural differences. For example, showcasing the cultural difference between the Irish Riverdance and American Hip Hop do not address issues of inequality and oppression.

Racial progress was made in the '50s, '60s and '70s when race-relations teachings helped promote racial and ethnic pride and public awareness of inequality. That led to the passage of Affirmative Action and other civil rights laws resulting in better educational and economic outcomes for women, minorities and the poor.

Now, knowledge of the philosophies and strategies used to realize meaningful civil-rights advancements are being marginalized in schools in favor of multiculturalism and a greater appreciation for valued ethnic foods like tacos, sushi and southern fried-chicken.

Both race-relations and multicultural celebrations have their respective place in educational offerings but not at the expense of the other.

DALLAS BARNES, Pasco

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