You will also notice the continual reference to “social justice.” This is telling. For folks on the left, supporting “social justice” does two things: It signals to similar others their moral standing--“I’m for social justice, and so are you, right?”-- and it justifies their leftist ideology under a broader rhetorical umbrella that cannot be questioned. Who, after all, can be against social justice? What is the alternative--favoring social injustice?,
Depending on your campus, social justice ideology may only be something you hear about occasionally. On many other campuses, however, social justice ideology takes the form of religious dogma--dogma that is enforced by true believers. This is the ideology that supports restrictions on speech, association, and belief. Diversity in views is not tolerated but stamped out Heretics are identified, stigmatized, and delegitimized. This is the ideology that supports educational indoctrination and it is the ideology that subtly and sometimes not so subtly informs the social sciences.
What does all of this cost financially? Who cares, right? If the taxpayers didn’t pay for yoga memorials that would be unjust and patiently unfair.
Perhaps more interesting is how people on the right understand “social justice?” The right generally understands “justice” in terms of individual merit and effort, which contrasts with the leftists beliefs that focus on group identity. For the right, “justice” is also about proportionality, fairness, and social reciprocity. Treating people with dignity and as individuals has worked to build cohesive and functional societies. Treating people on the bases of some ascribed characteristic or based on their adherence to a set of beliefs--well, the history of that ain’t pretty. But really, who cares because in academia it is no longer about a commitment to intellectual rigor, empirical objectivity, or scientific findings. Instead, its all about “right” thinking--which is really an insult to those of us on the right.
Our great institution is now in the national spotlight for a very sad reason, a reason that powerfully demonstrates how the actions of one person can impact our entire university community.
As an alumna and in my role as chief diversity officer for our university, I realize the death of Mr. Dubose and the indictment of Mr. Tensing will forever be a part of our story. But we cannot choose for it to be our legacy. How we move forward will be the narrative for our future.
Now is the time to show how our collective action can bring healing and understanding to our university and Greater Cincinnati communities.
I invite you to join President Santa Ono, Chief Jason Goodrich and me along with other members of our UC community for a Healing Conversation and ideation session Thursday, August 6, from 9-10 a.m., in Room 400 TUC.
We realize members of our community have been affected differently by recent events and will process in ways that are comfortable to them. Our Diversity & Inclusion Resource Liaisons will be introduced on Thursday, but they are already available to listen and help with programming. (See their names here.)
In the days and weeks ahead, you are invited to participate and promote the following programs hosted by members and friends of our UC community and wider community:
- “drawn” – an exhibit in an interactive communal space to promote understanding and dialogue. August 6-25 in the Phillip M. Meyers, Jr. Memorial Gallery (on MainStreet near Starbucks).
- Panel Discussion - The panel will be led by faculty, alumni, and students, and will provide background for understanding the UC officer-involved shooting and how it relates to the UC community and the national Black Lives Matter movement. The panel will also respond to questions and comments from the audience. August 6, at 12 p.m., Meyers Gallery.
- Yoga Vigil – a gathering to offer breath in solidarity for justice, compassion, and peace as well as a rose tribute to Samuel DuBose. August 9 at 11 a.m., Campus Green.
- Stories of Justice – a Fall course that allows students to critically reflect on their own beliefs and develop their understanding of social justice issues. To register or encourage others to register, please use Call # 504353.
- CDO Roundtable – a facilitated panel discussion with local chief diversity officers who will share perspectives on what it takes to build an inclusive environment in our organizations and communities, and the roles of our constituents in promoting social justice. September 2 at 2 p.m., 427 TUC.