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  • Towson Nikki Giovanni

    By Allison Aldrich

    Towson University's Center for Student Diversity bills itself as a group encouraging inclusion and dialogue between individuals of diverse backgrounds. Unfortunately, anyone who doesn't subscribe to a far left agenda would not have felt welcome at the group's Diversity Speaker Series event on October 3rd, featuring Virginia Tech professor Nikki Giovanni. 

    Prof. Giovanni is known for her activism and poetry, famously reciting her poem "We Are Virginia Tech" in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting, which compared the tragedy of 32 murdered students with an elephant being hunted for ivory.

    Professor Giovanni's poetry reading turned into a 30-minute diatribe on conservative thought. Speaking to a diverse audience, Prof. Giovanni claimed that in America, "A bunch of fat cat millionaire - billionaires - are sitting around not knowing what to do with their money, buying and selling people like you and me." 

    Prof. Giovanni explained that she was "sick of white people" asking why she's blaming them for problems. "Cuz you're white!" Prof. Giovanni explains, "it's not personal, you know, but you can't blame me!" 

    Though Prof. Giovanni is a strong advocate for racial diversity on campus, her abhorrence to diversity of thought was heard loud and clear by attendees of the Center for Student Diversity's event: "There is a reason we've had and have always had colleges of the liberal arts and liberal sciences," said Prof. Giovanni. "We do that because we don't need colleges of the conservative arts and superstitions!"

    Prof. Giovanni's future activism on gun control in Virginia might startle some of her students - liberals and conservatives alike. Prof. Giovanni proclaimed that, "If they pass the concealed carry law in Virginia, this is what we're gonna do. I teach in room 434 of Major Williams, we're gonna come up to the elevator, step in, and we're gonna strip naked. And then we're gonna come into the class." In fairness, as a teacher at Virginia Tech during the massacre, her strong opinions on the matter can be partially explained. Her over the top nudity in class, though, cannot.

    Prof. Giovanni didn't hold back when expressing her problem with some pro-life advocates:  "I'm mad about abortion...the thing is, you see, why is it that you are against abortion, but you're for capital punishment? So I should have [the baby] so that you can kill it later? That's not right. That's not right. Nobody loves my little black baby, so leave me alone." Does this type of language elevate thoughtful dialogue and encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds and beliefs to communicate? No. The diversity event pitted two groups against each other, likely dividing them further apart than when they arrived. 

    Is it likely that Towson students, on either side of the spectrum, left that diversity event feeling more inclusive of diverse backgrounds? If you're reading Towson's student paper, The Towerlight," that's exactly what you'd think happened. In fact, they didn't report on any of her radical positions, and even toned down one of her comments by quoting her as saying, "Every time [the government needs] a nickel they take a crayon out of a kid's hand." In fact, Prof. Giovanni wasn't talking about "the government," she was specifically talking about conservatives in that portion of her diatribe. Prof. Giovanni used her platform to berate conservatives, libertarians, financially successful Americans, pro-life individuals and 2nd Amendment advocates, among other groups. What part of that fulfilled Towson's Center for Student Diversity's mission of creating an environment conducive to understanding and dialogue? 

    Allison Aldrich is a graduate of Young America's Foundation's programs and a 2009 graduate of Virginia Tech

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