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
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