In a new article in the Yale Daily News, “The Dark Side of Diversity,” Stony Brook Professor and LDS Faculty Director Todd Pittinsky asks why the media confuses a plus from an ampersand.
When Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, announced his “Us + Them” tour, with “a story that’s about whether love trumps everything,” Pittinsky noticed that the media kept calling it the “Us and Them” tour. This struck home because Pittinsky’s recent book, Us Plus Them, was also constantly referred to as Us and Them.
In its small way, says Pittinsky, this mistake shows how hard it is for people to see “us” and “them” as anything other than natural opposites who can at best be tolerant of each other. “The idea that ‘us and them’ can be something positive — a sum rather than a difference — is seldom taken seriously,” he observes, “sadly even by
Pittinsky’s 10 years of researching and teaching on diversity and difference have shown him that there are many opportunities — particularly on campus — to find or create the bright side of diversity rather than its dark side. “Microaggressions and prejudice are too real,” he notes, “but so too are microaffirmations and allophilia.”