Let’s Talk About Diversity

I would like to take a moment and talk about myself (because white people never do that, right?). As a first-timer here at HMUN, the aspect that I have found most thrilling about the entire experience is being in the presence of countless individuals from around the world. Being white and living my entire life in an area where white people comprise 99.9% of the population, I have never once sat in a room in which I was the minority.

I have experienced that here at HMUN.

As someone that has always been in the majority, this has been an enlightening experience for me. While I still have much to learn about the world and my own privilege, I can say that being surrounded by countless varieties of ethnicities, races, religions, etc., whether they live tens, hundreds, or thousands of miles away, I have never felt more in touch with the global community. In just two days here, I have come in contact with fascinating individuals from Peru, Ecuador, England, India, and China to name a few. I have had the pleasure of hearing about different school systems, testing regulations, sports, and ways of life in general, as well as a multitude of authentic opinions. Oh, and the many different accents are also super intriguing. I could listen to the British people talk for hours.

Here at HMUN, one learns that age truly does not matter, as a freshman can just as easily out-debate a senior, rather than the other way around, as people may normally presume. One learns that not everyone of the same age as them have the same mindset or beliefs, as people may normally presume. One learns that the world is not at all like the area in which they have lived their entire life, as people may normally presume.

I would like to thank in advance all of the amazing people I have met at this conference; my experience certainly would not have been so fulfilling without you. I am so very grateful for being given this opportunity to be part of such an intricate, varying crowd. Connecting with such diverse individuals is truly an experience that I will never forget, and I hope to have many similar encounters in the future.

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One thought on “Let’s Talk About Diversity

  1. I do not know if commenting is in order, but I feel like I should say something about this awesome article.

    First, thank you so very much for writing this article, Yomiuri Shimbun! It’s not everyday I hear people talk so candidly and personally about diversity. Your article made me reflect about my own life. You may or may not noticed that I’m older than most of you. Having been through some pretty tough times early in life, I am often secluded from my peers and contained in my own bubble. If you were contained in your own thoughts long enough like I have been, you would develop something like a psychological allergic reaction, detesting everyone with less life skills or knowledge base. I become very condescending and have very high self esteem. I constantly look down to people and feel morally superior. (I knew condescension was wrong, but I kept doing it! Somehow it made me feel more superior.) The diversity and opportunity that I enjoy on a daily are also taken for granted. You article made me realize that the diverse and tolerance that we have enjoyed for so long are such a blessing! Neither age nor experience nor color of skin makes one person superior. In this inclusive space of HMUN, no one has the right or reason to feel inferior or superior. We are all fellow delegates, fellow citizens, fellow learners. Embracing diversity means throwing myself into the melting pot — even though I am precious copper and they are cheap aluminum, the combination of the two is stronger than either.

    Next, I would like to offer my humble view on another side of diversity — diversity of thought. To most people, Harvard is the equivalent of Northeast elites. It’s not everyday that the value of a small town in South Carolina is incorporated in the glamour of Boston and the prestige of Harvard. Obviously, you are very smart and very lucky, far smarter and luckier than me. I consider myself a principled conservative, although I do not often say that out loud (oops, I just did). I try to play my part as Pravda as comprehensive as possible (hence the hat) so as not to jam my personal political opinions into my HMUN work. However, in the name of diversity and inclusiveness, I ask: Would a principled and vocal conservative find his/her place in HMUN? Would a U.N. skeptic? Would a budget hawk? How about a coal energy fanatic? A pro-life, anti-abortion young lady? Or a fan of Amb. John Bolton, Gen. Colin Powell or Pres. G. W. Bush? Of course these thoughts are just my craziness, because Harvard, as a reputable institution, welcomes all. But how would he/she feel? Would he/she suppress his/her own political opinions just to fit in? I can keep asking: How would a devout Muslim feel in the cotton fields of South Carolina? How would a well dressed Chinese businessman feel in the historically black neighborhoods in Southeast D.C.? What would a Falcons fan feel in the Patriots home field? What would a supporter of the President feel when seeing the “F*** TRUMP” sticker on the escalator? HMUN have very inclusive policies (which is nice), but if you dig real deep, you would find that its content is driven by a leftist progressive mindset. That results in a HMUN which may be diverse in skin color, gender or religion, but not in thought and ideology. Of course, I say this with the utmost respect and admiration for HMUN and its hardworking staff and delegates. (Their dedication to academic excellence while still maintaining a sense of humor is awesome.) This few days have been the best ones I’ve ever had in years, literally, years! (Somewhere in the back of my subconscious, my brain is sharpening my conservative arguments against every liberal one I heard.)

    Dear delegate of Yomiuri Shimbun, I did not know you before, I didn’t even remember your name (sorry, I’m terrible with names), yet through this article I felt instantly connected. You may not feel the same way, but your article is such a great enlightenment to me. Thank you again for your article, and I hope you can find pleasure in the thought that your writing made someone else’s life better.

    Like

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