The Politics of Separation

Minorities are increasing on the nation's campuses, complicating the debate over political correctness and multiculturalism

On the eve of the funeral of Chicano hero Cesar Chavez last April, UCLA Chancellor Charles Young announced that the school had decided against creating a separate Chicano studies department. No other ethnic group had its own department, a university task force on the subject noted, and there was not enough academic substance to justify adding that one. Within days, however, 300 students -- equivalent to a tenth of the school's Chicanos and about 1% of total enrollment -- staged a protest that escalated into a window- breaking skirmish with police. Next came a hunger strike by five students and one...

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