Sweet are the Uses of Diversity

The Toni Morrison Lectures
April 19, 2016 5:30 PM
McCosh Hall, Room 10
The Toni Morrison Lectures
April 19, 2016 5:30 PM
McCosh Hall, Room 10
The second talk of three delivered by Wole Soyinka at Princeton University in the spring of 2016
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and aas21

That red herring, cultural relativism, is often hooked cynically to the bait of diversity as a cunning device for the attenuation of fundamental human rights. Cultural relativism serves directly as a contrivance of power and dictation against the freedom inherent in genuine diversity.
-Wole Soyinka

Some of our kinfolk here appear to think that in their original home, time has stood still. Worse, many remain even ignorant of the internal dynamics of society in pre-slavery, pre-colonial times and the diversity of these sociological data that proliferated the entire continent even at the time of the abduction from North to South and East to West.

You do not own other human beings. Society all over the world in general has learned that human beings are not bales of cloth, cattle, or even real estate that can be passed from hand to hand at will.

There is no escaping the imperative of choice. Either we exert it or a single-minded, fanatical-minority will exercise that mandate on our behalf and thus deny us our existential will.

Is it really difficult to see that this is what is at the heart of the world’s current dilemma?


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