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More letters from alumni about Third World Center

New name for Third World Center

For the past nine years, I have been living in Indonesia. I am the proud father of a mixed-race baby, as well as two step-children who differ from me in nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, and gender. Therefore, I feel somewhat qualified to speak about human diversity and the Third World. I praise Princeton's Third World Center for its promotion of cultural pluralism and mutual respect. However, I question the accuracy of the organization's name and the relevance of the justification offered at the TWC Web site: "in our name we align ourselves with the struggles of Third World peoples."

Although it is historically accurate to lump American ethnic minorities with populations in their ancestral countries, the divergence increases with each generation. In many cases, people of color are socially, financially, and politically better off today than they were in 1971. Most empathize with their fellow Americans in worldview and I dare say that few consider themselves to be allied with the real Third World.

Thirty years have passed since student activists spurred the university to establish our TWC. I'd hate to see outdated radical rhetoric enshrined as a timeless tradition. I respectfully suggest that the Governance Board of Princeton's Third World Center adapt to their surroundings by adopting a more relevant name for the organization. Something along the lines of Center for Cultural Pluralism would be more accurate.

Martin A. Schell '74
Klaten, Central Java

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