By Paulina Hoong
NORTHFIELD, MN – During the New Student Week “#CarlTalk: Cultivating Inclusion on Campus,” first-year students were asked to offer comments on diversity in an open-mic setting, and one new student had something important to offer.
Benedict Callahan, raised his hand and stood up. “I’m half Irish, 38.7% Swedish, and 10.2% Norwegian. I think it’s great how much of a melting pot America is where we can all live and work in the same communities, as long as these communities stay civilized. I’m so glad that America has made as much progress as it has, and I’m proud to live in a community that has everyone from Germans to Norwegians to Poles. There is even a family of Italians that just moved in!”
Callahan was spotted wearing a “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” shirt. Students in the audience were seen praying that Callahan would step away from the microphone. Callahan continued, “My European ancestry helps me connect with other diverse communities. For example, on my Irish side, I still feel the effects of oppression that my ancestors used to face, so I can really sympathize with my black friend.”
Later, Callahan said, “1.2 percent of my ancestry is still unknown. And I just really relate to the spirituality of the native culture.”