The notion that any course in Western culture can be enriched by adding to its core list of readings, books by women and persons of colour, not because they are the best or most appropriate for the subject at hand, but because of the race or sex or class of the author (a kind of affirmative action programme in scholarship) is both patronizing and ludicrous from the standpoint of honest scholarship. The folly is compounded by the obligation to recruit women and people of colour to teach the ideas and aspects of culture that involve them. This is nothing more than a sophisticated revival of the old folk fantasy that only like can understand like.
Existing educational curricula are already politicized in that basic texts tend to have been composed by Western white males and that, in consequence, the required courses are intrinsically infected with racism, sexism and imperialism. This can be corrected by replacing, or supplementing, the relevant traditional texts by books composed by women and people of colour and by representatives of the oppressed classes of the past and of the present, as well as by encouraging the study of foreign cultures in greater depth. To ensure that courses are appropriately taught, personnel should be recruited from minorities and women, wherever possible.