As you know, dear readers, I am adamantly opposed to racist admissions policy on moral, intellectual, and constitutional grounds. There is no issue I think more pernicious and no ideology more destructive than the specious one that race ought to be a criteria for admission in America's elite. I believe as Robert Frost did -- I do not want to live in a homogeneous society, I want the cream to rise. I want the very best people in America to be where they deserve to be.
Alex Mitchell, by contrast, seems to believe that "diversity" is a net good. His comment is responding to a good comment explaining why racial preferences are bad. I'll go point by point explaining why I think he's wrong by using his own words, minus the swear words which I will hyphen or asterik out.
This is exactly the perspective bringing diversity to CMC would help to eliminate. Your outlook is narrow-minded. So much so, that reading your reply makes me ashamed to claim CMC as my college.
The first step to an argument, we have learned from Mr. Mitchell, is to personalize, rather than debate on the substance. Note the use of the word "my." Claremont McKenna isn't his college, anymore than it is mine or yours. It is ours and if we are to believe that we are an elite school, we must have criteria that separate the wheat from the chaff, the best from the good.
Yes, undoubtedly, we want the best students and professors to create an optimal learning environment. This is attainable and synonymous with increased diversity.
"Diversity" for the purposes of this blog post will mean what is means to admissions officers -- brown and black faces. Empirically, we know from study after study, more "diversity" has often meant fewer Asians, Jews, or poor whites who are more qualified than richer blacks and yet face more hurdles to their admission.
... People making the diversity argument know the positive benefits of having experiences with people who don’t share your own history. If you haven’t noticed, we live in a homogenized environment that perpetually consists of boarding school educated, majority white, rich kids. I am sure they have worked their asses off to get here, but I put more value on the equally intelligent minority who went to a public school not offering impressive AP programs. Or the ESL student who didn’t get in because her “American intelligence” was inhibited by an SAT language barrier. I want peers that have more to offer than a streamlined view of “intelligence” as this finite, testable, prediction of success.
Let's put aside the growing body of social science research that suggests that increased diversity causes less trust, and more hunkering down, and glance, instead, at the assumptions: "your own history." Each of us is a minority because we are all individuals. We all have different histories. Mitchell must mean, instead, racial background. What else could he mean?
Part of the problem with affirmative action is that it leads almost inexorably to "affirmative grading" by which professors inflate the grades of minority students. As one professor once told me, "if we brought 'em here, we have an obligation to help them stay here."
I think what is most infuriating is the idea that you think minorities will become “props” on campus – that the “less intelligent” black male won’t be able to pull his own on campus? What complete and utter bullshit. First of all, you were probably just a few extra-curriculars away from getting denied this education – your acceptance is not a pedestal. Second, This college is hard to get in, but it isn’t a f---ing labyrinth to get through. Any CMCer will tell you the hardest part of college is receiving an acceptance letter. Hands down.
Says a guy who has majored in some of the easiest topics on campus: film studies and psychology. That college is easy should tell you something about grade inflation or what you have chosen to study, not the institution as a whole.
I will assume your grab bag of statistics (minorities have a 2/3 better chance of getting in) [Cj's note: the person actually wrote that minorities have double, not 2/3s chance of getting in] is as accurate as it is insulting to all the minorities currently attending this college. Hey, AJ Harris, this person thinks you only got in here because you are black. How does that make you feel? Not only does this illustrate your own racism, it underlines a larger systemic issue that says minorities shouldn’t get into a school over whites: anti-affirmative action.
Note again how Mitchell confirms the earlier argument about blacks becoming props by invoking AJ Harris, a black guy, who it just so happens went to my prep school. (I was a scholarship winner to said prep school; he was not, but whatever...) The fact that Mitchell brings in Harris confirms the problem. If we did away with affirmative action, would we ever have to worry that people have chips on their shoulders?
I know a lot of minorities at this college that reject the idea of affirmative action. It is a thin line bordering what some minorities think as a knock on their own intelligence, and what others find as the only way minorities can combat years of discrimination in school, work, and housing. Either way, a lack of diversity at this college constitutes a failure to know different people, a failure to understand inherent struggle, and a failure to care about anything other than the most perfect landscape your white privileged a** can imagine.
The assumption that "the only way minorities can combat years of discrimination in school, work, and housing" is pretty racist. Asians and Jews and black immigrants, who have the highest high school graduation rate, might beg to differ. As is the assumption that the person who wrote the comment was 1) white or 2) privileged. I know, I know, everyone is white is privileged, blah, blah, blah. But some of us are, like the animals in Animal Farm, more privileged than others. (I sure didn't feel privileged, by the way, when I watched my mother go through cancer twice; worried about my sister dying prematurely; worked my way through prep school and college; or helped my parents close down their family business thanks to a sluggish economy. I certainly don't feel privileged when I'm too poor to afford things or to go home for the holidays -- though I should note that I am very privileged, even blessed, to have friends out here who have taken me for all those holidays.)
From my family, I learned that to be alive is to be privileged, of course, and that some have more and some have less is the same of man. I don't happen to think an administrator ought to play God when God has seen fit to arrange things as they are, assuming, of course, that He was involved at all. Or even exists.
Lastly, the fact that you call sociology and victim studies (whatever that is) a joke is offensive, and I am neither. You might not realize this now, but the people that take these courses are the people you will take your child to when they f--- up in life. The ones who will run organizations to help underprivileged individuals your mind is too far aloof to recognize. The ones holding the strings of society together. A society you have no interest in knowing.I'm sorry, but I don't think that I, as a ginger, I don't think I'll ever have need of a Chicano/a/Latino/a,/Black/Asian studies major -- and thankfully, neither will our already depressed economy.