The University of California’s new admissions policies are an end-run around the state’s race-blind laws.
RALEIGH – As a member of the University of California Board of Regents, Ward Connerly experienced pressure to increase diversity on the campuses of the university system. After a 12-year term that ended in 2005, he still doesn’t know what the system was seeking.
“There was a lot of mindless blather about celebrating diversity,” Connerly said about his period on the board. “When I left, I didn’t know more about diversity. I asked a lot of questions. I could never get an answer that made sense to me.”
Connerly was the keynote speaker at the recent Pope Center Conference on “Diversity: How Much and What Kinds Do Universities Need?” held in Raleigh at the Brownstone Inn. As a regent, Connerly successfully fought for the elimination of race-based admission practices at the University of California. He also led a successful statewide campaign in 1996 to adopt Proposition 209, which prevented the state government from giving preferential treatment based on race. Today he is supporting a similar initiative in Michigan.
RALEIGH – By now it is well known that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill made national headlines again for something that, depending upon whom you ask, demonstrates its animus against Christian groups or its passion for the principles of diversity. Specifically, UNC-CH is being sued by a Christian fraternity, Alpha Iota Omega, for officially derecognizing the group because the group wouldn’t sign a “nondiscrimination” pledge.
The last third of the twentieth century witnessed the rise and triumph of the post-modern or, better yet, the “New Age University,” whose core mission involves bringing America into a new age based on substantially altered principles and social forms.
North Carolina State University has a new “diversity czar.” This new czar “said professors should integrate diversity into the classroom of every discipline, no matter how technical.”
The Division of Student Affairs at North Carolina State University will be “Celebrating Race and Ethnicity” this semester. Really. It has even developed a full slate of programs by which to celebrate these all-important nouns.
Next to “diversity,” used as a synonym for discrimination by race, a favorite euphemism at universities today is “critical thinking.” The usual occasions for its use, however, are rather ironic — to stymie rather than stimulate critical thinking.
This past semester several political items were removed, as soon they appeared, from the student union at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Among them: anti-war flyers labeling President George Bush a “bully,” depicting Lady Liberty impaling a dove by its rectum on a sword, and having the U.S. flag being produced in the exhaust fumes of B-1 bombers; magazines containing a photograph of men engaging in anal sex; a large sign advertising “The Vagina Monologues” that called for all [offensive slang for vaginas] to “Unite!”; and flyers in support of war against Saddam Hussein.
Actually, only the last one was deemed offensive enough for removal from campus. The rest were allowed to stand.
The litigation over race-based admissions policies is probably the most important case the Supreme Court will decide in its current term. Those who think that it’s somehow progress for government institutions to treat classes of individuals differently because of their ancestry are pulling out all the stops to defend race-based admissions policies, including an intellectually dishonest argument that diversity enhances education and cries that the sky will fall if schools like the University of Michigan can’t stack the deck in favor of applicants in certain groups. Here are a few thoughts on this momentous case.
“Down with ‘Diversity,'” proclaims the October 2002 cover of New Sense magazine at Duke University, published by the students of the Duke Conservative Union. “Trampling UNC’s Intellectual Diversity,” proclaimed the March 2002 cover of Carolina Review, a conservative student publication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Review cover, which featured a grinning donkey treading underfoot the word “DIVERSITY,” also asked, “If all your professors are Democrats, is Carolina diverse?”