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  • I hate to post and run (I have to drive to a funeral and won't be back until Sunday), but what the heck.

    First, I don't come down solidly on one side of this issue or the other. It's far too complicated. Sufficiently complicated that I haven't really sorted out all my thoughts on it either, so forgive any jumbled ideas below.

    Unlike pudge I think the goal of diversity in a student body is a laudable one. It's the reason we don't just use standardized tests and grades to admit students. (Not even mentionin

    • I never said the goal of diversity is not a good one; I said that the goal of racial diversity is an empty one, because racial diversity is far from a guarantee of the divertsity that really matters, which is diversity of thought, of culture, of creed. If all the black people there are rich suburbanites, how is that diverse, in any significant way? The point is that, for the sake of diversity, this school is saying "we would rather accept a black student that is just like everyone else than a white student who might bring real diversity." And that's nonsense.

      While the admissions board might look more favorably on the West Virgina kid than the suburban DC cheerleader, they won't -- in the case of Michigan -- if the suburban DC cheerleader is black.

      I don't pretend that every person in the minority has the same opportunities as every person in the majority. I do contend, and boldly state, that many kids in the minority have not gone through as much struggle, and yes, even discrimination, as many kids in the majority.

      Maybe you've never been passed over at a restaurant, turned down for a cab ride, shadowed by guards, had people check their wallets. But neither has this been the case for many black kids. And this has been the case for many white kids, for many different reasons. For example, I had a friend in college, a white guy who grew up in and lived in South Central L.A. He had been in a mostly black gang. He acted like a gang member. And you know what? People treated him like a gang member (even when he left the gang, he still carried himself that way, as many people do). They passed him over for cabs and tables, they checked their wallets. I had another friend who was black, and from an affluent California suburb. He listened to Rush (the band) and played electric guitar; he wore his baseball cap with the brim in front, wore clean, non-baggy clothes, and tucked in his shirt. I can guarantee you that my white friend faced more discrimination than my black friend did.

      Assuming that a black kid has necessarily had more discrimination or oppression or hardship than a white kid is nonsense, and it is what they are doing.

      As to building up networks of people: I don't have one. I don't benefit from one. Why should I possibly care about creating one for someone just because of the color of his skin?
      • Unlike chemical compounds, throwing different groups of people together in college doesn't mean they'll have any better understanding of each other. Integration (not just racial) is a hard thing. It appears that xenophobia and territorialism are deeply bred into us. However, all hope is not lost for diversity. Simply group students together aboard a renegade prison ship, like Farscape's Moya [] and watch the culture misunderstandings melt away as those nasty, jack-booted thug Peacekeepers dog their every step.