Bruin Alumni Association
Diversity@UCLA: By Any Means Necessary

Chapter 1 - An Exquisitely Devious Plan

Chapter 2- Justifying the Unjustifiable

Chapter 3 - Diversity in Black and White

Chapter 4 - Making UCLA 'Look like L.A.'

Chapter 5 - Where Intellectual Diversity Is a Dirty Word

Diversity@UCLA: By Any Means Necessary

By Andrew Jones

Chapter 1
An Exquisitely Devious Plan

    University of California Regent Ward Connerly did two utterly inexcusable things in his lifetime.  He committed his first sin in 1995, when he led the Regents in ending, throughout the UC system, affirmative action in admissions, hiring and contracting.  He sinned again the next year, spearheading the successful passage of Proposition 209, which altered the California Constitution to outlaw affirmative action in all state business.  Student radicals, most with a personal stake in a system of racial preferences, were outraged, and expressed their displeasure in typical fashion – protests, building takeovers, and violent confrontations at Regents meetings. 

    While the students raged, the race lobby went back to the drawing board and returned with the concept of Diversity.  “Diverse” classrooms populated by people of different backgrounds, they argued, were an inherent good for all students.  Minority students would earn a well-deserved leg up in society, while white students would learn how to live and interact with minorities – a most useful skill in an increasingly non-white world.  The concept was exquisitely devious, allowing diversity proponents to argue that they cared for all students (because all sides supposedly benefited from the system), while still pursuing the old affirmative action goal of managed admissions outcomes.  Diversity, in short, had artfully spun its selectively beneficial outcomes as serving the interest of all society.

    The concept of diversity has had a long and respectable history in the United States – which is the primary reason that it was adopted (and perverted to partisan ends) by the race lobby.  No reasonable person objects to the idea of people from different backgrounds coming together in a common setting.  Diversity also leeches on the concept of equal opportunity, the traditional American belief that, absent outside control, a group of applicants selected through a meritocracy will naturally be diverse. 

    Several common social assumptions also help drive the public acceptance of diversity.  The public takes as a given that through social interaction black people have things to teach white people, whites can teach Hispanics, Hispanics can teach Asians, and so on around the circle.  But most Americans don’t have a full understanding of the leaps of logic inherent in the way that diversity is practiced today, or the Faustian bargains it makes in the goal of assuring the diversity in a group of participants.  When the reality is successfully communicated to the public, such as with Proposition 209, truth inevitably wins out.  Affirmative action was about ensuring a diverse pool of applicants, but in its zeal to assure equal opportunity it violated another American fundamental, the third-rail of equal access.  Affirmative action was successfully put down once the truth was told.  The challenge is before us to do the same with the concept of diversity.

    Don’t expect UCLA leadership like Chancellor Albert Carnesale to admit diversity’s fraudulence.  Carnesale insists diversity is a complex concept which emphasizes the presence of students from varying “racial, ethnic, economic, social and geographic” backgrounds.  Only occasionally do UCLA’s diversity proponents go off message.  Raymund Paredes, one-time UCLA vice-chancellor of academic development, admitted in 1999 that diversity “certainly includes affirmative action.”[i]  Paredes’ candor belies Carnesale’s insistence that diversity is about more than affirmative action’s characteristic fixation and discrimination against the white male.

    Further evidence against Carnesale’s claim of a “complex” diversity is found on the webpage of Carnesale’s own Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Diversity.  It complains, “UCLA's faculty is still overwhelmingly white (81%) and male (78%).”[ii]  This black vs. white, us vs. them argumentation stands in stark contrast to Carnesale’s cheery emphasis on a multifaceted, mainstream diversity.  That’s because at base, affirmative action then and diversity both make a scapegoat of the white male.  The name has changed to “diversity,” but the underlying motives of class and race war remain the same.

    Chancellor Albert Carnesale’s rhetoric apes the illogical, Orwellian doublespeak of the UCLA diversity lobby.  Carnesale presided over the inauguration of an entire website dedicated to the topic, Diversity@UCLA,[iii] and has given at least three public addresses specifically praising this philosophy.  Carnesale’s characteristically agreeable rhetoric masks the unstated racism of Diversity, its desire for managed outcomes, and the fact that at UCLA, the only diversity that matters - diversity of thought - does not matter at all.  In his “Statement on Diversity,” Carnesale posits that “Diversity of the student body has long been a hallmark of UCLA’s excellence, and that diversity is essential to producing graduates who are capable of leading a multi-cultural society… Diversity – including racial, ethnic, economic, social and geographic – remains a core institutional value for UCLA and is particularly crucial to the success of this institution...”[iv]

    Carnesale also notes that “education is markedly enhanced by a diverse student body, largely because students learn so much from each other. Diversity of backgrounds, beliefs and experiences is among the most valuable of educational assets.”[v]  Carnesale sums up the mission of the Diversitistas: “Our challenge at UCLA in the post-affirmative action era is to make sure we sustain our tradition of excellence and diversity.”  Unstated in all of Carnesale’s bloviation is that the presence of students from different “racial, ethnic, economic, social and geographic” backgrounds – Carnesale’s self-stated formulation of diversity – does not a good education make.  He is of course correct in stating that “students learn…from each other.”  But typical of diversity proponents, he confers a pedagogical rank on student interaction approaching that of the professor himself.  It’s unlikely that Carnesale really believes that student interaction is all that central in the totality of a university education.  But it sounds nice.  And it keeps him out of trouble with the diversity lobby.

    Go to  Chapter 2 - Justifying the Unjustifiable

[i] issues/99/09.27/news.diversity.html




[v] Ibid.