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

Chapter 3
Diversity in Black and White

    Another primary – and absurd – justification given for Diversity is to avoid a situation in which a minority student might be one of only a handful of members of his race in a given classroom.  As UCLA Professor Tyrone Howard told the black-oriented student newsmagazine Nommo in the Fall 2003 issue, Diversity might spare future students from the chamber of horrors he found in 1986 as a UC Irvine undergraduate:

“It was a lecture class with about three hundred people, who [were] almost exclusively white.  The only exceptions were another brother who sat far in the front of the class, and myself.  We happened to catch eyes and without saying a word, we were able to communicate the message: I am going through the same thing.  He ended up becoming one of my closest friends.”

    Magical black telepathy aside, Howard’s anecdote summarizes the repellent philosophy of Diversity proponents: don’t be an individual, be scared of white skin, and only seek acquaintances and friendships within your own race.  The Diversitistas’ goal of ending scarring experiences like Howard’s is unfortunately doomed to failure.  In case the good professor wasn’t aware, blacks have been and will continue to be a minority in California at 6.1% of the population.  The question must then be: how many blacks would make Howard and his ilk comfortable?  A perfectly proportional 18.3 out of the 300?  50 blacks?  100 blacks?  Going through life with a psychological need for a critical mass of black colleagues is a recipe for constant disappointment.

    To soothe the rattled nerves of minority students, UCLA could create an on-call pool of Designated Minorities dispatched as needed to restore proper classroom racial balance.  Or, UCLA professors like Howard could teach their students a bigger philosophy, the philosophy of the individual.  Race relations, in their decrepit state, would be improved  if every student learned to regard himself as an individual, not a skin color.

    Unfortunately, the philosophy of racial separatism dominates the psyche of minority students.  Curt Young told the Daily Bruin in 2002 of “feel[ing] like a stranger in a strange land” at UCLA, and noted that “When we (blacks) see each other, it's like an event.”[i]   For the restive racial minorities who are the heart and soul of the radical student left, the lack of fellow minorities is not just disappointing, it verges on a hate crime.  At a 1998 anti-209 law school protest, Nancy Freeman, one of seven African American students admitted in 1997, wept, “When I walk up the steps to this law school, this does not feel like a friendly place to me.”[ii]

    Other undergraduates are more direct.  In the September 24, 2001 Daily Bruin, Bryant Tan, that year’s Academic Affairs commissioner in the undergraduate student government, spat, “Welcome to a university that masks in blue and gold a student body that is ill reflective of Los Angeles and California, a limited and culturally irrelevant education, and a continued unwelcome mat for underrepresented students.”  For the radical student left, a lack of faces the same color as theirs morphs from not simply dissatisfying to actively hostile.  But the problem is not an issue of mats of any kind, welcome or unwelcome, but rather that we’re providing entry of any kind to students of such massive intellectual immaturity.

    The radical minority even directs some of their racial hostility to a group of their own supporters – white-guilt liberals who just want to feel their pain.  As Lakesha Breeding noted in a 1998 Daily Bruin letter, “it is nice that some whites and Asians express an interest in minority issues, but until they have actually dealt with the racism firsthand and felt the isolation from walking around campus and finding only a few faces like theirs, they cannot truly contribute perspectives on minority issues.”[iii]  Breeding’s philosophy, if applied to the Civil Rights Movement, would have led to the exclusion of Jews and other sympathetic whites – and the certain failure of their just cause.

    Like most radical cant at UCLA, the idea that only minorities have standing to discuss minority issues has its roots in the Sixties; Breeding’s in particular stem from the separatist Black Power movement.  Hispanics also shamelessly advance this brand of separatism.  Celia Lacayo, President of the Latin American Students Association in 2000, justified her support for racial preferences with the blunt statement, “UCLA puts out the leaders in this community, and the leaders should look like their constituency.”   The message is clear – it’s every ethnic group for itself.  For the Diversitistas, even philosophical agreement does not trump the primacy of race.