SP-1, 2 protesters living in the past
ACTIVISM: Social climate has changed since 1960s, though students ignore it
by Ben Shapiro
There has been a disruption in the space-time continuum. It is
scientifically documented that while the rest of the Earth has moved on and
changed day by day, some college campuses have hit a fourth-dimensional
speed bump and gone flying off the road, crashing into a wall covered with
slogans of "We Shall Overcome" and "Rebel Against Authority." For the
students at these campuses, their sense of time is also reversed, which
makes for a tragicomic situation. While the world has progressed beyond the
bounds of the 1960s, many of those associated with universities seem
oblivious to the change.
This would explain the strange occurrence on March 14. On that day, several
influential Student Association Groups organized a gigantic anti-SP-1 and
SP-2 rally. Seeing over 1,000 protesters getting together to march for
diversity and equality was an inspirational event in the 1960s. Times have
changed. Policies have changed.
The misguided cries of hundreds upon hundreds of people chanting such
slogans as "Education is a right, not just for the rich and white," wearing
stickers reading "Access Denied" and holding signs accusing the UC Regents
of racism were intemperate, inaccurate and morally irresponsible. Having to
watch as leaders of the rally proclaimed that they were following the path
Martin Luther King Jr. paved by attempting to prevent the reversal of "30
years of civil rights struggle" was not only silly, but disrespectful to
the memory of that great American hero.
Instead of leading a debate on affirmative action to try and come to a
reasonable solution through intelligent dialogue, the protesters shut down
a mayoral debate, marched around campus, and filled the air with their
Take for example, that most tolerant and diverse of all chants, "education
is a right, not just for the rich and white." Hmm. Since when was education
in the Bill of Rights?
There is no possible way that college education is a right. In any case it
is a privilege! Freedom is a right. Education is not a right.
As for the second half of the awful aphorism, it seems that the last UCLA
census showed that the Asian population is actually larger than the white
population, making up between 43 and 45 percent of the total
Can the white community start claiming "underrepresentation" yet?
Another favorite slogan was "This is what diversity looks like."
Interesting. These are the people who say that diversity is necessary to
enrich the lives of the students attending university.
Since when was skin color enriching? Martin Luther King Jr. stated in his
"I Have a Dream" speech, "I have a dream that my four little children will
one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of
their skin, but by the content of their character." The actual law of SP-1
states, "The University of California shall not use race, religion, sex,
color, ethnicity or national origin as criteria for admission to the
University or to any program of study."
Isn't the message of that law a lot closer to that of Martin Luther King
than that of affirmative action, which states that people should be
admitted to universities based on race?
How about protesting for diversity of ideas? That would have been something
worth protesting for. That would enrich the college experience hearing
from both sides on any given topic.
But where was the other side, protesting against the protest? Where was
diversity of opinion? Has the UC system, the same system that brought us
the "Free Speech Movement," become free speech only for the left?
Everyone on campus has at least one time or another seen the "Access
Denied" T-shirts and stickers, the chalk scrawls "Resist Resegregation," or
the signs at the rally saying "UC Regents We See UC Racists." Really now.
Do these people really think that the UC Regents sit up nights planning how
to hurt African Americans, Latinos, or other minorities? Can't you just see
Ward Connerly waking up in the middle of the night, turning to his wife,
and saying "Honey, I just can't sleep until I've found a way to hurt poor,
How about the statistic that of the minorities admitted to the UC system
under "special criteria" (i.e. affirmative action), only 7.2 percent
graduated in four years, and less than 50 percent in six years
(http://www.larryelder.com/racial/noaffirmative.htm)? And they say that
affirmative action won't weaken the academic status of the student pool.
Not to mention that the protesters conveniently ignored the fact that even
if SP-1 and SP-2 were repealed, affirmative action would still be illegal
under Proposition 209, which was passed by an overwhelming margin in the
state of California.
Since when was access denied to students who are deserving based on their
hard work and not just on their color? The top 12.5 percent of California
high school students are automatically admitted to the UC system, and every
student from California who applies through the Eligibility in the Local
Context program, meaning that they finished in the top 4 percent of their
schools, is admitted to at least one of the UC campuses.
Under the ELC program, if a certain school has a senior class average of a
D-plus and class size of 250, and someone finishes ninth in the class with
an average of a B-minus, they are guaranteed admission to the UC
system. America is still the land of opportunity hard work pays off.
Too bad that people who can get together for a cause like the repeal of
SP-1 and SP-2 couldn't channel their energy in other ways to do something
more productive. Like attempting to make elementary schools better in the
first place. Like teaching critical thinking skills to all of the
brainwashed high-schoolers who were bused to the rally to scream and shout
about how tough they have it.
Or better yet, why not send those same kids to a library so that they can
work hard and succeed on their own merits, not though the charity of a
liberal society eager to give handouts to the "disadvantaged" few?
We don't live in the 1960s anymore. The messages of the '60s applied to a
time when African Americans were forced to the backs of buses, denied equal
access to public institutions and lynched for protesting their plight. The
situation is different now.
It is a wonderful thing that so many young people around the country and
right here at UCLA have the passion to go out and change the world. But let
them at least acknowledge that the world has changed, that irreversible
progress has been made.
To imitate protest from a different era is disingenuous. It is impossible
to say what Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought had he lived to see
this day, but he would have recognized that things have changed.
May the day come when the students, teachers and administrators of the
universities acknowledge as much.
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