The Lexington Herald-Leader has lately been on one of its favorite harangues – having to do with racism, of course – and has chosen the University of Kentucky as the target. It seems that enrolment among black freshmen has dropped precipitously in percentage of those qualifying for entrance from the numbers of last year, ergo, the university is at fault. One L-H columnist stated flatly that UK has scared these qualified freshmen (should one say freshpeople, the better not to commit political-correctness hara-kiri?) into simply not showing up. This is pretty strong stuff – scared away! She didn’t suggest how this fright has been engendered, perhaps being too scared of UK’s potential underhanded attempts on her PC to take the chance.
The African-American faculty, or some of it – maybe all of it – jumped into the fun, complaining that President Todd simply does not consult with them on a regular basis…well, actually on any basis at all, and even wrote him a letter about it, carefully seeing that a copy of same got to the oracular L-H, which, apparently forthwith and with great haste and concern for the public good published it and even (gasp) editorialized upon the subject. Well, after all, shouldn’t the UK prexy consult with all the groups on campus regularly on the basis of at least the predominance of ethnicity within their ranks? How about the professors who are Hungarian-Americans or Spanish-Americans or Native-Americans or, as famous golfer Tiger Woods would have it, “Cablinasian” — a term of his that combines his Caucasian, African, Native American and Asian heritage. Of course, he would agree to Cablinasian-American in order to achieve the highest degree of political correctness possible.
At last notice, Todd hasn’t met with the A-As, even though upon receipt of their circulating letter (such a personal thing) he promised to meet within the week, which was now some weeks or so ago. One of the A-As was relegated from a higher position to a professorship not long after Todd assumed the presidency of the institution, so that might have had something to do with the situation, though the good folks expressed concern about the students the columnist insisted were scared away. She also indicated that black students were not scared away from the University of Louisville, which welcomed them with open arms. Still, she didn’t draw any distinction between welcoming arms and unwelcoming arms, the better to get a handle on the problem, especially pertinent now with scary Halloween approaching.
It’s all about the magic bullet that’s supposed to make any institution of higher learning, ipso facto, EXCELLENT, simply that of DIVERSITY. Yes, the difference between success and failure anent learning itself, not to mention prestige, has to do with getting as many folks claiming some ethnic uniqueness as possible in the academic environs. Since brains and not just warm bodies, never mind their origin/lineage, have always constituted the most sought after trait in both student and teacher as vital to institutional excellence, the whole ball game has now changed. It’s not a matter of intelligence any longer, but one of ethnicity – not the content of the mind, but the color of the skin.
This is what Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “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.” With respect to their intelligence, he could have substituted “mind” for “character” (and probably would have), but that’s not the way of those who have supposedly followed in his shoes but have walked in the shoes of those with “plantation minds,” like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who scream for entitlements, regardless of whether they are earned or not. They unrelentingly howl for equal treatment, but actually mean “gimme, gimme, gimme.” In academia, this spells doom for the institution, the teacher, and the student. Intellect drives education, not diversity or anything else.And so it goes.