Diversity That Matters

The following was written by club member Andre Louis:

Although many of my freedom-loving friends have swiftly and rightfully defended the upcoming bake sale organized by the Berkeley College Republicans in terms of free speech and meritocracy in education, several have simultaneously questioned the sale’s appropriateness and viability as a political tactic. Race-based satire, say these hesitant supporters, may fall entirely within the realm of legitimate free expression, but those involved would better serve their interests by taking a less provocative, more expositional approach in making their argument.

This half-baked (no pun intended) support is a serious mistake. The political left and its numerous allies make no effort to avoid stepping on the toes of those who disagree with them. As anyone who spends a few weeks immersed in the campus environment at UC Berkeley knows, the clear public consensus states that liberals alone hold the keys to the just city and that any who dare stand against them belong to a class of bigoted, antediluvian savages desperate to drag civilization back into the dark ages. Anyone who challenges the precepts of contemporary feminism is a misogynist, anyone who observes links between religion and mass murder is an “islamophobe,” and anyone who questions the legitimacy or efficacy of affirmative action is a racist.

If you are a liberal and feel the urge to voice a concern, you can march a crowd of screaming protesters through a library, or better yet, take over a classroom building, preventing thousands of students from accessing the services that either they or their parents paid thousands of dollars to obtain. All of this you may do with virtually no consequences. But if you are a conservative with some reservations about a piece of pending legislation and try to voice that opposition by selling cookies and brownies from a folding table in one small section of a massive area designated explicitly for such purposes by tradition and policy, the student newspaper will pretend that a relatively small group of professional complainers constitutes an “immediate backlash from the UC Berkeley student community,” the ASUC will threaten to withdraw funding from your organization, and campus administrators will condemn your event as an affront to the mission of the university.

While the language of tolerance and inclusion ostensibly aims to dismantle or prevent the institutional disenfranchisement of minority groups, it has been usurped by cynical, narcissistic demagogues who routinely try to suppress sober and genuine contrary perspectives through the disingenuous manufacture of mass hysteria and social stigma. And although these tactics themselves also fall entirely within the realm of legitimate free expression, they smack of a sort of backdoor censorship just as suspicious as the willfully loose and ambiguous language of SB 185.

At this moment, libertarians everywhere should remember that government is not the only threat to free inquiry and free expression, and that not all repressive forces come from the barrel of a gun. When we stand by and watch minority opinions deliberately distorted, decried, and shouted out of view by those with no desire to listen, understand or discuss, we commit an evil as great as that of “liberal” members of Congress who failed to stand against the USA PATRIOT Act.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, let’s point out that the aimless whining of these narcissistic parasites flies in the face of reality. UC Berkeley, even in the midst of a full blown budget crisis, has one of the most extensive diversity-focused academic infrastructures on the face of the Earth. To wit, consider the following (expansive but not exhaustive) list of research wings, academic departments (subjects in which students may major, minor, or focus), student clubs, and dormitory theme houses:

 

Research wings:

Center for South Asia Studies

Center for Latin American Studies

Center for African Studies

Center for Research on Native American Issues

Institute of East Asia Studies:

Center for Chinese Studies

Center for Japanese Studies

Center for Korean Studies

Center for Buddhist Studies

Institute of European Studies

Institute of International Studies

Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

 

Academic Departments:

 African-American Studies

Asian American Studies

Asian Studies

Buddhist Studies

Celtic Studies

Chicano Studies

Development Studies

Disability Studies

Dutch Studies

East Asian Studies

East Asian Languages and Cultures

Ethnic Studies

Gender and Women’s Studies

Italian Studies

Jewish Studies

Latin American Studies

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies
Middle Eastern Studies

Native American Studies

Near Eastern Studies

Peace and Conflict Studies

Religious Studies

Slavic Languages and Literatures

South and Southeast Asian Studies

Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies

 

Student Groups:

Asian Business Association

Asian American Association

Asian Pacific American Coalition

Black Student Union

Black Campus Ministries

The Black Album

Burma Association at Berkeley

Cal Queer and Asian

Cal Raijin Taiko

Chinese Student Association

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any Means Necessary (that’s right—affirmative action has its own club)

Fei Tian Dancers

Gender Equity Resource Center

Hermanas Unidas

Indian Students Association

Interfaith Action Initiative

International Students Association at Berkeley

Korean Chamber Ensemble

Korean Undergraduate Networking Association

Nikkei Student Union

Pilipino American Alliance

REACH: Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center

Taiwanese American Student Association

Vietnamese Student Association

 

Theme Housing:

African-American

Asian Pacific American

Casa Magdalena Mora

Native American

Unity House (Gender and Sexuality Focus)

Women in Science & Engineering

 

Perhaps we can hear a little less from student senators and administrators about how minorities are being made to feel “uncomfortable” on their own campus. If in spite of the almost comical mile-long list of support groups above, a student still feels left out of the kickball game, I submit the remedy to his ailment is not political, but pharmaceutical. Perhaps he (or she…no, wait, I’m succumbing to binary gender norms erected by the WASP patriarchy!) should try Zoloft—that is, if he can get up the nerve to betray his convictions that drug manufacturers are greedy, corporate fascists.

 

Clearly, the only form of diversity lacking at Berkeley is the only form that matters: intellectual diversity. Sheer politeness will never overcome the mountain of implicit and explicit censorship raining down on the political right from all sides. Mockery, however, as demonstrated by the outpouring of local and national attention following the bake sale’s announcement, may prove an excellent start. So let’s applaud the Berkeley College Republicans for subjecting the egotistical bubble of this campus to a much-needed prodding. And if you can, join me at the event today, where I’ll gladly purchase you a cookie at my premium diversity rate of 75 cents. 

 

 

 

  • http://gravatar.com/chdeist chdeist

    Hilarious!

    Keep up the blogging, Andre!

  • http://gravatar.com/chdeist chdeist

    Hilarious!

    Keep up the blogging, Andre!

  • Josh W.

    Excellent post Andre.

    Casey, delete the spam comments.

  • Josh W.

    Excellent post Andre.

    Casey, delete the spam comments.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome blog and right on the point!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome blog and right on the point!

  • http://www.facebook.com/moravecglobalf Milan Moravec

    I love the University of California (UC) having been a student and lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President Yudof and the ten campus Chancellors from holding the line on rising costs.
    Californians are reeling from19% unemployment (includes those forced to work part time, and those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid.
    Pay increases for generously paid Faculty is arrogance.
    UC Berkeley (ranked # 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive American public university.
    President Yudof and Chancellor Birgeneau have dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, cutting and freezing pay and benefits for all chancellors and and reforming the pension system.
    They said faculty such reforms “would not be healthy for University of California”.
    We agree it is far from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university system and the state to hold the line on cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises and huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues and individual Californians’ income.
    There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that salaries and costs reflect California’s economic reality. The sky above UC will not fall

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  • http://www.facebook.com/moravecglobalf Milan Moravec

    I love the University of California (UC) having been a student and lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President Yudof and the ten campus Chancellors from holding the line on rising costs.
    Californians are reeling from19% unemployment (includes those forced to work part time, and those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid.
    Pay increases for generously paid Faculty is arrogance.
    UC Berkeley (ranked # 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive American public university.
    President Yudof and Chancellor Birgeneau have dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, cutting and freezing pay and benefits for all chancellors and and reforming the pension system.
    They said faculty such reforms “would not be healthy for University of California”.
    We agree it is far from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university system and the state to hold the line on cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises and huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues and individual Californians’ income.
    There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that salaries and costs reflect California’s economic reality. The sky above UC will not fall

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  • Andre Louis

    Thanks a lot to everyone who has expressed appreciation of my post. One comment was, I believe, mistakenly identified as spam and deleted. The reader agreed with my sentiments and linked to an article directly on point written by Heather MacDonald, a secular conservative at the Manhattan Institute who I greatly admire. I re-post that link here:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2011/cjc0714hm.html

  • Andre Louis

    Thanks a lot to everyone who has expressed appreciation of my post. One comment was, I believe, mistakenly identified as spam and deleted. The reader agreed with my sentiments and linked to an article directly on point written by Heather MacDonald, a secular conservative at the Manhattan Institute who I greatly admire. I re-post that link here:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2011/cjc0714hm.html