26 September 2011

Berkeley College Republicans Act Out Their Resentments in Public

So, here go the cute College Republicans again with their "affirmative action bake sales" (report here). I got caught up in the fracas surrounding a similar event here in Rochester a few years back. The poor oppressed Repubs have a problem though. They don't like it when the admissions folk use some categories (say race or ethnicity) to increase diversity. But they don't seem to mind when the admissions folk roll out the really important categories - like athletes, for instance, or kids from some exotic region of the country, or all those no-too-bright offspring of rich donors and alums, or whatever.* (Unless things have changed markedly, "legacy" admits are the single biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action in American higher education - look it up.) The latter get all sorts of consideration from the admissions folk. But - according to the young conservative crowd - they must "deserve" it. All that is lacking in that line of argument is, well, the argument.

There are few things less attractive than resentment and the young Republicans seem to have gotten an extra helping.
* For the record, institutions have all sorts of reasons for admitting applicants of all sorts. And I am not opposed to even those not-too-bright legacy admits - just so long as we recognize that they are benefiting from affirmative action (preferential treatment).

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