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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A Severe Case Of The "Yeah, Buts..."

Here is a very interesting article from the LA Times about a UCLA survey of incoming freshman nationwide. It seems a record high of freshman said racial discrimination was no longer a major problem in America. Deconstructing the various responses to this conclusion is quite revealing, to say the least. A Latina UCLA freshman planning to study aerospace engineering said, "For me, the racial boundaries are not there" and that she cannot recall ever encountering discrimination. Wise beyond her years, she also observed, "You don't need any extra, hard-core official concentration on learning about other cultures. It'll just happen." The white editor of the campus newspaper at UCONN was equally reasonable: "Our comfort level has increased, so race is something we're not as conscious of anymore." This is all good news...unless of course you make your living as a "racialist" or a Democratic politician. This is then bad news, but you can't truly express why (e.g. your job as a "diversity" counselor is becoming irrelevant, or you cannot as effectively demagogue on issues of race in order to get elected). So instead, we get this from one of the co-authors of the survey, "Their comfort level has developed with people who are different from them, and they carry those relationships into college." What's the problem, you may ask? Well, the co-author goes on to say that the freshman views on race were "troubling" because "There are different groups in society experiencing life differently in the United States, and that's always historically been the case," she said. "If they don't see these issues as important, we won't be able to change that." Get it? The problem is that young people are not experiencing racism themselves, are more open to having friends of different ethnicities and therefore are unable to recognize this country for the septic tank of racism and injustice it really is. Tragic. Not all college students are immune from this sort of intellectually dishonest reasoning. A junior at Emory University "was shocked at the rising percentage of students who believe that racial discrimination is no longer a problem." Although in the same breath she admits "the emergence of black leaders such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others at the highest levels of government and business might have justifiably convinced some students that racial problems have eased." It seems that these poor proponents of the idea that racism will never abate don't even realize how ridiculous they sound as they speak out of both sides of their mouths.

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