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The Slipping Academic Color Bar? By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, March 16, 2006

The color bar is beginning to come down at American colleges and universities, and the New York Times is very unhappy about this.

One can hear Times reporter Jonathan D. Glater’s gnashing of teeth in his March 14 story titled “Colleges Open Minority Aid to All Comers.”


A mere 12 or so colleges and universities have begun expanding the criteria for some of their admissions policies and scholarships that had tilted in favor of women and racial or ethnic minorities.


These schools, according to Glater, were responding to pressure from President George W. Bush’s Administration or to fear of future court rulings that might prohibit racial and gender discrimination.


“Southern Illinois University,” wrote Glater, “reached a consent decree last month with the Justice Department to allow non-minorities and men access to graduate fellowships originally created for minorities and women.”


Other schools named by Glater that have begun to open once-discriminatory programs to males and Caucasians are Princeton University, St. Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, Williams College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the State University of New York (SUNY).


“[H]undreds, if not thousands, of scholarship and fellowship programs historically used race as a criterion,” wrote Glater, citing as his source Travis Reindl, the director of state policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, who “estimated that as many as half of the four-year colleges in the United States had reviewed or modified such programs.”


Such widespread reassessment followed two U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 2003 that “did not ban using race in admissions to higher education,” wrote Glater, “[but] did leave the state of the law unclear, and with the changing composition of the court, some university and college officials fear legal challenges.”


No university has apologized for practicing racial or gender discrimination against males or Caucasians. Some of those broadening their criteria for admissions or scholarships probably also intend to achieve the old PC favoritism by new means. “We will admit this African-American student not because he is black, but because he is poor or overcame more disadvantages in his childhood than white applicants did.”


The Justice Department will need to monitor how many males and Caucasians actually receive admissions and scholarships once reserved for females and minorities before we can know whether the color and gender bar of discrimination is being lowered.


In the bigger picture, these old discriminatory policies in the groves of academe have become absurd and an embarrassment among thinking people. Women, for example, are not a minority; females comprise 53 percent of America’s population and a majority of students on most of today’s college and university campuses. To favor females is to discriminate against our nation’s gender (and college) minority: males.


Racial and ethnic preferences also carry arbitrary and racist aspects. Those with African ancestry have benefited from discriminatory policies whether or not their forebears were ever slaves in America, and regardless of their families’ income.


Those descended from slaves raise another issue. Because of the horrors of rape during slavery, many carry the genes not only of African kings and queens but also of plantation slave owners. Any policy that discriminates in favor of the descendents of slaves also favors the genes of white slave owners. In Darwinian terms, policies intended to give preferences to the former underclass also favor the genes of the former overclass. Such are the unintended consequences of self-righteous left-wing social engineers.


Harvard Professor Louis Gates, Jr., inadvertently provided an even deeper look into such leftist discrimination in his recent Public Broadcasting Service series “African American Lives” and his remarkable February 1 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “My Yiddishe Mama.”


Simple DNA testing now gives African-Americans a way to discover genetic clues to their ancestry that often reveals a rich blend of human relatives. When Gates submitted his own genetic blueprint for testing, it confirmed that one of his great grandmothers was “a female Ashkenazi Jew” from “that African Kingdom called Northern Europe.” What makes this revelation by Dr. Gates – who probably has benefited from university racial preferences – all the more dramatic is that it makes him a potential target of hatred for Black Muslim leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan.


(The added irony of American blacks turning to the Nation of Islam, of course, is that their ancestors were probably captured, enslaved, and sold already in chains to Europeans by the Muslim slave traders who dominated this ugly business in West Africa. Black Muslims are re-chaining themselves to the faith and culture that locked the chains on their ancestors.)


Dr. Gates was likely hired at Harvard University in preference to, let’s guess, a scholar of British WASP ancestry. But recent genetic research has discovered that at least one percent of blue-eyed, blonde-haired people in Great Britain carry genes that originated in Africa. How? These genes apparently arrived with the Roman legions that ruled much of the British Isles for centuries. This means that the quasi-Jewish Dr. Gates was hired solely on the basis of appearance in preference to another applicant who might also have been genetically African-American.


By one estimate, as much as one-third of America’s Caucasian population carries at least some DNA of African origin (“averaging 2.3%”) Many geneticists accept mitochondrial DNA evidence that indicates that all humans are descended from a small group of “Eves” who lived in Africa between 125,000 and 250,000 years ago. In that sense, we could all be called “African-Americans.”


History and human migration have thoroughly mixed us, as modern genetic research is now revealing. There is no such thing as a “pure race,” a poisonous and false notion Adolf Hitler exploited to create his racist political ideology.


The overlay of this unscientific, fraudulent notion called “race” atop tribal and national biases was used to create artificial unity, pride, superiority and national identity. It then begat racism, discrimination, hatred, genocide, the Holocaust, and today’s racist preferences in American colleges and universities, all grown from the same toxic roots.


Adding to the madness is that no objective scientific standard exists to show what “race” anyone is. No “race gene” exists. “Race” is an arbitrary construct.


But this did not stop the Clinton-Gore Administration from trying to re-institute the old segregationist “one drop” rule – that if you had any black ancestor, however long ago, your “one drop” of “black blood” meant that you were forever classed as black. Hitler applied this same reasoning to Jews. Bill Clinton (“America’s first black President”

 according to African-American novelist Toni Morrison) applied it to the 2000 Census to define anyone with one black and one white parent as entirely and only black. (This was done to boost minority claims on government benefit and preference programs.)


Under the Civil Rights laws, however, it can be difficult or even illegal for anyone to question your self-identification as being of a minority race. This led to a remarkably accurate parody article in National Lampoon titled “Your Little Known Right To Be A



This, in turn, raises another logical question: if liberals are setting aside special privileges and benefits for people based on their “race,” is it not the government’s obligation to issue “Race I.D.” cards to everyone to create an objective standard to determine who is entitled to what benefit? Otherwise such benefits will continue to be distributed by whim, often unfairly or based on superficial appearances. Collectivists, whose ideology closely resembled today’s academic Left, issued just such race identification cards to everybody in apartheid-era South Africa.


It’s time we purged ourselves of all vestiges of race and racism, including those used by leftists to play divide-and-conquer Balkanization in our politics and, to advance radicalizing division and polarization, in our colleges and universities.


The way to end racism is not with yet more racism and racial favoritism in the name of getting even. This merely perpetuates the disease.


The way to end racism is by jettisoning the whole phony notion that human beings can or should be identified as members of a false collectivist abstraction called “race” instead of as unique individuals. This is the key to understanding why racism and socialism are both based on collectivism.


The faster racial and gender preferences are ended at America’s colleges and universities, the better. It is a vestige of racist collectivism we need to eradicate.


The sooner we reject all politicians who invoke race and support a racial spoils system as ways to gain power for themselves by pitting one group of Americans against another, the better. These leftist politicians are the enemy of all human individuals, regardless of race, creed, or color.


I am a nominally Caucasian (a “Heinz 57” American descended from many nationalities) male who lives in California, where both males and non-Hispanic Caucasians are minorities. In an honest (and therefore non-existent) version of today’s left-wing system of discrimination, I should be entitled to both racial and gender preferences in hiring, college admissions, and university scholarships. My own preference, instead, is that we all be equal before the law, to succeed or fail based on each individual’s merits.


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Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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