Saturday, November 18, 2006
Ward Connerly is a DAMN FOOL...and this proves it
While at my internship site yesterday, I picked up a copy of UCLA Magazine to read up on what's new on campus. The lead story highlighted the RIDICULOUS racial disparity of black students admitted over the last 8 years. There has been uproar throughout the University of California system concerning Black student retention, and UCLA is in many areas doing the worse.
For example, this past fall quarter, out of an estimated 4,900 new freshmen class, only 96 were Black or of African American descent. 96!!!!!! And this is Los Angeles people, arguably the most diverse metropolitan geographic area in the WORLD! And believe me, from my experience walking that campus, it shows.
When I read about the ongoing "crisis" of UCLA admissions policy and the effort to actively recruit Black students, it makes my blood boil. I remember when this whole madness started...the year Prop 209 was passed. I was a senior in high school, eagerly awaiting my journey to UC Davis. I was in the first class of students in the post-Prop 209 era, Class of 1999. From beginning to end, I saw with my own eyes the subtle but noticeable fading away of Blackness on campus...the relentless slashing of ethnic minority retention program designed to keep Black students performing at a competitive level...the damn near disappearance of Black Greek life...the loss of the historical African Diaspora House...a diminishing morale amongst Black students...the SERIOUS disappearance of Black faculty and staff... SO MANY areas were affected by the ending of affirmative action policies in the UC system.
I wish I could just sit down and talk with the brainchild of Prop. 209, former UC Regent Ward Connerly. In case you're wondering, this dude is not some stiff-shirted hyperconservative salt n pepper haired White guy...no, he's A BROTHA. I'd like to take him on a tour to all the UC campuses and have him take a long look at the absence of Blackness. I'd want to show him a list of all the special programs cut due to his lovely creation. I'd defintely have him interview with the myriad of BRIGHT and SUCCESSFUL men and women who were given a shot due to affirmative action programs. We'd definitely visit a handful of public schools in LA and show him the students that will likely fall through the admissions process because of their circumstances, despite their abilities. And after we do all that, I'd have him check out the minority admissions rates of the Top 3 Ivy League schools in the nation; Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. He would be blind not to see that these schools, which historically have presented barriers to admission for minority students, still manage to put the minority admissions rates of the UC system TO SHAME.
After Mr. Connerly has had a chance to see and hear all of these things, I'd put him in a room for a little bit so he could think about the consequences of his beloved Proposition 209. Then, I'd take my arm, reach back, SLAP THE HELL OUT OF HIS DUMB AZZ, take him by the shoulders, SHAKE HIM a bit, then ask him, in a not-so-timid tone, "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!!!!!???"
Alas, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In an effort to save face, UCLA has launched a crusade to "figure out" the admissions problem and pound the pavement to find Black students capable of surviving the admissions process.
I've been very impressed by the efforts of Dr. Darnell Hunt and the Ralphe J. Bunche Center of African American Studies for their committment to improving the status of Black and ethnic minority students at UCLA. I may even join their think tank when I start my doctoral program there, because I'm itching to actively speak out on this.
For those of you out there affiliated with or attending a university, PLEASE be a part of the solution. And if you happen to run across Ward Connerly (or other like minded folks), please sit his ass down and educate his behind!