Once, before the Age of Diversity set in, my rural Ohio elementary school teacher divided us students into groups by eye color. Being that she had blue eyes, Mrs. Scott designated all blue-eyed students instantly superior to all brown-eyed students. My eyes are brown.
That day, Mrs. Scott moved all brown-eyed students to the back of the class, and she seated all blue-eyed students at the front. When recess time came, my teacher allowed the blue-eyed students to go to the head of the line and immediately proceed to the playground. She sent brown-eyed students to the back of the line and forced us to use the longer, less-direct back staircase. We saw more of the same awful discriminatory practices at lunch time.
To this day, I remember the feelings of frustration and anger that lesson brought as my blue-eyed classmates gleefully and smugly complied. Most of all, I remember the unfairness the random discrimination brought on. I’m certain Mrs. Scott would be happy to know I received her message loud and clear: Discrimination based on random physical attributes over which we have absolutely no control is insidious, backward-thinking, and wrong.
Years later, as I filled out my college applications, I encountered random discrimination once again. The essays and applications were designed to show why I deserved to go to College A or how University B could help me reach my career goals. Bonus points were added if I was part of a minority group, single parent household, or extremely poor. I was none of those things. I was a rural white girl with two parents living paycheck-to-paycheck while struggling to stay ahead of the bill collector.
Based on this criteria, I missed out on several scholarship opportunities and loans because my race was too white, my family too whole, and my “class” too “rich” (even though my dad had been collecting unemployment for nearly a year). At the time, I shrugged off these discriminatory admissions policies thinking they were probably-somehow-maybe warranted in some vague societal way. Besides, I realized that, just like Mrs. Scott had taught us, each of these attributes was out of my control. Surely, after a few years of this feel-good discrimination disguised as fairness, people would at least begin to realize that.
Some, like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, did realize diversity admission practices were unproven “faddish theories.” Justice Thomas wrote that “the University’s professed good intentions cannot excuse its outright racial discrimination.” He even went as far as to refer to them as the same arguments once used by the “slaveholders and segregationists.” He also realized that “discrimination is never benign;” it always hurts one group over another. Like most liberal social policies, the push for diversity started out with well-meaning intentions, but has ended up discriminating against other groups in its attempt at imagined “fairness” and “reparation.” We know that for the Left, the ends justify the means, so they say what’s a little random discrimination against one group if it ends a lot of other discrimination against another group? The answer is, a lot, if you’re in any of those groups. Instead, shouldn’t the social justice warriors work to end all discrimination?
Decades later, I spent the better part of a month helping my own kids fill out those now “woke” college scholarship essays and applications. Have things changed on the diversity front? Absolutely. Today, the college application process is a practical exercise in political correctness, social justice, and very little else. It seems, unless you are a member of the pre-approved, struggling, but unquestioningly virtuous “underserved populations” of the diversity rainbow, there isn’t much help out there for college.
Now before the knee-jerk cries of “racism!” begin, let me point out that I’m simply following the Left’s own rules and pretzel logic. I didn’t make up these PC terms, the Left did. I didn’t write these applications or essay prompts, the Left did. And trust me, like my sixth grade blue-eyed classmates, I can almost feel the SJWs reading this and smugly smirking that I deserve it.
It all came down to answers about how “your experiences in school, and/or your family background shaped your views and deeds on equity, inclusion, and diversity.” It did not matter much that my kid was in the top 10% of his class at a highly-competitive high school while carrying a heavy load of AP classes and extracurricular activities. No, nothing mattered as much as how PC and SJW “woke” he was. Ironically, it seems today’s Social Justice Warriors have managed to twist “justice” into the very exclusionary practices they claim to despise. It’s as if “diversity is dynamic and inclusive” as long as one is not also melanin-challenged, straight, principled, or a natural-born American.
With no stated goals or end in sight, diversity for diversity’s sake is nothing special. In truth, we are all diverse in our talents and abilities. Why then does an arbitrary melanin count matter more than a high GPA or an active extracurricular life? After decade upon decade of SJW preening, when will enough be enough? When will our supposed debt be paid? In other words, at what point will we all be “woke AF”? When will talents, abilities, and character matter more than melanin count, genitalia, or immigration status? When will the “Office of Diversity and Inclusion” truly include everyone?
When I sit down to help my grandchildren fill out their college applications, I wonder if I will encounter the same random discrimination I’ve encountered twice before in my lifetime? I hope not. As President Trump recently pointed out, “Americans are dreamers too.” We all deserve to dream and be judged not by random characteristics, but by merit. Maybe someday Mrs. Scott’s lesson will finally be universally learned and we can each be judged by our accomplishments and character.