Phi Beta Cons

Disgusting Little Boxes

If you want to be disgusted, take a look at the front-page story in today’s New York Times, “On College Forms, a Question of Race, or Races, Can Perplex.” It’s about how selective colleges and universities are wrestling with the problem of how to deal with applicants who check more than one box for race and ethnicity: which mixes are to be most favored, whether it’s better to be mixed or pure, what do to about students who refuse to check any box, and how to tell if a student is really sincere in his or her self-identification or is just “gaming” the system. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I think a lot of people will find it really sickening to read about how these politically correct educrats sit around and give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to an 18-year-old based on his racial and ethnic mix. As for “gaming” the system, were we supposed to lament the fact that a black applicant 100 years ago might try to pass for white? I think our condemnation then and now should be more concentrated on the racially discriminatory system itself rather than on those who tried or try to game it.

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