AP: Is It News When the Majority is in the Minority?

September 9th, 2005 8:52 PM

Seeking to extol the virtues of ‘diversity’ and bemoan the lack of same on campus, Michelle Locke of the Associated Press gives us a story titled, “Blacks Still a Minority at UC Berkeley.” She writes:

This fall's incoming class of 4,000 students at the University of California, Berkeley is expected to include just 129 black freshmen, a disturbing trend to leaders of the socially progressive and academically elite school.

The piece then goes on to discuss not only the lack of black freshmen (about three percent), but also Hispanics:

The number of black freshmen this fall is slightly higher than last year but still an extreme minority. About 11 percent of the 4,000-student class will be Hispanic -- well out of step with a state where Hispanics make up about 30 percent of the population.

To her credit, Locke quotes Ward Connerly, brave opponent of racial quotas:

"I just don't understand why certain people have gotten themselves all worked up about who gets to go to Berkeley and UCLA as if that's the only path to a successful life in California, because it is not and the evidence is abundant that it is not."

But UCB Chancellor Robert Birgeneau goes on to explain:

The expected freshman class at Berkeley will be about 47 percent Asian-American. Birgeneau says "we all should be extraordinarily proud of" that achievement, but the success needs to spread to other groups.

Which “other groups” they need for success apparently don’t include whites. It doesn’t take a UCB education to figure out that the total of incoming minority students is over 60 percent. So in Berkeley County, where whites make up 68 per cent of the population, only 40 per cent of incoming freshman are white.

Sounds like that’s news to me. But the word ‘white’ is mentioned nowhere in the article but is alluded to in this back-handed comment:

UC schools promise an excellent education and "it's simply impossible to provide that excellence if the student body is so lacking in diversity that graduates are unprepared to lead in a diverse world," said Christopher Edley, dean of UC Berkeley's Boalt law school

Someone should explain to Edley and the rest of the folks at UCB that the “diverse world” includes whites too.