The occasionally violent mob protests at the University of Wisconsin, and the role of a university administrator in egging on the disrupters, have barely raised a ripple in the mainstream press. But commentary here by Robert Weissberg, KC Johnson and Roger Clegg, has circulated widely on the Internet. Today Donald Downs, a professor at the university and a regular contributor to MTC, discusses the “How dare you even think that” tone of the protesters’ reaction to facts in the two reports presented by Clegg and his group, the Center for Equal Opportunity. Both reports demonstrate the astonishing extent of racial and ethnic preferences in UW admissions. We also recommend Peter Wood’s masterful account of the events on his regular Innovations blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Wood writes: “The absence of broader press coverage points to the usual fate of such stories. They are just too awkward to fit with the official narrative of how “diversity” enriches American higher education. When we think of diversity, we are not supposed to think of gross discrepancies in admissions standards, unfairness to applicants, and “mismatches” between admittees and institutional standards, let alone flash mobs organized to intimidate critics, or university officials purveying falsehoods to whip students into taking illegal actions…the story feeds that other narrative that informs most of what I write about on the Innovations’ blog: the rapidly growing cultural defection of many Americans from higher education. It is a defection driven by the recognition that our colleges and universities are antagonistic to basic American values of fairness and equality.”