Originally Submitted for consideration for the Highlander back in January 2003. Since the Highlander does not have their archives of older articles, I am not aware if this was published.
As someone who would like to become an academic, I would support bringing forth Affirmative Action for ideological purposes only. The academic world is a left wing dominated institution, and it is time for a wider scope of ideologies to be represented on campus. We need instructors who are independent and who are willing to come out for a greater marketplace of ideas. As ideological minorities, we should play hardball with the left, but we should play by the rules. Just like the Fox News Channel in the classroom should be “I present, you decide”. As students, we should be explorers not revisionists. The university nor the professors should not force ideology or their worldview on the students. Thousands of young brains full of mush enter the hallowed halls of UC Riverside and we should not aim to convert them to the prevailing worldview.
The left wing follows an ideological dream land where they have an indifferent reaction to differing ideas. They may want to invite Maxine Waters to speak on campus, but they are not as eager to have black conservative economist Walter E. Williams to speak. The leadership on campus may worship on the altar of diversity making sure that we have a wide variety of students from their racial background, but we are already diverse in ethnicity. We need to focus on the next step on diversity where ideology becomes the new frontier. We already have MECHA, but why not encourage the formation of a chapter of the Riverside Young Americans for Freedom? It may be stereotypical to think that white people are the only right wing folks around, but opening up the campus to conservative ideology also benefits people no matter their gender, ethnicity or even sexual orientation because they can be right wing too.
Universities are the place where we receive divergent views on the issues and policies that dominate the community today. It is only fair that we receive both sides of the story. As Highlanders we should not be known as African-Americans, Asians, Latinos or white people, but for what ideas we bring forth to the marketplace of ideas. Now is the time for us to be liberated from the mindless mush of identity politics. It is an insult to the undergraduate students on campus when our student government would rather focus protecting their racial identities from Regent Ward Connerly instead of protecting their constituents from massive fee hikes during the California budget crisis. Diversity should not be defined as becoming clones of the establishment where we have to think exactly like them to be diverse, but it is for us to become individuals.