Monday, March 08, 2004This is from a short interview of Michigan Review writer James Dickson in Mich Magazine, Michigan's online "men's interest" magazine.
"MM: But what about those who claim that admissions should only matter in terms of merit?
JD: "Merit" is another one of the precious illusions of conservatives that I’ve attempted to unearth the flaws of. Specifically, the idea of “blind meritocracy,” a false concept in light of the fact that the people who espouse it tend to have benefited by way of the “old boy network,” their father’s golf buddies, what high school they went to, their parents’ alumni status—all of these factors which say nothing of one’s abilities. [ ... ]
MM: You currently have a white girlfriend. How has your interactions with her added to your perspective on race relations on campus?
JD: Outside of my girlfriend, I’ve yet to encounter anyone on campus with the ability and willingness to carry on a serious dialogue on race. By "serious," I do not mean those who simply feel strongly about affirmative action, yea or nay, but a dialogue that acknowledges the intricacies, contentious issues and contradictions of race relations and a willingness to confront the difficulties of race in non-ideological fashion. Amazingly, I'm able to reach more common ground on race with a liberal, white female from Gaylord, Michigan, whose background (but not necessarily her values) is about as different from mine as is possible than I have even with other blacks who were raised just blocks away from me. I'm convinced that America will only heal its racial wounds through the building of individual relationships between members of different races. I have learned more about whites and [my girlfriend] has learned more about blacks than we ever could have by attending rallies, eating fests, or other such diversity-inspired events with one another. True affection for the mysterious only results from one’s personal dealings with it; rather than being taught that we should love each other for the simple fact that we’re all here. If we could only view our differences with an open mind and appreciate the great similarities which do exist between us all, the racial climate could improve greatly. My girlfriend and I are living proof."
Posted by Rob at 8:21 PM