Letter: We must become a merit-based society

Anjelica Colliard/Staff

A recently-published Associated Press article hinted that Cal may be headed back to the dark ages of race-based admissions. The citizens need to speak loudly and firmly against any such maneuver by the forces who seek to return to such monumentally stupid and misguided policies.

“Diversity” adds no value. We do not pick our parents, and the gene pool from which we emerged should have no bearing on the opportunities that we are offered in life.

America must become a merit-based society if we can expect to compete in a worldwide economy.

Although I am a Democrat, I now realize that a second Obama term will assure a step backwards to race-based admission and race-based promotion in schools and colleges.

It is a false premise to say that a college’s student body should “reflect society.” That is just nonsense. A student body at any college must reflect the very best students that each college can recruit, based purely on individual performance.

The American way must be to recruit and promote solely based on merit.

If you are going into the hospital for brain surgery, you want the best surgeon, selected purely on merit. You do not want the surgeon who was selected merely to represent his or her particular minority group.

Merit is the only path back to a prosperous America.

 J. Tyler Ballance Berkeley 2013

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  • Guest

    “dark ages of race-based admissions”?? That statement kind of speaks for itself. All that is missing is the signature from the Grand Dragon of the KKK.

    Emails from Republican leaders snickering about Mrs. Obama’s simian looks, the President’s (presumed) affinity for watermelon and fried chicken, and outrageous statements from H8-talk radio about minorities well prove that America has not moved beyond racial hatred and, where hatred resides — as it surely does in J. Tyler Ballance, class of 2013 — discrimination follows.

    And yes, you little wet behind the ears, know nothing little brat still sucking on Dada’s silver spoon, I DID call you a bigot. You make this Caucasian alumnus ashamed of Cal’s evident lapse in admissions.

    Affirmative action was never and is not now a major impediment to the majority and calling it as such is a favored tactic of the Right Wing regressives of the world. Try as they might, though, they cannot stop the trends and we can perhaps all smile at the thought of J. Tyler Ballance living in a country where he/she/it is a minority; relatively soon at that.

    Karma takes its time but Karma *will* win out, in the end.

  • A Demaria

    “We do not pick our parents, and the gene pool from which we emergedshould have no bearing on the opportunities that we are offered in life.”And the prospective college student’s gene pool (not sure why you didn’tjust say family… like a normal person) *should* be composed of twoemployed adults, who are home often enough to support their child, whomake a decent living so their child has time away from work to study, whofoster a home environment of discipline and learning and respect foreducation. It should be that way, but it just isn’t for a lot of people.Mr. Ballance, in a flash of originality and brilliance, realizes that “Astudent body at any college must reflect the very best students that eachcollege can recruit”. But if one kid comes from a wealthy “gene pool” andis given plenty of advantages in becoming a great student (no need towork, books galore, educated parents) and another comes from adisadvantaged background (bad neighborhood, little money, few role models)and the disadvantaged kid performs slightly less well in school than doesthe advantaged one, who has more merit?These things are for college admissions officers to decide. They havenothing to do with race in and of itself. But there’s no ignoring the factthat before the recession, “White Americans were in a better economicsituation than minorities on almost all indicators” and “The reality that[is] African Americans and Hispanics do less well than white Americans inthe good times and worse in the bad times”.I quote from:http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/01/state_of_minorities.htmlIt's easy to impose a simplistic, normative philosophy on an imperfect,complicated world: “Everyone should be able to succeed on their own.”The best thing I can say about this meager little article is that it isbland, a truism: “you want the best surgeon”. And as for that: do youreally think it’s possible to become a surgeon just by “representing” yourminority group? Last time I checked all surgeons had quite a bit of meritto them. But as you say, Mr. Ballance, sometimes in life opportunities are”offered”. To Libsrclowns: we liberals do not think success does not liein merit. What we strive for is a system in which those who have neverbeen offered any opportunity, who might use that opportunity to fulladvantage, are offered it.

  • McLady

    The Daily Cal should become merit-based so stories like this won’t get it.

  • Frustrated Senior

    We do NOT live in a post-racial society, so don’t tell me you’re “color blind” and that diversity adds no value. You are right in that we do not pick our parents, however, these factors DO affect our daily lives, what situations we are placed in, and what opportunities we are and aren’t offered. It’s called institutional racism.
    And you have affirmative action policy mistaken. In order for factors such as race to count, you must FIRST be qualified. Only eligible students are taken into consideration for such policies. So even if affirmative action still existed, your surgeon would be just as damn good, if not better, than one who was selected “purely on merit” (who might just happen to be a middle class white guy who think diversity doesnt matter).Please take an Ethnic Studies intro class before you graduate. 

    • 1776

      Ethnic studies is a joke, I can tell just by this post

      • Miau

        Racism and white supremacy is still alive and well, I can tell just by this post. 

        • Stan De San Diego

          Stupidity and denial are alive and well, based on your last post.  If you think that Ethnic Studies is such a valuable major, why don’t you tell us where most of the people holding a diploma in that major are working? The only ones I have seen at the several Fortune 1000 companies I have worked for are as receptionists and groundskeepers, and I certainly don’t recall hiring any Ethnic Studies majors at the various start-up companies I have worked with either. I HAVE seen quite a few engineers, scientists, and statisticians, as well as a handful of business/economics types – and those people are of all races and ethnicities, from all over the globe. But then again, they apparently were smart enough not to waste their time on basket-weaving and victimology programs, and pursued something useful instead.

    • UseLogicLogically

      Hold on a minute… if they’re so qualified, then why do they need affirmative action? I am perfectly fine with giving financial aid to people of low income and stuff but that is not affirmative action, it is just that, financial aid.

    • Stan De San Diego

      > “We do NOT live in a post-racial society”

      Only because the Left, desperate to keep people helpless and dependent, still peddles race-baiting and victimization as a way of fanning class warfare. Who do you think has done more damage to racial harmony in this country, the mixed-race immigrant Zimmerman who panicked and shot some black juvenile delinquent who attacked him in his neighborhood, or the Sharptons and Farrakhans who get black folks paranoid and hysterical by telling them outrageous nonsense such as that white folks are conspiring to murder them? Fact of the matter is that the Left deliberately INFLAMES racial hatred as a way of advancing their own agenda.

      >”In order for factors such as race to count, you must FIRST be qualified.
      > Only eligible students are taken into consideration for such policies.”

      And here’s an example of the type of game you are playing with. Anyone can be “qualified” if you lower the standards enough. What the Left is doing is lowering standards then claiming everyone is “qualified”, then using that as a justification to game the system to play favorites. This is the same type of dumbing-down that has resulted from the liberal control of the K-12 educational system, to the point where most employers have NO confidence that anyone graduating from HS can even read, write, or do basic math. The end result of this is that the courses with the highest enrollment in our community college system are NOT college-level courses, college prep or even vo/tech programs, but REMEDIAL MATH and REMEDIAL ENGLISH. Fact of the matter is that the Left is trying to place people in college who not only don’t make the grade for college entry, but in fact don’t even meet what SHOULD be the standard for HS graduation due to “social promotion”. But that doesn’t BOTHER the left-wing militants, because at the end of the day, they don’t care whether students are prepared for college or not. It’s all about shoving people through the K-12 system, filling colleges with warm bodies who are cannon fodder for their various and sundry race/ethnic grievance/victimization study programs, giving them worthless diplomas, then screaming “evil racist American society” when these skulls full of mush with NO practical skills whatsoever can’t find jobs.  That’s the way the game is played – get a clue.

  • Dorm Lounge Philosophy

    The author is succumbing to the fantasy that tens of thousands of applicants are able to be accurately and sequentially ranked, w/o exception.
    Whether or not one favors race-based admissions (and I DO NOT), one must admit that the idea of “all other things being equal” is very much applicable here.
    One must applaud J.T.’s insistence on merit based appointment, no doubt he will write another letter vehemently demanding the resignation of the entire campus wide administration.

  • Diversity of opinion and experience add value. Diversity of colour and ancestry add little value.

  • 1776

    I hope you arent besing sarcastic

  • libsrclowns

    Upcheck. Too bad many of your Lib cadre think differently from you.

    • Dorm Lounge Philosophy

       no, that presupposes that they are capable of thinking.

      • UseLogicLogically

        oh man you got us…BURN