What takes First Priority?
Each year, several high-school
students help me with my Adult English as a Second Language
Some of my teaching assistants have
turned into good friends. Over the years, I`ve been to
their college graduations, their weddings and their
I like to think that I played some
minor role in their success. If no other thing, I know
they took to heart my most important advice: Learn to
think for yourself.
Two weeks ago Linda, who may have
the brightest future of all, graduated from
Tokay High School. Linda, a high honors student who
started work at the Adult School two years ago, is
responsible, personable and intellectually curious.
In May, Linda received her
acceptance letter from the University of the Pacific.
Like any senior accepted by her number one choice, Linda
was overjoyed. Linda will be the first from her
Mexican-American family to attend college.
But Linda`s guidance counselor, who
I`ll call Mrs. Gomez, had a different take. She summoned
Linda into her office and said, “Why are you going to
UOP? That`s nothing but a school for rich white people.”
For the benefit of those who may
not understand what it
means when a Mexican calls a Caucasian “white,” I`ll
“White” has nothing to do with skin
color. My skin is several shades darker than Gomez`s.
Depending on the tone and context
in which it is used, “white” is a slur that can approach
the ugliness of
“n – – – – -.”
Gomez, not content to rain on
Linda`s parade with just one
idiotic piece of “counsel” followed up by adding,
“You should go to San Jose State. That school has more
So it goes in the California public
school system. From the opening first grade bell until
the cap and gowns are issued,
Linda, to her credit, laughed off
Gomez`s nonsense and will enroll at UOP this fall.
But this vignette provides an
inside look at how far California K-12 schools and their
lackeys are willing to go to press their
The truth is that San Jose State
would be a disaster for Linda. An introvert, Linda is
poorly suited to attend a public university with 27,000
students. UOP, a private college with 3,000
undergraduates will provide Linda with a
better academic setting. And Linda, close to her
family, will be able to get home within a half an hour.
San Jose State is a tough two-hour
drive from Lodi. Linda does not expect to have a car
during her freshman year so she would be stuck on campus
or riding the bus.
Gomez knows all this better than I
do. For Gomez, however, Linda`s well being is less
important than diversity.
Gomez`s advice, similar no doubt to
that dispensed to most California high-school seniors,
is not only hurtful but also preposterous.
By spending four years at Tokay
High School, Linda has done diversity. Tokay High has a
student enrollment that is 27% Asian, 23% Hispanic
and 5% African American. Less than 50% of the students
are white. (See
school population numbers…)
On the north side of Tokay High`s
main administrative building students have painted the
words, “Tokay welcomes diversity.” Surrounding that
phrase are greetings and salutations written in dozens
And while at one time UOP may have
been an enclave for wealthy white students that is no
longer the case.
Six of Linda`s classmates will join
her at UOP this fall: three Hispanic students, two
Vietnamese and a Chinese student.
every bit as diverse as Tokay. White enrollment is
50%, about the same as Tokay`s. The balance of the
student body is 26% Asian/Pacific Islander, 10% Hispanic
and 5% African American.
student associations for African Americans, Hmong,
Vietnamese and Muslims.
A Latino student can participate in
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the
Latin American Dance Club. Or he can attend the Cinco de
Mayo annual dance.
San Jose State`s ethnic enrollment is similar in
most respects to UOP`s. San Jose State`s undergraduate
population is 32% Asian, 10% Hispanic and 5% African
American. [VDARE.COM note:
Readers annoyed by all these educational ethnic
statistics should watch for
Steve Sailer`s upcoming piece on Ward Connerly`s
Racial Privacy Initiative, which hopes to put a stop
to this kind of beancounting.]
Perhaps what Gomez finds so much
more appealing about San Jose State is that its
percentage of white enrollment, 28%, is substantially
lower than UOP and Tokay.
Apparently, the most important
variable to high-school counselors is the ethnic make-up
of the campus. Never mind that Linda`s job opportunities
significantly better with a degree from a small
private college than they would be with a diploma from a
run of the mill state school.
Linda`s saga bears out the K-12
agenda: “No matter the circumstances of your individual
case, the important thing is to pursue diversity at all
Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.