The two most dangerous and deplorable tendencies of the liberals are in full effect in the latest effort of the UC system to alter admissions: the liberal intelligentsia’s contention that they know better than the average voter, and the liberals’ proclivity toward “solving” problems by altering their appearances.

In a decision announced this month, UCLA has resolved to change drastically the criteria process by which they evaluate applicants, gearing toward a more “holistic” approach. Essentially mitigating the intent of voter-passed Proposition 209, the new approach will allow for the standards and criteria upon which students are evaluated to depend largely on their race. Review of white and Asian students will still concentrate on academic criteria and examination of the personal statement, while additional considerations will be made when evaluating applicants who are African-American or of another minority. This is a response to a noticeable decline in the admission of African-American and minority students. This thinly disguised affirmative action policy reveals a blatant disregard for the desires of California voters. At least we can applaud UCLA for its transparency in disregarding Proposition 209 and admitting that, despite the explicit direction of Proposition 209 prohibiting such considerations, the university will indeed consider race and gender in making their admission decisions.

They may as well have included the following in their press release as well: “We, the UC system, do not care what the voters of California say, we know better. We don’t care if some of our accepted students can’t perform and graduate. We don’t care what grades some of our accepted students got in high school, or what their SAT scores were. We are an academic institution, but by no means are we bound to use academics as a means of deciding what students are accepted at our school. What is important is what our campus will look like – diverse.”

“Diversity” is a hot-button term used strategically and deceptively by the left to try to implicate race where its consideration is not necessary. What does diversity look like? A roomful of people of different skin colors, even if everyone in the room votes the same way and espouses the same ideas? Or does diversity exist in a roomful of individuals of whatever skin color, debating the merits of different intellectual, philosophical and political viewpoints? Yes, but that’s not the diversity liberals want.

Americans willingly accept meritocracies in professional athletics; affirmative action supporters would be laughed at if they started mandating NBA teams to carry a quota of white players, and rightly so. So why should anything different be expected in the arena of academics, an entity some might argue is more important than professional sports?

Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of a “color-blind society,” and isn’t that what we should be striving for? When different standards are applied to individuals based solely on ethnicity, it is blatant racism. Any attempt to alter the appearance of a campus, company, or team, by implicating racial considerations can only have negative consequences for race relations and sends an unconscious but harmful message that blacks and/or minorities are somehow inferior because they require the helping hand of the government. Qualified minorities who succeed because of their own abilities and hard work are frequently tainted in the eyes of others who jealously attribute their success to an affirmative action policy, and the achiever is then also confronted with the self-doubt resulting from these questions.

Daily Nexus columnist Courtney Stevens likes her NBA teams just the way they are.