Today’s episode in the infamous history of political correctness goes back again to my days in music grad school at UMass Amherst.
To get a Master degree in music at UMass wasn’t hard, but you had to produce a final work – I chose to go further and put on an hour-long concert of the music I’d written in my 2 year residency amid the ugly old hippies of Amherst and angry butch dikes of Northampton. The concert was to be in May 2000. Planning begain in the winter of 1999.
To fund my concert, solicited grants from every organization on campus that gave them. This is before I was libertarian and realized that the tax payer probably made these grants possible, so I happily played the game. I got about $1000 from the Alumni Association, a few hundred from some other groups, and applied for a whopping $3000 from the Graduate Student Council.
It was great – and I was grateful – but my experience with the Grad Students was so horrible that I never asked for money like this again:
I wrote up a rock-solid proposal for the Grad Student Council. All their requirements were met – recommendations, a convincing execution plan, dates, names – a plausible enough story of how the UMass grad student body would benefit from my truly self-serving enterprise.
The night I went to present to the council and get a decision, the place was packed with 30-something minority and a couple hipster white guy students, all PhD candidates in education. The white guys were worse than anyone.
I was up against this cute but slightly dim young lass studying – get this “Diversity Studies” – who was looking for $4000 to fund her Islamic Student Association’s monthly pizza parties. She had no plan, as she was supposed to, and didn’t even try to convince them. Yet the all the Mama look a boo boo days were falling over themselves to give her money. The pony-tailed white guy justified the largess by saying Muslims are the most oppressed class in society at large and at UMass particularly. They gave her the full $4000. When they started picking apart my application for $3000, and finally settled on $2000, this same white guy’s reason was – and I’m not shitting you – I represent the white establishment. He conceded that my application was exceptional, but the council doesn’t exist to reward pure merit, but to forward a social agenda of equality.
So crazy – I didn’t engage this guy in a philosophical debate on why equality is a revolt against human nature, and that civilization would collapse without inequality. Not worth it.
But I got my $2000, put on my show and it was a success. I just vowed never to grovel to a board like that again.