Ryan Chartrand

Ah, equality…doesn’t the word make you feel all fuzzy inside? Equality is one of those things we know to be inherently right, something we should stand up for. Equality is typically equated with civil rights parades and movements, things typically associated with liberals. However, since I joined the Republican Party, I’ve met more people that are willing to stand up for equality than I ever did while a registered Democrat (*shudder*).

Equality in this country would mean that all our citizens would be treated equally. However, sometimes equality and diversity are mixed up. As of 2005, Cal Poly was about 65 percent white. This is a problem to those who would like a wider mixture of cultures. Diversity’s about people’s minds and backgrounds, not just their ethnicities. People seem to strive so much for physical diversity that they forget that equality’s more important.

A liberal’s answer to a lack of diversity on campus is affirmative action. That’s where somebody with a lower grade point average and fewer extracurricular activities gets preferential treatment because they can’t be described as Caucasian. This kind of policy was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 2003 against the University of Michigan, which had used an admissions point system that granted extra points to minorities.

The legal alternatives are programs that increase equal opportunity. Since the 1980s, Cal Poly has had community outreach programs in which students go to low-income schools and talk to kids about college. These programs are great; they open kids’ eyes to all of their potentials and opportunities. However, when we still end up with a mostly white campus, liberal students get up in arms.

News flash: Cal Poly accepts the brightest kids in the state. Then those bright kids decide which school they want to go to. That’s how our education system works. If those kids, whom we’ve tried so hard to get to come here, don’t get in or – gasp – choose a different university, that’s not the school’s fault. (As a side note, Cal Poly ranks fourth nationwide for the number of engineering degrees granted to students with a Hispanic background, so take that, Berkeley!)

Kids should be admitted based on their minds and potentials, not their ethnicity. Do you want to tell a white high-schooler that they weren’t accepted because of the color of their skin? That defeats the point of equality.

Liberals also are a little schizophrenic when it comes to freedom of speech. You know, the first amendment? I love the first amendment. It’s what allows me to say whatever I want in this column and not have disciplinary action taken against me. Well… almost. Liberals believe in freedom of speech as long as it’s not against minorities or, in some deranged outer universe, offensive to minorities. However, if you want to talk about people who are white, have at it. Tsk tsk, that’s not equality! Either anyone can say whatever he or she wants, or you need to condemn anything that would ever be offensive to anyone. That second one sounds like a lot of work to me. So why don’t you just calm down and fully support the first amendment? Everyone, no matter the color of their skin or their background, can say anything they want and not be punished. You don’t have to like it, but that’s the cool thing about the first amendment: being able to talk back.

The Declaration of Independence has a few things to say about equality, too. It states that “all men are created equal” and we all have the rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It’s become a practice in this country of getting in the way of people’s pursuit of their own happiness in order to provide for less fortunate people. This evens the playing field, if you will. Scholars like to call this strategy “socialism.”

It seems that that first quote from the Declaration of Independence, the document upon which our country was built, becomes forgotten. Liberals choose to “help” the lower class (i.e. their bread and butter during elections) by proposing higher taxes for the upper classes and corporations. Those people earned their money by hard work and intelligence. Yes, it sucks to be the guy whose mP3 player didn’t survive the market because the iPod is better, but that’s a free market. If your job/business fails, that’s on your shoulders and others shouldn’t be punished for that. Equality fails in our economy when others are expected to provide for those less fortunate than them by carrying them on their backs.

If equality’s so important in social issues surrounding us today, why is it forgotten when it comes to our money? Why do liberals insist on taking a much higher percentage from those who are successful? The government should not sacrifice equal treatment of their citizens because that leads to a much more dangerous kind of equality: socialism.

So please, next time you’re complaining about the lack of diversity on campus or how much the upper class makes in a year, remember this: We built our country on equality. Don’t you want to stand up for it?

Jennifer Gilmore is a microbiology senior and a Mustang Daily conservative columnist.

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