HikerSkier saidWhat is it about youth that they get carried away by crazy politics? (I wasn't a revolutionary in college, and never understood those who were.) So, they are feeling alienated (at one of the most liberal universities in the US, no less), and are asking for some changes - some of which seem reasonable. Then, they totally destroy any credibility they had with this absurd demand. Go figure.
(1). Youth get carried away because it's normal to be passionate and idealistic when you're young. It's fine you weren't, but it's normal for most college students--myself included. The whole "if you're not a liberal in college you have no heart, if you're not a conservative when you're older you have no mind" quote/idea. While I'll always be liberal, I am less idealistic and am more pragmatic at 30 than when I was 20.
(2). Student activism at Berkeley darn near a right of passage. They're famous for it, this is nothing out of the ordinary. Lock ins, hunger strikes, protests, etc are common place at Berkeley. I'd be fine with you saying it's "the" most liberal universities in the US. Not sure what Uni could top it.
(3). Blacks only account for 3.7% of the matriculated students, whereas 13% of Americans are black. The talent is there. Other top schools, ranked higher and lower than Berkeley, can get a level of 8 to 10% black students. Why can't Berekeley? It has a problem of not having a critical mass of black students. Same with my alma mater, Notre Dame. Excellent school, but it can't get qualified blacks to attend because few want to be one of the only blacks there, to start the black presence. Imagine, a qualified minority with admissions to Berkeley, Notre Dame, Princeton and Georgetown. While the first three school are excellent, the black is more likely to go to Georgetown because that's the only school on the list above with a black presence--not to mention it's in a "chocolate" city. Whereas the others are in small towns or majority white towns. Nothing wrong with majority white or small towns, I'm simply explaining WHY qualified minorities would rather go to a place ALREADY accepting of blacks and where the "firsts" have already been accomplished.
(4). While I do NOT agree with their honoring a convicted killer (despite the fact she maintains her innocence), I don't like the line of argument that "because you went to far and asked for X, you now negated YZ of your argument." The idea that there's "street cred" and up until a person said X they were going to get everything they asked for and be taken seriously. It's really just a turn-around attempt for a person who had no interest in addressing or taking seriously the complainant in the first place an excuse to say "haha, you're nuts, I don't have to listen to you." Seriously? You can't ignore their building name request? Because they said that their concerns are anathema now? I hate that "argument" that's often employed. The thrust of the argument is: sit down, shut up, don't complain unless it's REALLY important, lest you blow your chips. If actuality, you have no chips to blow, it's a lie. Moreover, the squeakiest wheel gets the oil usually.
(5). And substantively, while I don't think Berkeley should honor a convicted killer, there are MANY monuments, buildings and neighborhoods still named after known KKK members or lynchers. So until the "Brady" district after known Klans man is changed in Tulsa, or the Nathan Bedford park named after a known KKK lyncher in Memphis is changed, I don't see the outrage.