"CAL POLY PLOTS TO REDUCE WHITE ENROLLMENT," screamed the banner across the Fox News Channel during a Fox & Friends report.
What? That's outrageous! If you cut down on the number of white students, who's going to write racist and homophobic shit on the College Republican's free speech wall? Who's going to deface diversity posters? Who's going to scrawl the N-word in bathrooms?
Wait? What's that? The entire Fox News report was fake news? How did Fox get shiny, happy white Construction Management senior Roberta Martin to appear and claim Cal Poly's "goal is to limit the number of white students to 40 percent of the campus population?" Hmm? White people, so worried about their power position, amirite?
Host Rob Schmitt began the segment in question with, "Campus craziness out West. California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo is working to diversify their campus by deliberately slashing the number of white students."
Of course, a little thing called Proposition 209 makes using race as a factor in admission illegal, but for Schmitt to know that he'd need to do some reporting—you know, look shit up. It's true the university asks applicants to voluntarily give their ethnicity so the university can track racial diversity on campus, but as Cal Poly Media Relations Director Matt Lazier responded to Fox News, "The university has not, does not, and will not consider race or ethnicity in the admissions process."
To his credit, Schmitt went on-air the next day to apologize, where he quoted Lazier—whose last name he pronounced Lazy-er even though it's Lazhere, which was kind of hilarious.
The point is, fake news seems to be whatever conservatives don't want to hear, so what do you make of the fact that "Fair and Balanced" and "We report, you decide" Fox News latched onto a false report that Cal Poly was "moving toward a race-based admissions process"?
Apparently, since this false report feeds into Fox's narrative of race, namely that white people are under attack, they were ready to believe it. Fox & Friends may want to review their "we report" policy and actually do some reporting before spitting out fake news their "customers" want to hear.
It's not news that Fox News peddles misinformation. The "Fox News effect," as it's come to be called, is the scientifically demonstrable fact that Fox News viewers are less informed about current events than people who don't follow the news at all! Any Fox News junkies reading this? Let me rephrase so you understand: Fox makes you dumb. Dig the remote out of the couch cushion and change the channel! And no, you probably shouldn't eat that Fig Newton you found.
Fox News watchers who saw the first report but not the retraction and apology will think Cal Poly is conspiring against white folks. Just wait until they hear that Cal Poly revoked white dude Bronson Harmon's wrestling scholarship after he was caught on camera flipping the bird and saying, "Fuck you, faggot," to someone recording the counter protest to a Families Belong Together march in Modesto on June 30.
Yes, Bronson, you have every right to protest those protesting Trump's anti-immigration policies, and you have free speech! Here's your first lesson: Feel free to speak freely, but be prepared to be held accountable for your words. Way to be woke, Cal Poly!
And speaking of Cal "Sure I'll Take Your Money" Poly, did you hear the university accepted native oak tree butchers and Justin Vineyards & Winery owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick's $2.5 million donation in exchange for naming the university's new Center for Wine and Viticulture the Justin and J. Lohr Center for Wine and Viticulture? Yep! Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards also ponied up $2.5 million. I got no beef with you, Jerry! Thanks for not butchering trees without a permit.
Apparently, Cal Poly will take money from anybody, even Pom Terrible® owners the Resnicks! Not all students are OK with this kind of indiscriminate money grab. Remember the kids who protested warmonger Raytheon at the Cal Poly job fair. They were under investigation by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for breaking university rules for their short, non-violent protest. After a public outcry, Poly quietly dropped the "investigation."
In any case, who wants to chip in to get the Journalism Department renamed the Shredder Center for Afflicting the Comfortable? Anyone?
Trust me, it's needed! There's lame stuff going on at Cal Poly! President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and his army of administrators seem more interested in building up the profit-generating part of campus—dorms and dining facilities—while ignoring classrooms, which are in direly short supply. I have a sneaking suspicion the upcoming 15,600-square-foot winery and a 12,000-square-foot grange hall will also generate money for the Cal Poly Foundation and Corporation—two "nonprofit" campus organizations that seem to make more and more profit each year. (The Foundation's net assets grew $53.4 million in 2017!)
Hey, last time I checked, our taxpayer-funded public universities are supposed to be geared toward getting all students an education at a reasonable price, not act like a club for self-aggrandized back-patting between wealthy millionaires and administrators who wish they were running Sony or McDonald's instead of being stewards of our public education system.
I know classrooms aren't as sexy as an on-campus winery, but teaching still needs to happen, right? Δ
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