[Posted by The Angry Clam]
So, now we’re starting to see the “Alito is racist and sexist!” tactic being tried. It’s starting small, with an article in the Daily Princetonian complaining of his membership in a group, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, that is described as “an organization that was overtly racist and sexist for its entire 14-year existence — at times passionately so, too.”
So what was this group’s crime? Reading forward, we discover that, horror of horrors, they were opposed to making Princeton a coeducational institution! Of course, this is described in the article as “opposition to the mere presence of women and minorities at Princeton.”
Because, of course they object to the presence of women because they’re women. That means that Vassar alumnae who were disappointed when, in 1969, the school began admitting men were “sexist,” not just that they didn’t like seeing the character of the institution change. How about these women profiled in Ms. Magazine, protesting the switch to coeducational admissions at their institution, Wells College? I bet they’re all awful sexists too.
While we’re at it, I bet that Harvard’s administration is sexist, as it still awards Radcliffe degrees to its female undergraduates. The horror!
The article is less clear on how minorities come into this, but my suspicion, given the time these changes were happening (1960s-1970s), was that Princton had begun instituting a massive affirmative action program. Those racists, wanting their Ivy League school to continue having merit admissions.
Finally, let’s take a look at the so-called “dirty tricks” that were allegedly committed by this group, and cited as such by the Princetonian:
— In 1973, CAP mailed a letter to parents of freshmen implying that their sons and daughters were living in “cohabitation,” rather than simply coeducational dorms.
“Cohabitation” – “living together.” I seriously doubt that it had acquired the connotation of “living together in the same room” rather than the same structure in 1973. Regardless, their usage is technically correct.
— In 1975, a CAP board member tried to disrupt Annual Giving by writing to alumni in the business community to consider whether their gifts were “being used to undermine, subvert, and otherwise discredit the very businesses which are helping fund private education.”
And what’s wrong with that? I think that too often donors do not realize exactly what their money is being spent on at universities. There’s a reason that I refuse to make alumni contributions to either the law school or the university I attended- I know that they will spend it on programs that I viscerally disagree with. Reminding people that they might want to consider where their money is going when it gets handed over to Princeton sure is underhanded and dirty, isn’t it?
— In 1979, Prospect wrote that Princeton’s athletic program under Bowen was “fast becoming the laughingstock of the whole Ivy League.” In reality, Princeton had the best record in the Ivies.
According to whom? Evaluations, particularly of such things as reputation, are inherently subjective. Consider Brian Leiter’s wildly exaggerated view of the University of Texas School of Law as comparable to NYU and Chicago, as opposed to comparable to Georgetown and UCLA.
However, I will say this: everyone knows that Brown, not Princeton, is the laughingstock of the Ivies. That said, if this is the kind of reasoning being put out by Princeton graduates (the author, a 1976 graduate, also produces such insightful colums as “Animals Suffer a Perpetual ‘Holocaust'”), perhaps they should be characterized as the laughingstock of the whole Ivy League.
(All thanks be to Howard)