Quite a few people are bent out of shape over the banning of the College Republicans from the University of Rhode Island. It seems that their take on “affirmative action” — a fund raiser for a “straight white male” scholarship — didn’t go over too well, and the school told them to apologize or be decertified.
While a lot of people are upset and talking about lawsuits, I think they should take a different tack.
If the school wants an apology, give it to ’em.
I modestly offer my own efforts as a model:
We, the College Republicans of the University of Rhode Island, would like to issue the following apology.
We deeply regret that so many people misunderstood our recent satirical attempt to foster dialogue about the practice of race-based discriminatory practices, more commonly known as “affirmative action.” Our attempt was not to cause irreparable harm to the self-esteem of anyone, but to begin a discussion on the merits of the issue.
We did not understand that on a college campus, traditionally a bastion of free thought and free expression, certain ideas are held so dearly and so delicately that to even hint of questioning their merits and validity was nothing less than a violent rape of the entire academic structure, a rape the likes of which only prior seen at Duke Lacrosse Team parties. We had not the slightest inkling of the consequences of our actions.
Our actions were not motivated by hatred, but by our own inabilities to comprehend the consequences of our actions. It is our cultural backgrounds that led us to this terrible course of action. We poorly chose our race, our sex, and our sexual orientation, willfully taking up the mantle of the most oppressive, most brutal, most conquering demographic in human history — the heterosexual white male. And we compounded that error by not accepting the collective guilt and responsibility for all the evils committed by our fellow heterosexual white males throughout human history.
Further, we grossly overestimated our own abilities. In raising a token (sorry — “negligible”) amount of money for a scholarship to be awarded based purely on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation, we thought to align ourselves with previously-established University practices, while practicing an ancient literary tradition called “satire.” Our error was compounded by modeling our actions on those of another heterosexual white male (this one, thank heavens, long safely dead) by the name of “Dr. Jonathan Swift.” (Probably a pseudonym.) Dr. Swift, in one of the most renowned works of satire, endorsed cannibalism. We thought our proposal was considerably less offensive than eating infants, so we felt safe in pursuing it. Obviously that was a grave error in judgment.
If we are allowed to return to the University of Rhode Island and be reinstated as a fully-sanctioned student organization, we pledge that we will not only avoid such actions in the future, but attempt to make reparations to those we offended. Our efforts will include, but not be limited to, the following ideas:
- Promote general safety and longer lifespans by members of minorities by reserving the safest seats on buses and other forms of transportation for them, while we will accept the greater danger by sitting up front.
- Demonstrate the proper stigmas associated with our race and sex and sexual orientation by establishing “Straight White Male-Only” water fountains.
- Protect the sensibilities of minorities from exposure to our selves by segregating ourselves in “Straight White Male Only” residences.
- Donate the proceeds of our scholarship drive to the applying student who can demonstrate that they are the least straight, least white, and least male person on campus.
We hope that this offer is taken in the inclusive, accepting, tolerant, and peace-loving spirit in which it is offered — and which are the hallmarks of this fine school.