The abstract concept of fairness is at the core of almost every argument, debate and law. It is a tragedy that so much time and energy is devoted and subsequently wasted to the pathetic pursuit of the construction of a society founded under the inherently flawed premise that all people are created equal and that people should be afforded each and every opportunity (basically, fairness).

Paul Wong
Luke Smith, There is no I in column

Fairness, just like the oh-so-novel pat on the back concept of human equality, in reality does not exist in any tangible form. Absolutely nothing is fair other than perhaps the odds of calling heads or tails in a coin flip and even then we can sit and complain about the way the coin was flipped. Fairness is a simply a perspective: One person’s bemoaned “apples for lunch everyday” could be another person’s banquet in heaven. It’s completely subjective and completely ridiculous.

The idea that in this society people think that everyone deserves a fair chance and that life should be fair is folly. It is useless.

Admissions here at the University are unfair. Tons of deserving high schoolers are cast aside annually in the quest for diversity – a word that means nothing, other than a ‘fair distribution of races.’ Since fairness doesn’t really exist, diversity’s weight in an academic community should be minimized and relegated to an ideal that if achieved naturally, the ‘U’ can award itself a pat on the back, but it is nothing to strive for.

Yes, diversity is nothing to strive for.

This petulant, naive quest for diversity allows the University to admit students who are less qualified than others, giving the admitted the benefit of the doubt because they are under-privileged, underrepresented or the University is getting paid under-the-table to take Daddy’s junior into her flabby diversity-grubbing arms.

It isn’t fair that Desmond will be the third University of Michigan man to come out of his lineage. But in the same respect, it isn’t fair that Jack comes from a poor school system and is an underrepresented minority – he’s bright pink in case you were wondering his skin color. My space, my rules.

Neither of these two should see the inside of this campus unless they are taking a virtual tour online, or fit the academic standards a top tier University like this one should maintain. And maintain it, uncompromisingly.

I suppose that would mean continuing to stress grades, extracurricular activities and of course, standardized tests.

“But Luke,” you whine from my left, “standardized tests aren’t fair, they are biased toward the white male.” Spare me, I have no sympathy or tolerance for the unfairness, trials or hardships you are overcoming, overcame or will overcome in your life. Fairness doesn’t exist and everyone gets their fair share of crap dumped on them.

Should I pity Lyle and feel bad for him because his genes dictated that he would be bald by age 20? Is his baldness and my full head of hair fair? Is it right that Bertha less resembles a person and more a cage ball because of her genes? Genes are as predisposed and controllable as the situation each and everyone comes from. I can no more control my skin color than you can your economic status. I can’t control my intellect any more than you can control what your father does or doesn’t do for a living.

We aren’t all born at ground zero. There is not a shred of equality among us, so stop trying to create it. Does anyone look around their Stats 350 class and think to themselves, “Wow, all of us in this room are like, totally equal.” No. So stop kidding yourself.

That’s the point. There are people lesser than you, and people greater than you. This reality reaches far at both ends of the spectrum, but for some reason we try to coddle everyone’s feelings, level the playing field and let life run an altered course, on terrain designed to be fair to everyone.

Come on. Our differences as individuals are what create this broad scope of humanity. It’s so ironic that the very individuality people seek to champion, is the same individuality that aids in the defeat of the bankrupt idea of fairness and equality. Fairness does not exist. Creating an environment, or community or university built under the guise of fairness is naive. It will not happen. It is not even an ideal worth pursuing, especially not through the employment of superficial guidelines and rubrics for admissions into college.

Is everyone so afraid of what the University would look like if an application were simply name, address, essays, transcripts and some test scores? Is everyone even afraid? Or just those who know they’ve taken someone’s place who would deserve their spot under the above criteria.

Life isn’t fair. Are you here because someone else isn’t?

Luke Smith can be reached at lukems@umich.edu.

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