Burt Prelutsky
A few years ago, I was an Executive Story Consultant on the Dick Van Dyke series, "Diagnosis Murder." A fancy title, but it just meant I was a member of the writing staff.

There were five of us working in the writers room. We were, by most measures, a fairly diverse group of individuals. Two of us were born in New York, one in New Orleans, one in Chicago, one in a small town in Utah. Three of us were Jews, ranging from Conservative down to merely cultural; one was an ex-Catholic; one was Mormon.

Four of us were married, one was a confirmed bachelor. Three of us had been married more than once; one of us had been married five times. Between us, we had seven children, one adopted, ranging in age from five to twenty-eight.

Two of us believed in God, one was an atheist, one was agnostic, and one of us suspected that the higher power was none other than Dick Van Dyke.

Two of us believed in capital punishment, two were opposed, one wasn't certain. Three of us were college graduates, two of us weren't. Three of us voted for Gore, one for Bush, one for Nader.

Two of us had been journalists, one of us had been a bartender, one had been a West Point cadet, and one had been an aspiring actress.

Two of us rooted for the Yankees, one for the Red Sox, and two of us thought the other three were nuts for liking baseball.

In my opinion, in spite of the fact that we were all Caucasians, all of us in our fifties, and all of us TV writers, we were as different as a random group of five adult Americans is likely to be.

Hardly a day went by that we weren't arguing about something--and it was only rarely about a story point or a murder clue in one of our scripts.

However, there are those people who would insist that because none of us were black or Hispanic, we couldn't possibly be a model of true diversity in the work place.

Doesn't it seem peculiar that liberals who are so fond of quoting Martin Luther King's remark about judging people by their character, not the color of their skin, are the very ones these days who are so totally hung up on pigmentation?

The idea that the folks governing admissions at the University of Michigan would award 20 points (out of a possible 120) to a prospective student for merely being black is simultaneously patronizing and bigoted. After four decades of Head Start programs, court-mandated busing, and billions of dollars earmarked for minority education, black students require 20 points in order to compete?