By Mencken’s Ghost
March 30, 2011
Conservative intellectuals, Republican Party stalwarts, right-wing rabble-rousers, and talk-radio numbskulls have been wrong in their criticism of the indoctrination in diversity and multiculturalism that occurs on college campuses.
How have they been wrong? They have dramatically underplayed the extent of the indoctrination, the intellectual vacuity of the indoctrinators, and the harm that is being done to their collegiate sons and daughters and to the nation’s social fabric.
Why am I qualified to write on the subject? Because I had been in the same intellectual circles as Roosevelt Thomas when he began the diversity movement in 1990 with his landmark article in the Harvard Business Review. Even years before he had come on the public scene, I had volunteered to attend sensitivity sessions for days at a time with racial minorities for the purpose of having no-holds-barred discussions about racial attitudes. After that, much of my professional career was spent on helping large corporations and nonprofits become more open and constructive in addressing issues of race, ethnicity and gender.
I challenge any of today’s indoctrinators to a debate on the subjects of diversity and multiculturalism. They’ll lose.
The reason they’ll lose is not because I have a higher IQ or better debating skills. They’ll lose because what they are spouting is utter nonsense and can’t be defended in a public forum. Their nonsense certainly has no place in supposed institutions of higher learning and intellectual openness.
Speaking of nonsense, it was nonsense that triggered this commentary. Specifically, it was a communiqué issued to students in residence halls at the University of Arizona by a university apparatchik with the title of Coordinator of Social Justice Education. Yes, that is her actual title. No, she doesn’t see the self-parody of the title.
Here is the closing paragraph of her communiqué:
Here at the University of Arizona, Residence Life has a clear and strong commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. We believe that cross-cultural and intercultural experiences enrich our residential communities. We strive to provide our staff and students with quality programming designed to help us develop multicultural competency.
The foregoing is a bald-faced lie. Judging by the literature given to students and by the group discussions and exercises that students are put through, the real agenda is for whites (aka Caucasians) to “understand” the perspectives of non-whites but not vice versa. In other words, diversity and multiculturalism are one-way streets. (This gets really confusing when it comes to Hispanics, because they can be white or non-white or a mix of both.)
The entire phony edifice is based on the following fallacies:
That all whites are homogenous and have identical values, beliefs, experiences, and mindsets. An Italian is the same as a Brit, is the same as a Bosnian, is the same as a Swede, is the same as a Scots-Irish Appalachian, is the same as a Boston Brahmin, is the same as hundreds of white ethnic groups and nationalities. Again, white Hispanics are the only exception to this rule. That whites, especially those of European ancestry, are a privileged race due to centuries of subjecting non-whites to imperialism, oppression, slavery, racism, and discrimination. Once again, strangely, white Hispanics are exempted from this gross stereotype, even for those whose lineage goes back to aristocratic Spain and who don’t have a drop of Native-American blood. That, ipso facto, non-whites have no history of imperialism, oppression, slavery, racism, and discrimination. This is more than historical revisionism. It is a pile of steaming horse manure. That the social and economic problems of non-whites have been caused by whites, and, therefore, social justice demands that whites pay the cost of fixing the problems. Under this faulty thinking, it is somehow the fault of Polish Americans that only about a third of students graduate from high school in Mexico. Consequently, when poorly-educated Mexicans immigrate to American illegally, it’s only fair and just that Polish Americans and other “privileged” whites are blamed for their academic difficulties and low wages. (This ridiculous reasoning explains why there is an Hispanic booth but not a Polish-American booth at recruiting fairs held by the University of Arizona at Arizona high schools.)
The foregoing fallacies emanate from a kernel of truth. The truth is that American universities had focused for most of their existence on European, or Western, literature and history at the expense of the literature and history of other civilizations. But the way to correct this bias is not with piles of steaming horse manure or to deny the fact that Asian and Middle Eastern universities have been, and still are, just as biased, if not more so, in their curricula.
It is telling that the author of the previously mentioned communiqué has “social justice” in her title. That’s because social justice is part of the same leftist movement as multiculturalism and diversity. In all three warped notions, people are seen as members of groups (race or class) and not as unique individuals. The role of government, then, is to subjugate the individual to the interests of groups, or, in the language of the Left, to the interests of the common good, the collective, and the state. This Hegelian orthodoxy led to the horrors of the 20th century in Nazi Germany and in Communist China, Russia, and Cambodia. Yet it persists on college campuses in the name of diversity, multiculturalism and social justice.
It’s beyond me how parents who profess to love their children can stand by and let them be indoctrinated in such dangerous and divisive nonsense. Perhaps they also have been indoctrinated in it.
“Mencken’s Ghost” is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.