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‘By requiring academics to profess — and flaunt — faith in DEI, the proliferation of diversity statements poses a profound challenge to academic freedom… [These] pledges of allegiance … enlist academics into the DEI movement by dint of soft-spoken but real coercion: If you want the job or the promotion, play ball — or else… Detractors also reasonably object to what they see as a troubling invitation to ritualized dissembling. A cottage industry of diversity statement “counseling” has already emerged to offer candidates prefabricated, boilerplate rhetoric.’

LOL diversity statement counseling but as ever UD stands amazed and impressed by the money-agility of capitalists. Now that even Harvard academics are reduced to pledge-reciting Girl Scouts (I promise to do my best to help other people at all times, especially those at home.), it’s time to cash in on coaching.

But let’s see what else Randall Kennedy, Harvard prof and man of the left, has to say.

Such pressure constitutes an encroachment upon the intellectual freedom that ought to be part of the enjoyment of academic life… By overreaching, by resorting to compulsion, by forcing people to toe a political line, by imposing ideological litmus tests, by incentivizing insincerity, and by creating a circular mode of discourse that is seemingly impervious to self-questioning, the current DEI regime is discrediting itself… I am a scholar on the left committed to struggles for social justice. The realities surrounding mandatory DEI statements, however, make me wince. The practice of demanding them ought to be abandoned, both at Harvard and beyond.

But hey whoa! Not only are arrogant snobs like Kennedy (‘make me wince’) shutting down TWO viable industries (DEI statement generation/enforcement, and DEI statement coaching), they are also impeding the suicide mission of Democrats as the coercive, “easy to parody DEI lingo” makes us look like assholes to the world and thereby makes the world safe for Donald Trump.

Margaret Soltan, April 3, 2024 12:25AM
Posted in: just plain gross

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2 Responses to “‘By requiring academics to profess — and flaunt — faith in DEI, the proliferation of diversity statements poses a profound challenge to academic freedom… [These] pledges of allegiance … enlist academics into the DEI movement by dint of soft-spoken but real coercion: If you want the job or the promotion, play ball — or else… Detractors also reasonably object to what they see as a troubling invitation to ritualized dissembling. A cottage industry of diversity statement “counseling” has already emerged to offer candidates prefabricated, boilerplate rhetoric.’”

  1. TAFKAU Says:

    I don’t disagree with Kennedy, but the readers’ comments following the article are (unfortunately) instructive, as well. They start with the usual white-guy grievance and then devolve quickly into “how human differences greatly impact inequality,” before someone just comes out and says of Finns, Mongolians, “Australian aborigines” and Irishmen, “in any other organism, they’d be classified as being in different species.” This is followed by the old chestnut, “[i]f disparity implies injustice, then why no push to get Asians playing in the NBA?” There is no doubt that the extreme elements of the DEI movement often approach self-parody and play into the hands of the MAGA movement. But there is also a lot of genuine bigotry out there, much of it hiding behind pseudo-intellectual arguments about “human differences.” We need to find better and more effective ways of countering it, because I’m not sure that it’s inevitable that enlightened thought will invariably triumph in the marketplace of ideas.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    TAFKAU: I’m sure enlightened thought will always have a real uphill struggle in the marketplace of ideas; but I also know that genuine bigotry which people are willing to act upon/dangerously express has declined dramatically in this country. I’m going to go even further and suggest that you won’t find happy hunting grounds in this matter among Harvard professors. Among professors.

    God knows I’m always looking for out-there bigots among professors – and I always blog about them when I find them – but they’re really thin on the ground. Nor do goofy ideas about different human species have any significance in this country. If, as you say, bigotry “hides” behind pseudointellectual ideas, I don’t much care, since it’s hiding. People hide all sorts of appalling beliefs in all sorts of ways. As long as they keep them hidden, we’re okay.

    OTOH some of our most popular art (The Producers; The Book of Mormon) is full of outrageous bigotry. It is a sign of an advanced culture to make people laugh about these matters.

    Globally, the US does well on the tolerance index, and we can certainly expect experts in enlightened thought within the US to have especially high tolerance levels. The absurdity/cynicism-making of subjecting them to mandatory tolerance pledges is, as Kennedy points out, pretty obvious.

    We know where our genuine bigots are, but long before Idaho’s militias fill out your diversity pledge form they will try to blow your head off. Harvard profs are less scary.

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