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The only remaining question is why we ever let this happen.

DEI is DOA; but why was this brain-eating beast allowed to stalk our land in the first place?

 MIT announced a similar decision last month, saying it would stop requiring diversity statements for positions across the university.

… [Harvard] Psychology professor Steven A. Pinker, a co-president of the Council on Academic Freedom at Harvard, slammed diversity statements in a December 2023 Boston Globe op-ed, arguing that they “purge the next generation of scholars of anyone who isn’t a woke ideologue or a skilled liar.”

As usual, Pinker emerges a hero. But I tell you. The shit that guy has to put up with to defend free speech…

Margaret Soltan, June 3, 2024 2:17PM
Posted in: free speech

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3 Responses to “The only remaining question is why we ever let this happen.”

  1. TAFKAU Says:

    I think it started innocently enough with Justice Powell’s controlling opinion in Regents v. Bakke in 1978, which overruled the “quota” system used by the UC Davis med school to ensure that (I think) 10% of each entering class was made up of minority students. But unlike his four conservative colleagues, Powell didn’t want to get rid of affirmative action altogether, so he justified preferences, but not rigid quotas, based on the benefits of diversity.

    The problem is that while quotas were a mechanical solution to a perceived dilemma (if we see that discrimination is keeping Black firefighters from management positions, we simply mandate that, say, 25% of promotions must go to African Americans), diversity is more of an ideological position. And as time passed, that ideological position became more heavily defined around notions such as white privilege, anti-racism, and, ultimately, movements to limit free speech and “cancel” opposing viewpoints (though the impact of the latter has been greatly exaggerated). And, of course, all ideological movements draw their share of grifters, extremists, or both, who claimed that if you opposed them, you opposed diversity, and were therefore a bigot.

    Meanwhile, with courts (and voters) increasing hostile toward any notion of racial or ethnic preferences, those who wanted to preserve affirmative action in the old-fashioned sense decided to hang their hat on various gimmicks. One of those was the diversity statement. The problem, of course, is that such statements (which were likely originally intended to provide a reason to move minority candidates forward) inevitably became promises to abide by a certain ideological gospel, something that is offensive to free speech and the purpose of a university.

    In my view, we would probably have been better off if Justice Powell had thrown in with the Court’s liberals and allowed UC Davis to keep their 10% plan. Then at least we could have more honest and (somewhat) less ideological conversations about underrepresentation on the faculty and in the student body and its causes and consequences. At the very least, we could all say what we really mean.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Quite so; and the devolution by which admirable steps toward fairness became deadly ideological lockstep is well worth intense analysis. It must have something to do with bureaucratization – DEI administrators let their power go to their heads and become commissars…

    Americans in general can never seem to leave well enough alone, so anyone could have anticipated that a reasonably simple checked box sort of thing would turn into an absurdly elaborated loyalty mandate.

    DEI has in any case disgraced itself, and we can only thank our lucky democratic stars that there are still enough subversives in the country to kick hard against it.

  3. Stephen Karlson Says:

    Not too long ago, somebody from a university that doesn’t have the U. S. News problem wrote an essay in defense of diversity paragraphs, because that columnist’s institution didn’t publish a rubric for applicants to follow, you know, pledging faith in the Church of Intersectionality. Thus those paragraphs let individuals be themselves, in a way that the other parts of the application, which has been codified beyond parody, did not. Process worship.

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