Hanson documents problems associated with ‘Diversity Inc.’

Victor Davis Hanson explains for National Review Online readers why the diversity “industry” in American higher education is causing problems.

Diversity has become corporatized on American campuses, with scores of bureaucrats and administrators accentuating different pedigrees and ancestries. That’s odd, because diversity no longer means “variety” or “points of difference,” in the way it used to be defined.

Instead, diversity has become an industry synonymous with orthodoxy and intolerance, especially in its homogeneity of political thought.

When campuses sloganeer “celebrate diversity,” that does not mean they encourage all sorts of political views. If it did, faculties and student groups would better reflect the U.S.’s political realities and might fall roughly into two equal groups: liberal and conservative.

Do colleges routinely invite graduation speakers who are skeptical of man-made global warming, and have reservations about present abortion laws, gay marriage, or illegal immigration — if only for the sake of ensuring diverse views? …

… Diversity, Inc. is also based on a number of other shaky fundamental assumptions. Race, gender, and politics are supposed to count far more in a diverse society than other key differences. Yet in a multiracial nation in which the president of the United States and almost half the Supreme Court are not white males, class considerations that transcend race and gender often provide greater privilege.

Is the daughter of Hillary Clinton in greater need of affirmative action or diversity initiatives than the children of the Oklahoma diaspora who settled in Bakersfield? So-called “white privilege” might certainly describe the elite networks of insider contacts who promote the scions of Al Gore, Chris Matthews, or Warren Buffett. But how about the son of an unemployed Appalachian coal miner? Not so much.

If ethnic, rather than class, pedigrees provide an edge, how do we ascertain them in today’s melting-pot culture? Does the one-quarter Latino student, the recent arrival from Jamaica, or the fourth-generation Japanese American deserve special consideration as “diverse”? And if so, over whom? The Punjabi American? The Arab American? The gay rich kid? The coal miner’s daughter? Or the generic American who chooses not to broadcast his profile?

No comments yet. You should be kind and add one!

Our apologies, you must be registered and logged in to post a comment.