Forced Diversity Is Actively Harming America

The meaning of the term “affirmative action” has changed dramatically over the last six decades. Although it first showed up in the Wagner Act in 1935, it was John F. Kennedy who started it on its modern trajectory in 1961 when he issued an executive order holding that the federal government had an affirmative duty to treat its employees “without regard to their race, creed, color or national origin.” With the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these protected characteristics were extended to cover sex, religion and, thanks to the Supreme Court, gender identity.

Once in place, these protections were expanded to state governments and the private sector. They gradually evolved from ensuring that people in the protected categories were not discriminated against on the job to becoming a vehicle for engineered diversity through hiring and promotion preferences towards individuals exhibiting the protected characteristics, which led to so-called “reverse discrimination” against those who did not exhibit them. The American concept of meritocracy was tossed aside in favor of “diversity, inclusion and equity” (DIE)—which probably would have appalled past Democrats like Kennedy, and which is detrimental to prosperity and individual freedom of the American society.

One of the worst results of the current iteration of affirmative action is the emergence of the so-called “inept-ocracy” that the Urban Dictionary provocatively defines as a “system of [governance] where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.”

Image: Celebrating “diversity” (edited) by

Almost all American universities have committed themselves to affirmative action (interpreted as favoritism towards the so-called “underrepresented” and “underserved”) and forced (as opposed to naturally occurring) diversity. To that end, they’ve lowered their admission, passing, and graduation standards, often selectively so, to ensure proportional “representation” of favored groups in their graduating cohorts. The result is that graduates often lack the knowledge, skills, and abilities that one could expect from those holding degrees, especially from once-prestigious institutions. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who holds a B.A. and J.D. from Harvard and is currently in the news for indicting President Donald Trump, serves as an important example of this undesirable phenomenon.

Given the appalling quality of his indictment, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Bragg’s Ivy League resumé is the product of affirmative action. Indeed, one of the inevitable downsides of affirmative action is that, whenever a member of one of the Democrat party’s favored classes has an impressive resume, the default thought is that he or she achieved it thanks to affirmative action. As Clarence Thomas learned, it stigmatizes minorities rather than raising them up.

If the presumption about Bragg’s actual abilities (as opposed to the high points on his resumé) is true, then one can logically conclude that Trump’s indictment would not have happened without forced diversity and affirmative action. Reputable legal experts have pointed out that the indictment has no legal basis. Its very existence is a pathology capable of destroying this once exceptionally successful nation.

I am sure that you can find many other examples of harms of affirmative action (in its today’s meaning) and forced diversity.

You see, the left-leaning ideologues that keep pushing down our throats the unproven claim that all people are absolutely equal—as opposed to equal under the law—despite plentiful evidence to the contrary will stop at nothing to “prove” their absurd theses and will not hesitate to sacrifice anyone or anything on their altar of equality. (See, for example, the fact Alvin Bragg’s chief prosecutor has bragged about giving violent felons “get-out-of-jail-free” cards.)

Left-leaning ideologues started on this trajectory by demanding that we must be racially “color-blind” so we wouldn’t discriminate against racial minorities. Having achieved that goal, they immediately complained that this “color blindness” was insufficient because some racial minorities were still underperforming academically, professionally, or economically. It never occurred to them that their programs, rather than creating the perfect equitable equality they envisioned, would incentivize people in the preferred groups to decrease their efforts, whether academically, professionally, or economically. If you’ll get into Harvard anyway, ambition is required (and Bragg has plenty of that), but all other effort is irrelevant.

In sum, left-leaning ideologues are operating under a moralistic fallacy: They took the notion of “equality under the law” and, from that, inferred that people must be physically equal. Or phrased more simply, “Discrimination is undesirable; therefore, all people are (or must be) equal.

The ideologues have used this fallacy to impose their diversity, equity, and inclusion policies despite extensive and often irreparable harm to individual Americans’ freedom and prosperity. If America is to survive, we must unite against the DIE ideology and the unconstitutional and harmful pathologies that it has incorporated. Americans must all work to persuade those who are not ideologues that a relentless focus on affirmative action to achieve the dysfunctional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, will drag our country down. It’s time to stand up against inept-ocracy and demand a return to meritocracy everywhere in society.


Mark Andrew Dwyer’s recent columns are here, here, and here.

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