Diversity, equality, inclusion...give me a break
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) amounts to the complaint that there are too many white males on the faculty and the demand that this be radically changed, forthwith. It would appear, at least to the grievants, that females, "people of color" ("colored people" is no longer allowed to be said at university, despite the continued existence of the National Association of Colored People), and members of the LGBT community cannot really learn from straight white male professors. Students with these characteristics, it turns out, need role models in the professoriate from their own demographics if they are to prosper in higher education. Numerous academic job notifications now routinely require adherence to DEI sensibilities.
I don't want to criticize the students responsible for these complaints. They are young kids, and, presumably, don't yet know any better. If anyone is to blame for this new campus initiative, it is their teachers (many of whom are woke white males).
The main charge in one particular case is that the student body is less than 40% white male, while professors of the same ilk constitute about 75% of the faculty. Out of a board of trustees of roughly three dozen, almost two dozen are white men. The conclusion would appear to be that there should be something akin to proportional representation. The present situation is rejected as "shocking," "bizarre." As a result, students, all of them, are subjected to a "white centric" education where "whiteness" predominates.
There is more wrong here than you can shake a stick at. First of all, there is no such thing as white math, or black logic, or Asian economics, or male physics, or female chemistry, or homosexual astronomy, or heterosexual philosophy. This may or may not apply to grievance studies (black studies, gay studies, feminist studies), but if it doesn't, then these are not worthy subjects to be studied at an institution of advanced learning. There are not many truths each for a separate category of human beings. There is only one. Get used to it.
Second, proportionality. Many people expect that absent racial, sexual, and other types of discrimination, all groups would be equally represented in all aspects of the labor market. But as the insightful work of Thomas Sowell has demonstrated, this is simply not the case. The National Basketball Association comprises about 75% blacks, who make up only some 13% of the overall population. Players in the National Football League are roughly 70% black. Is this due to the fact that the NFL and the NBA discriminate against whites and Asians? Of course not. These sports leagues will sign up anyone, even people with chartreuse-colored skin and covered with pink and blue polka dots, provided, only, that they are world-class athletes with the requisite skills. Should we, in any case, kick out of the NFL and the NBA as many splendid black athletes as needed so as to attain proportional racial representation? That would solve one "problem," but then many college teams would likely be able to beat these professionals unless, of course, we employed the same procedure for them. And so on down the line.
Jews make up slightly less than 2% of the population but somewhat more than 14% of doctors, about 20% of lawyers, and some 25% of Ivy League professors. Maybe what we should do is transfer the "excessive" numbers of Jews out of these three professions and into the NFL and NBA and do the reverse for blacks — that is, enroll them as doctors, lawyers, and professors. This would appear to be the "logical" implication of those who wish to see a professoriate that "looks like America."
A similar "problem" arises with male and female representation. Women dominate the profession of nursing (91% to 9%), while men predominate in engineering (87% to 13%). Perhaps we should orchestrate a similar type of switcheroo here? Again, this is nothing but the logical implication of the DEI philosophy now endangering institutions of higher learning.
No. This is barking mad. There is simply no reason to favor proportional representation of anything, let alone these professions. People are different. They have divergent tastes in their labor force participation. There is simply no justification for forcing everyone into this particular Procrustean Bed.
Whites can't learn from qualified blacks on campus? Preposterous. Blacks can't learn from competent whites at university? Equally silly. I, a white man, have learned more from Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams on the subject of racial and sexual discrimination than from any other two scholars. I am pleased and proud that several of my black students are making their way into academic professions. I hold a brown belt in karate. My teachers were the students of Asians. My best instructor is Iranian. I'm Jewish.
It is supposedly a micro-aggression to say the most highly qualified person should get the job. It is amazing how far down this garden path we have come.
Image via Pxhere.
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