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:: Friday, June 20, 2003 ::

Here, here! Carol Iannone on NRO calls "The mistaken road of affirmative action and diversity" Indefensible.
Most people are aware that diversity in higher education requires the recruitment, admission, and retention of minorities in faculty, staff, and administration as well as in the student body. Fewer are aware that diversity mandates the reorienting of the entire curriculum. This entails not only specific courses on diversity (now required at many institutions), but the injection of diversity learning into every aspect of the educational experience. And the reconstruction doesn't stop with the classroom experience. According to diversity educators, all non-curricular activities, such as counseling, career planning, and residential life, must be informed by diversity concerns, facilitated in structured discussions and diversity workshops. The goal is to create students adept in "relational living," who demonstrate "cultural competence," students, that is, who can endure the falsehoods and injustices of the diversity regime with bland equanimity. Some real education does no doubt continue to take place, but as more and more traditionally minded professors retire, of whom there are precious few left as it is, their ranks will be filled by those who have been steeped in diversity ideology and its various theoretical cousins, such as feminism, postmodernism, deconstruction, and cultural relativism.

It is a searing shame that we have come so far on this mistaken road. There are many institutions of higher education in our country that can educate students at every level of ability, and these students, properly prepared, can go on to multiple kinds of success. In addition, new, targeted efforts supported by the Bush administration to improve our public schools and to tackle the problem of minority unpreparedness earlier, in elementary and secondary schools, will no doubt increase minority competitiveness over time. But even without college there are many honorable walks of life to follow, especially in a country with almost unlimited opportunities like ours. Engineered group outcomes work in exactly the opposite direction of the American genius, which is to free people to follow their own best gifts and inclinations, creating wealth, activity, prosperity, and happiness in myriad, dovetailing ways that cannot be planned by any diversity engineer. But the inexorable logic of the diversity ideology is that America's "unfulfilled promise" will never be fulfilled until there is racial proportionality in every walk of life, and diversity becomes the be all and end all of our national existence. We could never really attain such an artificially controlled culture, of course, but we can tear down our society in trying.

And so far from bringing justice, diversiphiles are denigrating the real achievements of minorities, encouraging in them a sense of envy and entitlement, and ensuring their dissatisfaction with the accomplishments they can attain on their own. Instead of trusting our citizens, our system, and the natural variety and multifariousness of life itself, we have scorned honest work and torn down the old and noble idea of individual achievement, however modest, if genuinely earned. Worst of all, we have gone a long way toward destroying the great liberal education that has been a passport for so many students of various backgrounds to the life of the mind and a greater understanding of the human condition.

:: Mark 10:45 AM [+] ::
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