Diversity Obsession

Walter E. Williams – November 27, 2017

A common feature of our time is the extent to which many in our nation have become preoccupied with diversity. But true diversity obsession, almost a mania, is found at our institutions of higher learning. Rather than have a knee-jerk response for or against diversity, I think we should ask just what is diversity and whether it’s a good thing. How do we tell whether a college, a department or another unit within a college is diverse or not? What exemptions from diversity are permitted?

Seeing as college presidents and provosts are the main diversity pushers, we might start with their vision of diversity. Ask your average college president or provost whether he even bothers promoting political diversity among faculty. I’ll guarantee that if he is honest — and even bothers to answer the question — he will say no. According to a recent study, professors who are registered Democrats outnumber their Republican counterparts by a 12-1 ratio (http://tinyurl.com/gpp4svq). In some departments, such as history, Democratic professors outnumber their Republican counterparts by a 33-1 ratio.

The fact is that when college presidents and their diversity coterie talk about diversity, they’re talking mostly about pleasing mixtures of race. Years ago, they called their agenda affirmative action, racial preferences or racial quotas. Not only did these terms fall out of favor but also voters approved initiatives banning choosing by race. Courts found some of the choosing by race unconstitutional. That meant that the race people had to repackage their agenda. That repackaging became known as diversity. Some race people were bold enough to argue that “diversity” produces educational benefits to all students, including white students. Nobody has bothered to scientifically establish what those benefits are. For example, does a racially diverse student body lead to higher scores on graduate admissions tests, such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT? By the way, Israel, Japan and South Korea are among the world’s least racially diverse nations. In terms of academic achievement, their students run circles around diversity-crazed Americans.

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