A quick read that is worth a full read, the irreplaceable Victor Davis Hanson summarises well,
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?
Does Diversity, Inc. rely on genetic testing, family documents, general appearance, accented names, trilled pronunciation, or just personal assurance to pass judgment on who should be advantaged in any measurement of diversity?
In such an illiberal, tribally obsessed, and ideologically based value system, it is not hard to see why and how careerists such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and activist Ward Churchill were able to fabricate helpful Native American ancestries.
Diversity came into vogue after affirmative action became unworkable in the 1980s. Given the multiplicity of ethnicities, huge influxes of new immigrants, and a growing rate of intermarriage, it became almost impossible to adjudicate historical grievances and dole out legal remedies. So just creating “diversity” — without much worry over how to define it — avoided the contradictions.
But diversity is not only incoherent; it is ironic. On a zero-sum campus short of resources, the industry of diversity and related “studies” classes that focus on gender or racial differences and grievances crowd out exactly the sort of disciplines that provide the skills — mastery of languages, literature, science, engineering, business, and math — that best prep graduates for a shot at well-compensated careers.
People in the Balkans, Rwanda, and Iraq certainly championed their ethnic differences in lieu of embracing concord and ethnically and religiously blind meritocracy.
Tragically, these are also examples of where the logic of privileging differences, and dividing and judging people by the way they look and what they believe, ultimately ends up.