Thursday, November 27, 2014

Diversity Thursday

Recently I've posted a few DivThu that were meant to be positive and give you hope that we were making progress towards a color-neutral, modern, and fair nation - and in the whole, we are moving in that direction.

However, we are not winning on every front, that is the bad news. The good news is that those who wish to keep everyone broken in to sectarian camps to feed their own psychological shortcomings and fill their bank accounts can only make their argument further in an intellectual concoction of absurdity and implausibility. They can only survive when leaders are easily bullied and are weak-willed intellectual cowards.

Heather MacDonald over at CityJournal has a long article on what is going on in academia. You need to read it all for a lot of reasons. First, if you know anyone with at PhD from UCLA, for goodness sake don't call them "Doctor." They can't write a prescription, and odds are they write worse than I do. 

Second, the racist social justice warriors when they graduate from UCLA and other such schools cannot find real jobs in the civilian sector. They will drift towards government jobs. They will teach, they will administer ... and they will take those Diversity and Inclusion jobs that have grown legion in the armed services civilian cadre as the Fleet is starved of uniformed personnel.

They thrive off of our silence. They survive through terror ... the terror good people have of being denounced and/or having a hostile IG foisted against them. In this area they are winning. We are still waiting for senior leaders to stand up to them.

It is a good fight, and until we push back - our leaders will continue to bend to their will.

There are many examples in Heather's article. This is only one.
UCLA law professor Richard Sander taught an enthusiastic group of students in his first-year property class in the fall of 2013. Building on that class spirit, he proposed a softball match between his students and the other first-year property-law section. Sander’s students wanted to make team T-shirts and came up with a design featuring the logo #teamsander and a picture of their professor holding a baseball bat, embellished with such property terms as “replevin” and “trover.” A few days before the tournament, half of Sander’s students wore their T-shirts to class. An e-mail storm immediately broke out among the first-year black students, charging Sander’s class with microaggression.

Sander, you see, is the progenitor of an empirically sophisticated critique of affirmative action known as mismatch theory, which holds that racial preferences in academic admissions harm their purported beneficiaries by placing them in schools for which they are inadequately prepared. The work has not endeared Sander to the academic establishment, deeply committed as it is to its role as the dispenser of racial noblesse oblige. And UCLA’s minority law students saw in the Team Sander T-shirts a racial slight against them. In the words of the school’s Diversity Action Committee on Campus Climate, the students “felt triggered” by the shirt—an au courant phrase of campus victimology meaning that the shirt had engendered traumatic recollections of other racist abuse that the students had experienced. The shirts were a manifestation of “white privilege,” according to a Facebook commenter, consistent with “racist/classist/sexist comments made inside and outside of the classroom.”

This racial interpretation was wholly fanciful. Affirmative action had never come up during Sander’s class; some of his students were undoubtedly not even aware of mismatch theory. Their choice of team name was solely an expression of gratitude for his property-law instruction. Nevertheless, the first-year black students called a meeting for the next day to discuss their response to the alleged microaggression. Several of Sander’s property-law students attended, in the hope of rebutting the idea that the T-shirt was a political statement; some of the minority students objected to their presence, and the meeting devolved into a shouting match.

Sander’s students left the T-shirts at home for the softball game, but tensions remained high. Several students notified the legal gossip blog Above the Law about the T-shirt offense, and the blog gleefully ran a series of posts about “racism” at the UCLA law school. One post included an anonymous claim from a black student that the law school no longer assigns blacks to Sander’s first-year property classes (there were none that year in his section) because taking a class taught by an opponent of racial preferences is too “awful.” The anonymous source claimed that black students wouldn’t feel comfortable seeking additional help from Sander for fear of “contributing to his research” on mismatch theory by admitting that they didn’t understand a concept. This is an understandable, if unfortunate, reaction to Sander’s work, but it’s hard to see any way around the dilemma. Sander pursues his research on racial preferences in good faith and goes where the facts lead him. He happens to be a committed liberal, passionately dedicated to racial equality, who has come to the conclusion that affirmative action impedes black academic progress. No one has ever alleged that he treats all his students with anything other than respect. In any case, the creation of the Team Sander T-shirts had nothing to do with mismatch theory.

The day after the softball game, which the first-year black students and a few others in the opposing property-law section boycotted, law school dean Rachel Moran sent an e-mail to the first-year class about the T-shirt incident and the “hurt feelings” that it had caused. Rather than rebutting the idea that the T-shirts were racially disrespectful, Moran took refuge in epistemological agnosticism. She urged students to be “respectful of one another’s feelings and open to understanding different points of view.” In theory, this is anodyne advice, but unless Moran believed that the T-shirts were justifiably viewed as a racial insult, she should have corrected the students’ misperception and helped them gain some perspective on what constitutes a true racial offense. Moreover, if T-shirts with Sander’s name and picture could legitimately be seen as an attack on black students, then Sander’s very presence on campus must also constitute an attack on black students. Moran let that possibility hang out there.

The rest of Moran’s e-mail signaled where her heart lay. She promised that her administration would “facilitate constructive conversations in safe spaces for all of our students.” This melodramatic “safety” rhetoric, deployed so promiscuously during the Rust incident (and constantly thrown around by campus feminists as well), lies at the heart of academic victimology. Any college bureaucrat who uses it has cast his lot with the fiction that his college is dangerous for minority and female students outside a few places of sanctuary.

Meanwhile, Sander asked a dean if the school had, in fact, stopped assigning black students to his class, as Above the Law had reported. The school has no such policy, the dean told him. Another T-shirt-inspired rumor held that Sander somehow penalizes blacks in grading, even though grading throughout the school is blind to students’ identities. To the contrary, Sander learned, his first-year black students do better in his classes than in their other classes, earning a B on average, compared with a B-minus elsewhere. Sander asked the administration to put those facts out there to rebut the various falsehoods; it declined to do so, for fear of stirring up more protest.

Racial agitation continued into the new semester. The Black Law Students Association held a demonstration in February 2014, protesting the fact that there were only 33 blacks out of 1,100 students at the law school—apparently, the law school is to blame for the small pool of black college graduates nationwide and in California with remotely competitive LSAT scores and grades. The school twists itself into knots trying to admit as many black students as possible without violating California’s ban on racial preferences so flagrantly that even the press takes notice. In fact, both UCLA and UC Berkeley law schools admit blacks at a 400 percent higher rate than can be explained on race-neutral grounds, according to a recent paper by a pro-affirmative-action economist at Berkeley, Danny Yagan. No matter. The protesters wore T-shirts with 33/1,100 on them and made a YouTube video titled “33,” containing personal testimonials about the stress of being one of UCLA’s black law students: “It’s so far from being a safe space that it would be better for my mental health if I stayed at home,” said one girl. Other students complained that they were looked to in class to represent the black perspective—precisely the role that the “diversity” rationale for racial preferences assigns to minority students.

No comments: