Thursday, April 11, 2013

Diversity Thursday

Rejoice dear hearts, there is more good news out there. Though the cult of (D)iversity is strong, there are plenty of good folks who are continuing to push back.

More and more we are seeing an exceptionally good trend - that of the use of shame, satire, and just plain old facts to push back against the intellectual cancer that is the modern retrograde (D)iversity movement.

Many of you may have heard of what is sadly going on in Bowdoin College in Maine. Sad, the Left's long march through the institutions have particularily make its way through many old Liberal Arts institutions. Like parasites, they are living off the good name and hard work of generations - but have transformed these institutions in to faint shadows of what they used to provide educationally.

Here is the backstory via David Feith at WSJ.
One day in the summer of 2010, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, a respected liberal-arts school in Brunswick, Maine, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf about an hour north of campus. College presidents spend many of their waking hours talking to potential donors. In this case, the two men spoke about college life—especially "diversity"—and the conversation made such an impression on President Mills that he cited it weeks later in his convocation address to Bowdoin's freshman class. That's where the dispute begins.

In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer's announcement: "I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons," said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills's telling. During Mr. Mills's next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin's "misplaced and misguided diversity efforts." At the end of the round, the college president told the students, "I walked off the course in despair."

Word of the speech soon got to Mr. Klingenstein. Even though he hadn't been named in the Mills account, Mr. Klingenstein took to the pages of the Claremont Review of Books to call it nonsense: "He didn't like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow."

The real story, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, was that "I explained my disapproval of 'diversity' as it generally has been implemented on college campuses: too much celebration of racial and ethnic difference," coupled with "not enough celebration of our common American identity."

For this, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, Bowdoin's president insinuated that he was a racist. And President Mills did so, moreover, in an address that purported to stress the need for respecting the opinions of others across the political spectrum. "We are, in the main, a place of liberal political persuasion," he told the students, but "we must be willing to entertain diverse perspectives throughout our community. . . . Diversity of ideas at all levels of the college is crucial for our credibility and for our educational mission." Wrote Mr. Klingenstein: "Would it be uncharitable to suggest that, in a speech calling for more sensitivity to conservative views, he might have shown some?"
There you go. Typical ... if you don't buy in to (D)iversity cult all the way, "There can be no center!" - then you are going to be called all sorts of wildly insulting and inaccurate names ... works all the time, right? Once you call someone a name, they will kowtow and run away? Right?

After the essay appeared, President Mills stood by his version of events. A few months later, Mr. Klingenstein decided to do something surprising: He commissioned researchers to examine Bowdoin's commitment to intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity. This week, some 18 months and hundreds of pages of documentation later, the project is complete. Its picture of Bowdoin isn't pretty.
There we go ... pushback. Some of the lowlights;
... the college has "no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation." Even history majors aren't required to take a single course in American history. In the History Department, no course is devoted to American political, military, diplomatic or intellectual history—the only ones available are organized around some aspect of race, class, gender or sexuality.

One of the few requirements is that Bowdoin students take a yearlong freshman seminar. Some of the 37 seminars offered this year: "Affirmative Action and U.S. Society," "Fictions of Freedom," "Racism," "Queer Gardens" (which "examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces"), "Sexual Life of Colonialism" and "Modern Western Prostitutes."

Regarding Bowdoin professors, the report estimates that "four or five out of approximately 182 full-time faculty members might be described as politically conservative." In the 2012 election cycle, 100% of faculty donations went to President Obama.
Read it all - or better yet, read the report.

For humor - check out some of Bowdoin's Freshman history seminars - oh, excuse me - First-Year Seminars.
- “Bad” Women Make Great History: Gender, Identity, and Society in Modern Europe
- The Sexual Life of Colonialism: Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial World. Fall 2012. Durba Mitra. (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 17 {1017} and Gender and Women’s Studies 16 {1016}.)


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