Thursday, February 18, 2016

Diversity Thursday

Time for a big pixel DivThu: why do this?

I don't like this topic. I find each post on the topic depressing to do. I find excuses not to do it every few weeks. However, like cleaning the toilet, it must be done. Well, that, and when I don't do it or the few times I hint that I will stop doing it, I am flooded by notes from civilians to Flag Officers asking me not to.

So, it is good to be loved. Also, that is where my most entertaining trolls come from. Sure, they threaten my family and livelihood now and then, but that too comes with the territory - and that is the nature of the people who rely on hate and division for their paycheck.

Enough of that. You came here for your weekly dose of outrage, so let's dive in to it.

The modern incarnation of "diversity" is actually as old as the hills. It taps in to lower brain functions of tribalism and group hate, and has found its purchase in a variety of ideas through time. In the end, it has everything to do with using hate and division to control the intellectually flaccid, and as a result, give those who push it what they want, power.

That is why in a free society, it must be fought. It erodes all that The Enlightenment brought us. It destroys free thought, and discourages critical thinking and open discourse.

It is worst in our education system and our government - places where control through threat is easiest to access. A great overview of the mindset and habits of this cancer can be found in an article from late last year by Jonathan Haidt.
They curse professors and spit on visiting speakers at Yale. They shut down newspapers at Wesleyan. They torment a dean who was trying to help them at Claremont McKenna. They threaten and torment fellow students at Dartmouth. And in all cases, they demand that adults in power DO SOMETHING to punish those whose words and views offend them. Their high schools have thoroughly socialized them into what sociologists call victimhood culture, which weakens students by turning them into “moral dependents” who cannot deal with problems on their own. They must get adult authorities to validate their victim status.
So they issue ultimatums to college presidents, and, as we saw at Yale, the college presidents meet their deadlines, give them much of what they demanded, commit their schools to an ever tighter embrace of victimhood culture, and say nothing to criticize the bullying, threats, and intimidation tactics that have created a culture of intense fear for anyone who might even consider questioning the prevailing moral matrix. What do you suppose a conversation about race or gender will look like in any Yale classroom ten years from now? Who will dare to challenge the orthodox narrative imposed by victimhood culture? The “Next Yale” that activists are demanding will make today’s Centerville High look like Plato’s Academy by comparison.
You really need to read it all, but I especially enjoyed this brief exchange with students from one of the elite prep schools. It mirrors almost perfectly what you can find in our Navy;
Me: What kind of intellectual climate do you want here at Centerville? Would you rather have option A: a school where people with views you find offensive keep their mouths shut, or B: a school where everyone feels that they can speak up in class discussions? 
Audience: All hands go up for B. 
Me: OK, let’s see if you have that. When there is a class discussion about gender issues, do you feel free to speak up and say what you are thinking? Or do you feel that you are walking on eggshells and you must heavily censor yourself? Just the girls in the class, raise your hand if you feel you can speak up? [about 70% said they feel free, vs about 10% who said eggshells ]. Now just the boys? [about 80% said eggshells, nobody said they feel free]. 
Me: Now let’s try it for race. When a topic related to race comes up in class, do you feel free to speak up and say what you are thinking, or do you feel that you are walking on eggshells and you must heavily censor yourself? Just the non-white students? [the group was around 30% non-white, mostly South and East Asians, and some African Americans. A majority said they felt free to speak, although a large minority said eggshells] Now just the white students? [A large majority said eggshells]\ 
Me: Now lets try it for politics. How many of you would say you are on the right politically, or that you are conservative or Republican? [6 hands went up, out of 60 students]. Just you folks, when politically charged topics come up, can you speak freely? [Only one hand went up, but that student clarified that everyone gets mad at him when he speaks up, but he does it anyway. The other 5 said eggshells.] How many of you are on the left, liberal, or democrat? [Most hands go up] Can you speak freely, or is it eggshells? [Almost all said they can speak freely.] 
Me: So let me get this straight. You were unanimous in saying that you want your school to be a place where people feel free to speak up, even if you strongly dislike their views. But you don’t have such a school. In fact, you have exactly the sort of “tolerance” that Herbert Marcuse advocated [which I had discussed in my lecture, and which you can read about here]. You have a school in which only people in the preferred groups get to speak, and everyone else is afraid. What are you going to do about this? Let’s talk.
Any embrace of the anti-intellectual, sectarian, divisive, Cultural Marxist philosophy that is the modern diversity movement by our Navy is at best a threat to good order and discipline; at worst the antithesis to what the military of a representative republic should even let through the gate. 

From your command representative of the diversity industry to the cadre of paid consultants brought in to speak, lecture, and spread their poison, and yes - even to our shipmates that have defiled themselves in to specializing in diversity and gender studies specialties at our institutions of higher learning - they should be shunned and shamed. Treat them as respectful military professionals in the Soviet Union treated their political officers. After all, that is their heritage, make them own it.

Do we coddle, or should we build a culture of intellectual challenge? The below video is highly recommended.

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