Thursday, October 06, 2022

Diversity Thursday

Anyone who has studied the left's march through the institutions and the regular examples of the O'Sullivan's Law in action, knows the drill knows what happens to previously non-political or even conservative institutions.

The signs of their socio-political presence shouldn't be a shock to anyone. They are just less bloody versions of what Orwell, Huxley, Dith Pran, and others warned us about.

While you were paying attention to other things, their world view is already deep in our military institutions of higher learning, specifically today the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

What already is well past the nose in the tent involves in not just narrowing the Overton Window of acceptable speech, but in now compelling speech through membership filtering, fear, and humiliation.

It demands written and spoken self-criticisms - and later (see any of the required DEI training events) often confessions of crimes you did not commit. Like the religious original sin, it is something you simply have by being and must atone for and perhaps never wash the stain away.

Yes, it is socio-political, but mostly political. It is its religious aspects that folds in to the compelled speech - you have to say certain words in certain ways in order to be accepted. A leftist Shahada, in a fashion. 

As we have warned here for over a decade and a half, the vanities, trends, and sociopolitical fads of academia are seeping in to our military's higher education system. Each passing year our war colleges have been trying to be more like a college and less about war. Our service academies are well down that path as we will show again next week, but what about our war colleges? 

Today we'll take a gander at the gates of Carlisle.  

Let's say you were interested in applying for a job as a Professor of Military Studies at the U.S. Army War College Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations over in that beautiful part of America in Carlisle, PA.

Looks good. You have all the requirements, what documents do you have to provide with your application?

How about that last little bit again?
"A short narrative of one page or less that describes how you would contribute to an atmosphere of diversity at the U.S. Army War College through teaching, scholarship, and/or service."
If you aren't familiar with this Orwellian experience, well ... you showed up on The Front Porch on the right Thursday.

You can google "sample diversity statement" and get untold numbers of examples. This is such a rote exercise that some universities like UNC even give you examples about what they expect you to say. They don't care if you actually mean anything you say, they just require you to say it.

As will be outlined below, it is a useful gatekeeping function. 
- If you are gullible enough to think these ideologs are not serious, then you will not say the right things: you go in the "no" stack. You might be difficult to control.
- If you don't believe them but are easily intimidated by careerist or simply needing to feed your family, you will say what they want you to say: you go in the "yes" stack. You are easily controlled.
- If you don't believe that this has anything to do with the job and respond incorrectly: you go in the "no" stack. You are not of the same confession and won't be a good fit and will be difficult to control.
- If you are a true believer, you will say all the right things: you go in the "yes" stack. You will be an asset.

There is another category. Those who do not wish to be part of an organization that is so clearly worm-ridden with a hostile, rigid socio-political ideology completely unrelated to the subject you spent years of your life learning and desire to teach. You won't apply. They won't even know these people exist.

That is how, over time, you lose an institution. It starts with leadership that is either a true believer or is of the mindset that if they feed the lions today hoping they will eat them last. Then years of filtering will distill an institution's cadre whose center culture will not just be left, but hard-left - if not in absolute terms, then at least relative to the population they serve. This trend is so well known, there is no need to outline it here. In the unlikely event you are not up to speed, you can start your understanding here

So, back to the topic at hand. What is so bad about "diversity statements?"

These requirements are not unusual;

A recent American Association of University Professors survey found that DEI criteria are included in consideration for tenure at 21.5 percent of colleges and universities, and at 45.6 percent of large institutions of higher education.

"In many cases, these policies threaten to restrict employment or advancement opportunities for faculty who dissent from the prevailing consensus on DEI-related issues of public and academic interest," warns the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). "These policies may even negatively impact faculty who broadly agree with their institution's DEI values but disagree on some of the specifics, or who simply cherish the right to speak without compulsion."

FIRE acknowledges that private institutions have the right to adopt any ideological requirements they wish (public institutions are bound by the First Amendment). But it says DEI mandates threaten the commitments to free speech and academic freedom that most universities espouse.

"Academics seeking employment or promotion will almost inescapably feel pressured to say things that accommodate the perceived ideological preferences of an institution demanding a diversity statement, notwithstanding the actual beliefs or commitments of those forced to speak," agrees the Academic Freedom Alliance in a statement released last month.

It is infecting not just universities, but surrounding institutions. At last, some are taking a stand;

Last week the New York University (NYU) psychology professor announced that he would resign at the end of the year from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, his primary professional association, because of a newly adopted requirement that everybody presenting research at the group's conferences explain how their submission advances "equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals." It was the sort of litmus test against which he has warned, and which he sees as corroding institutions of higher learning.

"Telos means 'the end, goal, or purpose for which an act is done, or at which a profession or institution aims,'" he wrote in a Sept. 20 piece published on the website of Heterodox Academy, an organization he cofounded that promotes viewpoint diversity on college campuses, and republished by the Chronicle of Higher Education. "The telos of a knife is to cut, the telos of medicine is to heal, and the telos of a university is truth."

"The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)—recently asked me to violate my quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth," he added. "I was going to attend the annual conference in Atlanta next February to present some research with colleagues on a new and improved version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire. I was surprised to learn about a new rule: In order to present research at the conference, all social psychologists are now required to submit a statement explaining 'whether and how this submission advances the equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of SPSP.'"

Such diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements have proliferated at universities and in academic societies, he notes, even though "most academic work has nothing to do with diversity, so these mandatory statements force many academics to betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting, or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity."

By design, this movement has gone beyond well intentioned feelgoodism;

Almost all of the publicly available rubrics used by recruitment search committees resemble the University of California, Berkeley’s “Rubric for Assessing Candidate Contributions to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging,” which dictates that applicants should receive a low score if they “[discuss] diversity in vague terms, such as ‘diversity is important for science,’” or if they “state that it’s better not to have outreach or affinity groups aimed at particular individuals because it keeps them separate from everyone else, or will make them feel less valued.”

Most notably, the Berkeley rubric explicitly punishes any candidate who expresses a dislike for race-conscious policies, requiring a low score for anyone who “states the intention to ignore the varying backgrounds of their students and ‘treat everyone the same.’” Conversely, it rewards those most committed to the cause: Candidates receive a high score for “discuss[ing] diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as core values that every faculty member should actively contribute to” and “convincingly express[ing] intent, with examples, to be a strong advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the department/school/college and also their field.”

The rubric published by the University of Colorado Denver mimics parts of Berkeley’s rubric verbatim, but also takes it a step further: In one category, candidates receive a middling score for espousing the “golden rule” (“I will treat others as I want to be treated”) but the highest score for espousing the “platinum rule” (“I will treat others as they want to be treated”). Meanwhile, some institutions employ even more overtly ideological language. At Western Oregon University, high-scoring statements provide “at least two or more strategies for contributing to advancing racial equity and eliminating systemic racism” and identify “at least three inequities and … how they would address those inequities if employed at WOU.”

The left isn't just creating a filtering mechanism for only their fellow travelers - they are effectively eliminating alternative points of view from even trying to have a career ... or like we have seen ... compel speech;

DEI criteria have become increasingly dominant not only in hiring practices, but in tenure decisions. In the American Association of University Professors’ recent survey of tenure practices, 21.5% of all surveyed institutions reported including DEI criteria in their tenure standards, and 38.9% reported that they were considering adopting such criteria. For large institutions, 45.6% had adopted the criteria, and another 35.5% were considering them. Only 18.8% of the large universities surveyed had not implemented DEI promotion and tenure criteria and were not considering doing so in the future. Presumably, some number of them will eventually flip.

That the policy is an open question at so many universities underscores an important point: DEI measures tend to inflate. Large fleets of university diversity officers need a raison d’ĂȘtre, which is why universities are adopting DEI strategic plans, and ennumerating dozens of new policies created by and for DEI officers, at accelerating rates. The universities that have not yet done so face mounting pressure. In April of this year, Ohio State University’s Task Force on Racism and Racial Inequities released a report with a laundry list of “Grand Challenges and Priority Action Steps,” recommending the creation of an institutionwide diversity action plan. If that plan looks like the College of Engineering’s Racial Equity and Inclusion Action Plan, it will include establishing language in its promotion and tenure manual “concerning the assessment of equity and inclusion in annual reviews.”

Given the public health disaster of the last two-and-a-half years, and the gravity of the discipline, it’s particularly jarring to see this development unfold in the medical field. The Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine was recently reaccredited, but the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits medical schools, found it lacking in faculty diversity. In response, the medical school released its DEI strategic plan, which was created “in alignment with accreditation requirements,” and which promises not only “consequences” for faculty who don’t get on board but also to “develop and incorporate DEI, anti-racism and social justice core competencies in performance appraisals of faculty and staff.”

The UNC School of Medicine likewise created a Task Force for Integrating Social Justice Into the Curriculum, which recommended, among other measures, adding social justice criteria to the school’s promotion and tenure policy. As of May 2021, the school’s promotion and tenure guidelines require faculty to submit a diversity statement and list DEI contributions, examples of which include “Application of material learned in DEI trainings (e.g., Safe Zone, Unconscious Bias, Implicit Bias, etc.) to promote an environment of cultural awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity.”

All of this is well within the lifelines of the US military's institutions of higher learning. It has been a long, slow, march allowed under the noses of all political parties. 

There are a few cornerstones to our republic that have - in fits and starts - served it well.

First is no religions test, second is a military free of partisan politics.

At the core, the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity agenda isn't just political - which it clearly is - it is a world view that people should first and primarily be judged by their race, creed, color, or national origin - and done so in a 19th and early-20th Century "one drop" world view that requires officially sanctioned sectarianism.

At no time in human history has a military or a nation prospered under such a structure. In the end it degrades good order and discipline, promotes conflict at the personal and institutional level, and never moves the ball towards equality. 

It never reaches that point because that isn't the goal. The goal is sectarian division because it is from that division that you can better control a people and promote your own desire for power.

The lust for power, money, and sex; the primary drivers of corruption and conflict in our species - and they're all being spot welded on to a discipline whose performance is degraded by all three. 

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