Friday Ephemera
There Are Witches In The Library

Elsewhere (250)

Heather Mac Donald on “diversity” voodoo’s encroachment on science and technology: 

Columbia’s vice provost for faculty diversity and inclusion regurgitates another classic of diversity boilerplate to justify this enormous waste of funds. “The reality is that you can’t really achieve excellence without diversity. It requires diverse thought to solve complex problems,” says vice provost Dennis Mitchell. Mitchell’s statement is ludicrous on multiple fronts. Aside from the fact that the one thing never sought in the academic diversity hustle is “diverse thought,” do Mitchell and his compatriots in the diversity industry believe that females and underrepresented minorities solve analytical problems differently from males, whites, and Asians? 

Somewhat related, this. It’s remarkable just how readily all of this “diversity” and wokeness boils down to a mental image of a teacher turning to one of his students and saying, “You, the brown boy. What’s the negro perspective on this engineering problem?”

See also this, added via the comments. 

Arthur Sakamoto on what happens when you challenge the racial assumptions entrenched in sociology departments: 

People are afraid to critique this paradigm [of “white privilege” and systemic racism] because it’s so ideologically popular. Privately, some people have told me that [by challenging it,] I’m, quote, “suicidal.” […] I’ll be frank with you — I’ve been submitting to the American Sociological Review on Asian Americans for the past 25 years and apparently there’s no data good enough to convince the reviewers that Asian Americans have reached parity with respect to white people. Every single one gets rejected. What happens is, when the paper doesn’t conform to the conventional wisdom [of “white privilege”], the methodological standards are raised. But if you argue that there is discrimination, then the methodological standards are relaxed

Mark McGreal and Richard Sander on what happens when you question the effectiveness of “affirmative action”: 

“Michael Schill (the former dean of the UCLA Law School) told me privately that he thought it was a breakthrough study,” Sander said. But after it was published, Sander said that Schill sent an email to the student body suggesting “there are those of us who seriously question the credibility of this research.” Sander cited additional examples in which editors of peer-reviewed journals, including one at the University of Pennsylvania, told him privately they would publish his study, then later had to back out due to their financial backers’ dislike of the content of the study’s findings.

And Ed Driscoll quotes Mark Lilla’s book The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics

As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate. Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions.

What we’re seeing is an attempt to obscure an underlying vanity and pompousness - essentially, “How dare you question my unimpressive ideas?” Which, stated plainly, would invite derision. Instead, however, the phrasing is, “How dare you question my cartoonish identity, my pretence of victimhood, my vast, unknowable brownness?” A framing that is so emotionally theatrical and personalised, and often so baffling, as to discourage further challenge, even though the dynamic, and the intent, is basically the same.

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