Friday Ephemera
Link Fester

Clown Quarter Contagion

In the comments, Farnsworth M Muldoon steers us to this unhappy development

Male, pale and stale university professors are to be given “reverse mentors” to teach them about unconscious bias, under a new Government funded scheme. Under the project, white men in senior academic posts will be assigned a junior female colleague from an ethnic minority as a mentor... Prof Jon Rowe, who is overseeing the project at Birmingham University, said he hoped the scheme will allow eminent professors to confront their own biases and leave them “feeling quite uncomfortable.”

Professor Rowe admits that no evidence of “overt prejudice” against women and minorities has been found, but nonetheless hopes to inflict discomfort on those deemed sufficiently pale. As if, in itself, this would be some kind of triumph. “We are mindful that previous attempts at addressing such imbalances have not been successful,” says the professor. And so, rather than revisiting his own egalitarian assumptions regarding the distribution of interest, aptitude and talent, he and his team will be searching for witches and racial ectoplasm.

It’s not unreasonable to assume that the role of “reverse mentor” will attract people already sympathetic to the hokum being peddled, and intrigued by the personal leverage it affords, and who may feel an ideological obligation to unearth some damning but invisible sin, fairly or otherwise, if only to validate their own conceits. Which is to say, the so-called mentors – who’ve agreed to participate in a project that by definition assumes white guilt - seem more likely to be racially bigoted than any random member of staff.

The speed with which patent woo can propagate among the supposedly intelligent is quite remarkable. The pseudoscience of “unconscious bias” testing and correction has been repeatedly exposed as both laughable and pernicious - a kind of diversity Scientology - and yet it spreads, thanks to ideological modishness and taxpayer funding. And when minority students reject the excuses and woo being peddled ostensibly for their benefit, they may find themselves denounced by their self-appointed saviours.

[ Expanded via the comments. ]