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Our Universities’ Cult of Diversity

(Image: tpsdave via Pixabay)

A wave of “social justice” ideology has swept through our universities, destroying academic disciplines and corrupting university administrations. University converts to this ideology tend to be fanatical, dismissing all other values and concerns, rejecting them and their supporters as immoral if not evil. Every effort is made to suppress contrary opinions, “social justice” advocates and activists regarding those who have reservations as heretics and apostates, although usually referred to “white supremacists” and “fascists.”

Universities pour millions of dollars into salaries of “diversity and inclusion” officers, whose job is to ensure conformity by punishing “deviants” and expelling those who resist. The cult of diversity loves gender, race, sexuality, ethnic, religious, and disability diversity, but it actively forbids diversity of opinion. The only academic freedom that remains is freedom to join the cult of diversity. 

In fact, it is not quite true that the cult of diversity loves all diversity other than intellectual; it loves the diversity of preferred categories of people, and regards unpreferred categories of people as enemies and oppressors. The foundational framework of “social justice” ideology is the idea of collective rights, and the demographic fact that individuals of all categories are not equally represented in relation to their percentage of the general population.

For example, in cases in which females are fewer than 50% of the relevant population—as students, or professors, or deans, or high administrators—and thus deemed to be “underrepresented,” there is a hysterical denunciation of patriarchal oppression. But in cases where females far outnumber males, e.g. in the social sciences and humanities, and in graduate degrees, there is never a peep of concern for the underrepresentation of males. Nor does the overall university overrepresentation of females halt the feminist jihad against science, because, in the feminist view, no field should be exempt from female dominance. 

As well as females, African Americans and Hispanics are preferred categories of people in the U.S., while in Canada indigenous natives, First Nations, join females as preferred categories. LGBT++ members are also preferred in both countries. Special consideration and special benefits are given to members of preferred categories in regard to admissions, funding, and hiring. As well, segregated living, dining, and social facilities are offered to preferred categories, plus segregated graduation and other official ceremonies. Whites and males are not only not offered special consideration, but are marginalized and excluded whenever possible. 

The justification for these “social justice” preferences and benefits is that members of preferred categories are underrepresented (in relation to their percentage of the general population) because they have been discriminated against. No further proof is necessary; underrepresentation is deemed by “social justice” advocates proof enough of discrimination. Unfortunately for “social justice” ideology, this assertion does not stand up to scrutiny.

Do African Americans dominate the NFL and NBA because these sports discriminate against whites and Asians? Are Asians and Jews, traditionally disadvantaged minorities, highly overrepresented in academia and prestigious professions, and in Nobel Prizes, because Caucasians and Christians were discriminated against? Of course not: African American athletes, Jewish academics, and Asian doctors earned their places. Do males do the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs, and suffer ninety percent of workplace deaths, because females were discriminated against, or because females prefer and choose clean and safe jobs?

How, then, do we explain demographically underrepresented categories? Some groups are underrepresented because of weak performance. It is no secret, and in no way controversial, that in schoolwork and admissions tests, on average, African Americans do substantially worse than Hispanics, who do substantially worse than whites, who do substantially worse than Asian Americans. The explanation of these differences lies for the most part in family culture and structure.

The ranking of academic achievement closely follows, inversely, the percentage of families of each group that are one parent families: Asians have the fewest, whites next fewest, Hispanics next most, and African Americans most. When universities used academic criteria for admissions, funding, and hiring, African Americans and Hispanics were underrepresented demographically. Now that universities have given up academic standards in favor of gender, racial, sexuality, etc. criteria, they happily exclude those with strong academic records in favor of those with weak. So, it is not so much a policy of “diversity and inclusion” as it is a policy of “diversity and exclusion.” 

Females are underrepresented in hard sciences, engineering, and mathematics because for the most part they prefer the social sciences and humanities. It is well established that, universally, women on average are interested in people and their doings, and men are interested in things and their systems. One psychologist characterized women as “empathizers,” and men as “systematisers.”

Far from being discriminated against in science, females are preferred, but choose otherwise. In the feminist social democracies of Europe, fewer females choose science than choose it in Third World countries. Similarly, Jews are underrepresented among lumberjacks, forest rangers, and oil rig roughnecks. Is this antisemitic discrimination, or the occupational choices that Jews make? 

Although universities may enthusiastically implement “social justice” discrimination, the “social justice” project has been mandated by governments. Canada, at the highest level, requires “diversity and inclusion” for access to funds. To quote an earlier article, “The Liberal government of Canada has formulated a new program to which all universities are expected to commit. It is called “Dimensions: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.”

A “Charter” for “Dimensions” has been distributed to all university presidents, who are urged to sign, endorsing the program for their universities.” Canada’s academic funding agencies implement government requirements: “Minister for Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan launched this program, using the ‘independent’ funding councils—The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The National Science and Engineering Council (NSERC), and The Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—as the conduit for ‘Dimension’ grants.” 

Here is the diversity statement of The National Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC): “NSERC is committed to excellence in research and research training for the benefit of Canadians. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is also essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and respond to global challenges.

You are asked to consider sex, gender and diversity in the project’s research design and to consider how to promote and support a variety of forms of mentoring to ensure trainees’ equitable participation and growth. Furthermore, in large proposals, you must strive for equity, diversity and inclusion when developing your group of co-applicants, partners and trainees. See Guide for Applicants: considering equity, diversity, and inclusion in your application” 

Funding applications, even for highly technical research in STEM fields, are vetted for diversity correctness. The diversity response to a Canadian Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat “New Frontiers in Research Fund” application from a tenured professor in the physical sciences in a prominent Canadian university.

It claimed that the application did not sufficiently plan concrete measures to promote participation from “a diverse group.” In particular, diversity had to be guaranteed in recruitment, mentorship, and insuring an inclusive research environment. The application was accordingly dismissed. This is an example of “New Frontiers” in social engineering, not in research. 

So too with applicants for professorial posts at many universities, who are required to demonstrate their commitment to “diversity and inclusion,” and to show how they would advance diversity in their teaching and research. Diversity now seems to override academic content.  

Major funding programs such as the Canada Research Chairs require that the applicants submitted by universities be “diverse,” or else the funding would be refused. McGill University, Canada’s premier doctoral and medical university, decided that for 2020 it would entertain applications for Canada Research Chairs only from disabled individuals.

Here is McGill’s “strategic plan”: “We will deepen our commitment to excellence and diversity in faculty recruitment and career progression. To this end, McGill aims to increase the proportion of women at the rank of full professor to 25% [from the current 20.5%) in five years, and to increase the proportion of all tenured and tenure-track staff self-identifying as members of all other equity groups [racialized persons, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities] to 20% [from the current 12%].” 

But some “underrepresented” categories of people are more equal than others: “McGill University’s Final Report of the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education (June 2017) lays out immediate and medium term commitments for the priority hiring of Indigenous tenure track and tenured faculty, including CRC positions.

The report makes the following commitment: Initiate a cluster hire led by the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) that seeks, over the next three years, to hire 10 new faculty members in the tenure stream who have lived experience and expertise in Indigenous knowledges, epistemologies, methodologies, histories, traditions, languages, or systems of laws and governance…The Task Force further urges the allocation, within this cluster hire, of three Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) in the areas of Indigenous Sustainability Sciences, Indigenous Health Sciences and Indigenous Humanities.” Gender and racial hiring are the order of the day at McGill and all other Canadian and American universities. 

In the U.S., the National Science Foundation is committed to non-academic diversity: “Workforce diversity is defined as a collection of individual attributes that together help agencies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include, but are not limited to, characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, educational background, and family structures. The concept also encompasses differences among people concerning where they are from and where they have lived and their differences of thought and life experiences.”

The American Institute of Physics endorses NSF initiatives in social engineering: “Despite decades of efforts, women, ethnic and racial minorities, and individuals with disabilities remain underrepresented in obtaining degrees and jobs in STEM fields. According to a 2017 NSF report, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Alaska Indians together account about 31 percent of the U.S. population yet comprise 21 percent of science and engineering (S&E) bachelor’s degree recipients and 13 percent of S&E doctoral degree recipients. The report also observes that although women earn about half of all S&E degrees awarded, they constitute a smaller proportion of the S&E workforce than of the U.S. population.”

The goal of “diversity” and the demographic representation of members of all categories (except the specially favored, who get more) is not limited to bureaucratic university administrations, but has been widely absorbed among the professoriate, some of whom are enthusiastic advocates. Here is a peer review of an article by a senior professor known for work in the topic covered: “This article lacks sufficient consideration of women as scholars of and women in … societies. With one or two exceptions there are no references to women scholars – only B. A., L. B. and E.C. are mentioned in the references.”

This reviewer appears to be stronger in diversity than in arithmetic. However that may be, the demand for more citations of female authors, irrespective of relevance or quality, is a clear indication that academic considerations take second place, if they are given any place at all. 

There is no justice in “social justice,” because people do not receive respect, reward, or position for their accomplishments and potential, but instead are preferred and benefitted according to their demographic category. Forced collective equality negates merit and precludes excellence. Our universities would rather be politically correct even at the cost of not advancing knowledge. The reduction of individuals to gender, racial, and sexuality categories is a violation of human rights, and an encouragement of reverse sexism and reverse racism.