Ed Driscoll

Diversity Unto Death

In a new post at the Corner, Mark Steyn notes how seeped into the American culture it’s become, with often deadly results:

I pretty much said what I had to say about the Fort Hood massacre in the first couple of weeks, because it was perfectly obvious within about 48 hours that 14 people (including an unborn child) had died so that “diversity” might live. As is the way, the official version is taking longer to catch up to what anyone not marinated in brain-eating PC mush could see from the get-go. The Boston Globe has a story on a new army report, unfortunately completed too late for last month’s whitewash:

An obvious “problem child’’ spouting extremist views, Hasan made numerous statements that were not protected by the First Amendment and were grounds for discharge by violating his military oath, investigators found. . .

In searching for explanations for why superiors did not move to revoke Hasan’s security clearances or expel him from the Army, the report portrays colleagues and superiors as possibly reluctant to lose one of the Army’s few Muslim mental health specialists.

The report concludes that because the Army had attracted only one Muslim psychiatrist in addition to Hasan since 2001, “it is possible some were afraid’’ of losing such diversity “and thus were willing to overlook Hasan’s deficiencies as an officer.’’

You’ll recall the cringe-making response to the massacre by the embarrassing General Casey, the Army’s chief of staff:

“What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said Gen. Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.”

The fact that a grown man not employed by a U.S. educational institution or media outlet used the word “diversity” in a non-parodic sense should be deeply disturbing. “Diversity” is not a virtue; it’s morally neutral: A group of five white upper-middle-class liberal NPR-listening women is non-diverse; a group of four white upper-middle-class liberal NPR-listening women plus Sudan’s leading clitorectomy practitioner is more diverse but not necessarily the better for it. For 30 years we have watched as politically correct fatuities swallowed the entire educational system, while we deluded ourselves that it was just a phase, something kids had to put up with as the price for getting a better job a couple years down the road. The idea that two generations could be soaked in this corrosive bilge and it would have no broader impact was always absurd. When the chief of staff of the United States Army has got the disease, you’re in big (and probably terminal) trouble.

When Tom Wolfe was promoting I Am Charlotte Simmons, his 2004 novel about fast times at a fictitious college campus, he frequently told interviewers that Frankfort School-style political correctness is just something students put up with by rolling their eyes and going along with their mad professors for four years, until they get out into the real world. Ever since 9/11, it’s been increasingly obvious that PC has had a far greater, and at times a literally deadly impact on American society.

Just ask retired airport security screener Michael Tuohey:

SCARBOROUGH, Maine–The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was angered when he learned he had to undergo security screening between flights on the morning of the suicide attacks, a former U.S. Airways ticket agent says.

Michael Tuohey of Scarborough said he was suspicious of Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari when they rushed through the Portland International Jetport to make their flight to Boston that day.

Atta’s demeanor and the pair’s first-class, one-way tickets to Los Angeles made Tuohey think twice about them.

“I said to myself, ‘If this guy doesn’t look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.’ Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this,” Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram. “You’ve checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you’ve never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed.” [Emphasis added.]

In Boston, Atta and Alomari joined three other hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11, which they crashed into one of the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York. Five other hijackers left Boston on another flight, which they crashed into the other tower.

Tuohey, 58, who retired last year, said he was speaking out because his exchange with Atta was included in recently declassified material that had not been included with the 9/11 Commission’s initial public report. His exchange was included in order to shed light on why Atta chose to fly to Boston from Portland.

Or as John Derbyshire put it in a 2002 headline, “Better Dead Than Rude” — which sums up the corrosive nature of PC perfectly.

Update: Related thoughts and links from Tim Blair.

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