Diversity Discourages Self-Initiative
No single word and/or theory is more important in the vernacular of today’s higher education than “diversity.” In the Spring Edition of City Journal, Heather MacDonald writes a revealing (if you’re a liberal or if you’ve been living on another planet) article pursuant to the millions the budget-strapped University of California squanders “on mindless diversity programs.”
I recommend your reading Heather’s excellent work. That said, I’m sure as friends of many years, she won’t mind my using her essay as a spring board to reinforce a position I’ve argued since 1972. Heather wrote:
“It’s impossible to overstate the extent to which the diversity ideology has encroached upon UC’s collective psyche and mission. No administrator, no regent, no academic dean or chair can open his mouth for long without professing fealty to diversity. It is the one constant in every university endeavor; it impinges on hiring, distorts the curriculum, and sucks up vast amounts of faculty time and taxpayer resources. The university’s budget problems have not touched it. In September 2012, for instance, as the university system faced the threat of another $250 million in state funding cuts on top of the $1 billion lost since 2007, UC San Diego hired its first vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion. This new diversocrat would pull in a starting salary of $250,000, plus a relocation allowance of $60,000, a temporary housing allowance of $13,500, and the reimbursement of all moving expenses. (A pricey but appropriately “diverse” female-owned executive search firm had found this latest diversity accretion.) In May 2011, UCLA named a professional bureaucrat with a master’s degree in student-affairs administration as its first assistant dean for “campus climate,” tasked with “maintaining the campus as a safe, welcoming, respectful place,” in the words of UCLA’s assistant vice chancellor and dean of students. In December 2010, UC San Francisco appointed its first vice chancellor of diversity and outreach—with a starting salary of $270,000—to create a “diverse and inclusive environment,” announced UC San Francisco chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann. Each of these new posts is wildly redundant with the armies of diversity functionaries already larding UC’s bloated bureaucracy.”
Heather goes on to dot each “i” and cross every “t” in meticulous detail. But my consternation (Read contempt) for the idea of forced diversity goes beyond just what it costs us as taxpayers. I’m concerned with what it does to the psyche of those assignated as needful of being singled out as different. In my opinion, what it costs the individual pursuant to meritocracy and self-worth is far more devastating than the cost burden to taxpayers.
I argue that manipulated diversity has done nothing to improve the landscape of America’s institutions of higher learning. Unless having few more colors than a rival institutions is point worthy.[adsanity id=8311 align=alignleft /]The creation of degree programs in African-American studies does nothing to prepare a student for real-world employment. Specific to that point, how does the creation of a panacea of hybrid, color-coded specialty courses and curriculums prepare a student for anything more than a copycat image of the instructor from which he/she learned to blather racial ignorance?
Diversity is code for multi-colored, but despite the intentions and/or what we they want us to believe diversity doesn’t mean inclusion or assimilation when it comes to black students. Black students still self-segregate in dining areas, and they still immediately form or join the black student union, or whatever other black-only groups there are on campus. Thus, instead of true assimilation, blacks treat themselves as color-coded islands unto themselves. Inclusion as such is only accomplished when the black student joins another black group. And of course there is the obligatory complaint that the faculty isn’t black enough, etc., blah, blah.
Diversity, as we are supposed to believe, doesn’t bridge our differences — it further exacerbates them. I argue without apology that it is not our differences we should be celebrating — it is those things that we share in common that draw us together as a nation.
I argue that the campus diversity craze does harm to the psyche of the so-called minority, i.e., black students, in ways unimagined and unaddressed. Diversity sends a clear and transpicuous message that demonstrates the individual is different based on skin color. It says they are inferior, unable to excel at anything that does not require run, punt, pass, kick, and/or shoot.
Diversity infuses into the mind of the so-called minority that they should be rewarded based on the color of their skin, not the value of their work. And not that only, but diversity also devalues the incentive to master said academics or skill requisite to compete on a level playing field. After all, why should a person work as hard if they know they are walking through the door with an edge based on color of skin?
Diversity undermines the confidence of a so-called minority because the color of their skin is always paramount in their minds. This contributes massively, and not coincidentally, to the level of disparity that exists in the country, and that is used (I say intentionally) to divide.
Meritocracy not only forces one to push themselves to excel, but it also engenders a community of accomplishment based on skill and performance, juxtaposed to breeding color-coded districts filled with resentment and antipathy because of the inculcated perception that one’s color is holding them back.
I’m not convinced the idea of diversity as defined can ever be made to work as intended in the absence of meritocracy. Because in the absence of meritocracy, the idea that you aren’t good enough without someone else’s (Read white liberal) help is the transcendent message.
I would argue that which I have articulated above is why we have witnessed the behaviors, dress, and gangster rap reach the extremes so prevalent in color-coded communities. They are cries for attention that point to an ability to do something definable as successful without the help of those who preach that success is not possible without them and their skewed theorizations of inclusiveness and community.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here