EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a follow-up to yesterday’s Forgetting The Goal

Yesterday, I lamented that today’s progressives have forgotten the original goal of affirmative action, i.e. assisting individuals who’ve faced a greater challenge due to systemic injustices, and supplanted it with a new goal, i.e. creating a “better” (by their definition) environment for learning and advancement through diversity.

Today, I posit that they’ve forgotten that second goal as well. Or, more likely, they never really embraced it in the first place.

Consider a report at Bloomberg that discusses how liberals vastly outnumber conservatives in college and university faculties. Consider what effect that has on learning, especially in subjects other than pure mathematics, where political bias can easily affect the selection of course materials, various emphases in curricula, and even the openness or lack thereof in classroom debate. If academia is remotely similar to the public forum, then all the pitfalls of the echo chamber will exist (yes, we all know they do. Safe spaces, disinvitations, and all sort of other evidence exists in vast quantities to support the conclusion that there is a blatant lack of diversity of opinion on college campuses).

What does that lack of diversity of politics and of thought tell us about the “diversity” goal?

Yeah, we already know: progressives place zero stock in diversity of thought or opinion. There’s only one correct opinion on all matters, and it is already established (or in the case of new matters, is quickly specified by those at the top of that ecosystem). Diversity of opinion is not only of no importance, it’s actively discouraged, sometimes physically or even violently.

But, diversity of opinion oftentimes derives from different life experiences, no? What is a cultural perspective born of minority or non-cis-male history if not an alternate opinion, a different way of looking at the world, parsing events, and assessing ideas? If it is beneficial to the whole for a faculty to have a Native American professor in its ranks, isn’t the source of that benefit the different opinion that the professor brings?

If we judge what actually goes on, we see that those people of diversity are expected to have the same opinions as the liberal whites who supposedly don’t provide enough diversity. Heaven forbid a black or a LGBT individual voice an opinion at odds with the orthodoxy. Not only is such an opinion unwelcome, those minority group members draw especial ire and ostracizing from their peers, for daring to be diverse of opinion.

What’s the point of diversity, then? If one cannot stray in opinion, what does it matter what one’s cultural perspective is? What does it matter that one walked a different path? What does it matter that someone is of a different skin color, or gender, or ethnicity, or origin, or what have you?

The truth is, this diversity game is the worst sort of elitism and condescension. It values people differently solely because they are of a different skin color, or gender, or ethnicity, or origin, and not in the slightest for the variances in opinion that all those might produce. The flip side is even more damning: If someone can proclaim an identity group that adds to the “diversity” numbers, it doesn’t matter if that someone lived the exact same path as his or her non-diverse peers: the same cities, the same schools, the same education, and so forth.

The identity marker itself is what matters, not a different cultural perspective. Yes, the rebuttal is that, even if you grew up in a rich Upper West Side household, went to Dalton and Yale and Harvard Law, and spent your life in those circles, being “diverse” still creates a different perspective, but again, we’re back to “no dissent allowed.” And, even more so, what’s Warren’s excuse? She wasn’t touted in the diversity numbers for being a woman, but for being a “woman of color.” Her anecdote that her father’s parents disapproved of her parent’s marriage because her mother had “some Cherokee” in her (ooh, parents disapproving of their kids’ spousal choices for some fakakta reason, there’s a shocker) offers nothing in terms of Native American cultural perspective, and actual Native Americans should rightly be pissed about her imbroglio.

If the diverse perspectives that people of different colors, ethnicities, orientations, and the like don’t matter because the correct conclusions and opinions are already established and disseminated, why even bother? Why go through the trouble of diversity hiring and affirmative-action admission if you’ve given up on the goal of having a culturally and intellectually richer environment (or if you never actually wanted it)?

Several reasons come to mind, all self-serving: Blunting critics, patting one’s self on the back, conning minorities into supporting your agenda, luring young and impressionable minds into your echo chamber, gaining leverage in the battle for ascendance in the grievance hierarchy, leveraging for self-advancement, ginning up reasons to feel good about yourself, or establishing a false moral high ground from which to dismiss your ideological opponents’ ideas.

Diversity, as fashioned today, is a sham, that exists and persists solely for ego-stroking and for gaining personal advantage. We should be thankful to Elizabeth Warren and her in-hindsight unexplainable decision to “validate” her long-running assertion about her “diversity” for blatantly exposing this farce for what it is.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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