Heather MacDonald – political commentator, essayist, attorney and bestselling author of The Diversity Delusion – tells it like it is, on the danger of this delusion to the university, and to the nation.
What is “the diversity delusion”? In brief, the belief that America is awash in discrimination, and that any perceived inequality or lack of “parity” (equality of opportunity is no longer enough; now the expectation is equality of outcomes) in race or gender in any field is the result of systemic, institutional (or individual, or both) racism, sexism, etc.
MacDonald notes that there is a cottage industry of both pandering to and actively fomenting this fear on campus, and she is not the only one to note her fear that this may eventually lead to civil war, by breeding hate among students in our colleges and universities.
Nota Bene: This belief may ultimately, I fear, create a self-fulfilling property.
If someone, or a group of people (in this case primarily white, heterosexual, Christian men, although white, heterosexual, Christian women are not immune, in this age of “intersectionality”) are told “You hate me, you’re prejudiced against me, you’re putting me down!” the initial response is likely to be shock and sadness: “No, man! I’m not! I don’t want to do that!”
The goal of the Left, of course, is for this message to be internalized, to “Oh, wow, man, I guess I am… what do I have to do to make up for it?” The answer to that is “There’s really nothing you can do to totally make up for it, because you’re you’re a straight white Christian male, but you can make reparation by becoming an ‘ally’ and kowtowing to us constantly.”
But unless this happens, and maybe eventually even if it does, the ultimate result is going to be resentment. “Why do you keep harassing me, man? I’m not doing anything to you!” And eventually, that resentment is going to, as I say, create a self-fulfilling prophecy: “You know what, man? I really am starting to hate you, now!”
And that is when it stops being about suppression of difference (ironically, a thing the Left used to claim was bad, but now actively utilizes to advance its agenda), and may begin to edge over into the civil war that MacDonald and many of us fear. Lord, have mercy upon us!
Under the guise of a venture called the “1619 Project,” revisionist history about race in America is being introduced into classrooms across America without undergoing the normal peer review expected of educational materials.
It is possible – and indeed, I frequently experience this feeling – given the current state of what passes for sociopolitical discourse in early-21st-century America, to feel like one is living in an insane asylum run by the inmates. Fortunately, every once in a while, one hears or reads something that gives one hope that sanity is not totally a thing of the past.
Such an example is this superb essay by Dr. Carol M. Swain, Ph.D., a former political science and law professor at Vanderbilt University (my graduate university, where I attended Divinity School). She writes, inter alia,
“Those who push white guilt and black victimhood ignore critical facts. One is that today’s white Americans are not responsible for the sins of generations ago. Second, slavery was an institution that blacks, Native Americans, and whites participated in as slaveholders. There’s plenty of guilt to go around there…”
“The 1619 Project is a misguided effort to keep open historical wounds while telling only half of the story. It is flawed because it is connected to critical race theory and the diversity-inclusion grievance industry that focuses on identity politics and division. Blaming today’s families for the mistakes of our ancestors is not a prescription for unifying the country or empowering racial and ethnic minorities.”
“We can do better. Within Christian communities, there is a basis for countering destructive narratives that have invaded our educational institutions and the corporate world. The solution for hatred, bitterness, and distrust can be found in New Testament principles.
“Rather than wallow in the past and revisionists’ efforts to build a case for reparations, we, as Americans, need to move forward while practicing the forgiveness and love of neighbor that Jesus espoused. We need not look any further than the ‘golden rule’ (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) to find the tools that enable us to transcend racial and ethnic conflicts that keep us from working together and celebrating our victories.”
As I say, it is very encouraging to see / read / hear people in the African-American community – especially scholars of the caliber of Dr. Swain – beginning to push back against the dangerous absurdity of critical race theory. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!
Bloomberg: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer… Now comes the information economy… You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”
When you’re not sure which is more breathtaking, the ignorance or the arrogance…! This is the frickin’ idiot that’s running for the Democratic Presidential ticket. I have to say, I don’t like any of them, but this is over the top. “We, the intelligentsia,” indeed. Horse puckey!
From one of the comments: “A farmer can live without Mike Bloomberg but Mike Bloomberg can’t live without a farmer, and I will side with the farmer.” Amen! Yes. So will I. Any day of the week! Bloomberg is a menace, on many levels. I have never liked him, for his opposition to the Second Amendment, but bashing farmers makes me despise him on a whole different level.
I will say one thing: this male (I won’t call him a man), and the rest of his “intelligentsia” (read: the arrogant coastal / urban elite) couldn’t live a week without what they disparage as “flyover country,” and the basket of deplorables, bitterly clinging to God and guns, who live there.
This individual is not only a sorry excuse for a political candidate, but he is a sorry excuse for a human being. Not that that’s new information, for me! I’ve known it for a long time; this is merely additional grist for the mill. I’d say he’s is full of bullsh_t, but that would be insulting to bulls. Putrid pustule of a person!
Because I hate to end on a negative note – Paul Harvey, among others, is one who thought of farmers rather differently than Bloomberg. Here he is:
The governor of West Virginia has invited the disaffected counties of Virginia to leave the Old Dominion and become a part of the mountain state. The loss of these counties and their “deplorables” would mark an end to what little is left of the Old Dominion’s influence in the counsels of the nation.
To be honest, I have historically had mixed feelings about the very existence of West Virginia (despite my great love for John Denver’s splendid song about her) – no offense whatsoever intended to the good people living there!
But it is, to say the least, deeply ironic that the same Federal government which refused to allow the Southern States to secede from the Union – launching a horrific, bloody war to bring them back by force – was perfectly okay with allowing a separatist rump legislature to secede what is now West Virginia from the Old Dominion.
But that’s history. And history, important (indeed, vital) as it is, is sometimes taken over by current events! Given the present situation, in which (as this essay notes)
“Governor Northam and the leadership of the misnamed Democratic Party [believe] they [are] in a position to issue diktats expanding abortion, curtailing the second amendment, and punishing those who dare to criticize them,”
I am now more than half-tempted to believe that West Virginia was actually saved by an act of Divine Providence to be – potentially – a safe haven for conservative counties now part of the Old Dominion (and perhaps my home State of Maryland, too).
Whether or not this will prove possible remains to be seen, but even the prospect is encouraging. And if it does (as, again, this essay points out),
“Virginia, which is now a microcosm of the country’s culture wars, could lead a new secession movement that could go a long way to relieving the considerable pressures along the fault lines of conflict in America.”
It is true that, as author John Devanny comments,
“West Virginia may not be acting from pure motives in encouraging the secession of Virginia counties from the Richmond Junta and into a union with West Virginia. Tax revenue, economic development, and congressional representation are at stake here. But so too are the important cultural issues.”
As he also accurately notes, America is a nation built on secession. “Secession” of settlers from their native lands, the great secession of the United Colonies from Great Britain – led to military victory by General, later President, George Washington (whose birthday today, February 22nd, is) – in the American War of Independence, and of course the attempted secession of the Confederacy from the Union, in the War Between the States (which this essay also discusses, as background).
In the mid-19th century, the great divide in this country was between North and South, and although slavery played a role, it was by no means the only factor, as Davenny recounts. Nor did the divide begin in the 19th century, nor was the South the first to consider secession – points which the dominant narrative conveniently ignores.
But now, the great divide is between the urban, mostly coastal, “elites” – what Democratic presidential hopeful and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg has openly, arrogantly, and largely erroneously called the “intelligentsia” (with its implication that all who oppose this new quasi-aristocracy are unintelligent and uneducated, the “unwashed masses” his ilk were born to dominate), and the so-called “deplorables” (e.g., those still “bitterly clinging” to God and guns – my people, in other words) in what used to be called “America’s Heartland,” but is now disparaged by the “elite” as mere “flyover country.”
The divide seems to be growing and hardening, and if something doesn’t happen to change, could end up as bitter as the divide over States’ rights, the tariff, and slavery was in the mid-1800s. And if that happens, a similarly bloody outcome is not, unfortunately, entirely inconceivable. Are we seeing a glimmer of a way out, in which States and counties realign themselves into more amenable configurations? A rebirth of authentic Federalism?
It is too early to be sure, of course. The idea that whole counties might “vote with their feet” (as well as the ballot-box) and actually switch States would have been unthinkable even a few years ago; but with the Governor of West Virginia actively inviting it, and some Virginia counties apparently considering the option, it just might be the safety value we need to keep the pressure-cooker from exploding.
Speaking personally, as much as I love Maryland, I would be very happy to join a West Virginia that protected my Second Amendment rights, did not consider that killing unborn children right up to delivery (and in the case of some radicals, possibly even after) was somehow virtuous, and in general respected those of us the “elites” deplore.
It is dangerous in the extreme to take anything for granted. But this is certainly encouraging for those of us who think a Democratic victory in the 2020 elections would be horrible for our country! This account, by a left-leaning (former) Democrat (she has decided to #WalkAway, and become an Independent), is well worth a read.
“I think the Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens, because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call that causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.”
“The University of Montana asked students, staff and community members to participate in an essay contest on the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. When the school released the results last month, Montana students and race activists across the country accused university officials of racism and disrespect. That’s because all four winners were white…
“The four contest winners started receiving threats, and the African-American studies program, which had sponsored the contest, removed their photos and essays from its website. A central fact—no black students had even submitted an essay—failed to defuse the racism charge.”
This is the direction we’re headed, folks. As the author of the linked piece, Heather MacDonald, puts it,
“Turns out some would rather the school had honored King by judging entrants on the color of their skin rather than the content of their submissions.”
In this case, though, the University of Montana would have had to pick people who didn’t even participate in the contest. Let’s look at this again:
“A central fact—no black students had even submitted an essay—failed to defuse the racism charge.”
Ponder that, for a few moments. White students should not have won – regardless of the quality of their essays, or their thoughts on the subject – and regardless of the fact that no black students even bothered to participate. This may be the direction we’re headed, but are we sure this is the direction we want to be headed…? I’m not.
And what would MLK himself have thought of this? Impossible to be sure, of course, but this famous quote might give a clue:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Somehow, I just don’t think this was what Dr. King intended…
In a move that is more than a little ironic, the State that was formed in opposition to the Confederacy has turned more Confederate – whether it realizes it or not – than the one that was the capital of the Confederacy (which has, sadly, taken a violent swing to the Left). Here’s West Virginia Governor Jim Justice:
“A long time ago, the infringement of fundamental values is what really created the beginning of West Virginia. Now, in doing so the government of Virginia was probably significantly out of step, and therefore all of a sudden counties moved and West Virginia was formed,” the governor said during today’s press conference…
Gov. Justice pointed out that a number of West Virginia lawmakers have recently introduced resolutions inviting Virginia counties to “come on down,” and said he echoes that sentiment.
“If you’re not truly happy where you are, we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or anywhere you may be. We stand strongly for the Second Amendment and we stand strongly for the unborn. There are so many great things about West Virginia, and we’re on the verge of moving in a way that you can’t fathom.”
Wouldn’t mind if Maryland’s western counties – which are in a similar place, sociopolitically, to those of Virginia – would join up, too!
It is true that, as this article points out, “Given the fact that the Virginia General Assembly” [ditto Maryland’s, if that were to happen] “would have to give approval for any county to be annexed by West Virginia, I’d say this movement is more aspirational than practical.” But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea!
So that’s it, apparently: the great masterpieces recognized as such by the entire world for generations are now tainted by their supposed “whiteness” and must be censored by the Robespierre-like mob of the “woke”.
“It’s not merely that the Western Civilization-focused ‘Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present’ class has been deleted, but the entire concept of ‘Western art’ itself will be a focus of criticism in the multiple new ‘more culturally sensitive’ classes that will replace it.”
The inmates really are running the asylum.
“How long before the beautiful centuries-old campus buildings themselves will be ‘discovered’ as part of the Western tradition of architecture? Will they survive the decades to come as the ‘purge’ grows ever fiercer and more anti-intellectual?”
I feel like I’m living in a slow-motion (so far…) version of the French Revolution, or maybe the Cultural Revolution of Red China. God preserve us!
“Democrats conspired with foreign agents, lied, cheated, and denied due process to Donald Trump. If they were willing to do that to a duly elected president in order to obtain power, what should Americans expect them to do to them should they refuse attempts to be disarmed?” […]
“Democrats want this war. Someone should tell them they should be careful what they wish for.”
I fervently hope and pray that it doesn’t come to that – that the worst may yet be averted. But if it does, I think this article is correct: the radical Left is going to get a radical surprise.
“Better still, though, was the attack on the woke nexus that extends from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. Gervais is right. These are not good people. They are the totalitarians of their age – as oppressive, in their way, as the Marxist and Fascist and Nazi threats which preceded them, only much more insidious because their evil is disguised with a smiley, caring, socially conscious face…
“It’s a great start to the 2020s – a decade which, I believe, will see a growing backlash to woke culture, as we normal people realise that it’s us, not the snowflakes of academe and the mainstream media and the entertainment industry, who are the majority and that for the last two decades we’ve had our culture stolen away from us by a small, shrill minority of brainwashed fruitcakes.”
So if you do win an award tonight, please don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God and f___ off.