Diversity, Education, Top Stories

Is There Room in Diversity For White People?

It’s tempting to snicker at snowflake culture, with its noisy campus gauntlet of trigger warnings, microaggressions, and in-your-face privilege-checking—but transpiring quietly off-stage at academia’s administrative levels is a far more sinister phenomenon undertaken in the name of one of society’s more theoretically desirable goals: diversity.

Here a disclaimer seems in order. Regardless of political affiliation, fair-minded observers will concede that educational facilities for minorities have remained decidedly separate, and in no way equal, in the several generations since 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education. Such inequities naturally show up in college enrollment and performance: minority students who are products of inferior grade-school systems find it harder to negotiate the realm of higher education, in terms of both gaining entry and keeping up once they’re there. Accordingly, colleges have implemented various programs and protocols designed to boost campus diversity and help at-risk students feel more at home.

Now, reasonable people can differ about whether academia, as the ancestral home of white guilt, has been overzealous at micromanaging outcomes. Significant race-based preferences remain widespread, and lawsuits continue to be filed by white and Asian students who feel they bore the brunt of academia’s attempt to realize its vision of a utopian society in which minorities are represented at demographically correct levels. Eyebrows also raise at the way in which black students may be acculturated upon their arrival: ironically, some colleges “ghetto-ize” incoming minorities by creating for them separate advising systems, housing, academic tracks, and even graduation ceremonies. Still, it’s hard to dispute the wholesomeness of the mindset from which such tokens of affirmative action spring.

And yet wholesome is not the word that comes to mind when one assesses the newest wrinkle in academia’s attempt to balance the scales: an all-out, unapologetic assault on ‘whiteness’ itself. Today’s college administrators increasingly frame diversity and inclusion as lessons that must be learned by whites alone—and they’re lessons that too often unfold as interventions that force whites to regard themselves less as full partners in diversity than an obstacle to be overcome so that other constituencies might thrive. (This flows from another favored academic trope, the concept of the zero-sum society, wherein white success necessarily comes at the expense of non-white failure.) Colleges require the injection of units—if not whole introductory courses—on diversity in major subject areas “from physics to forestry,” as the Atlantic put it, and syllabi confirm the prevailing view of whiteness as something of an anachronistic disease that, like cholera, has no place in modern life.

A tale of two coasts: New York’s Hunter College promotes coursework for poli-sci majors in “the abolition of whiteness.” Stanford examines “abolishing whiteness as a cultural identity.” Elsewhere, to cite just a few examples, classes at Grinnell and UW-Madison confront “the problem of whiteness.” Moreover, academic theorists crusade to purge whiteness from STEM courses, because critical thinking and research are regarded as tools of “white hegemony.” Engineering students at Purdue must contend with the school’s indictment of “racist and colonialist projects in science,” while a UC-Irvine professor condemns even “technical prowess” as a white male construct. A Linfield college Gender Studies professor even condemns her peers for putting “stellar” colleagues in leadership roles, because stellar individuals, she notes, tend to be white and thus have benefited unfairly from “a logic of meritocracy that is built on this racist assumption that everyone has had the same access and opportunities.” UCLA pays students a stipend to act as professional social justice activists who will diagnose, expose, and combat “whiteness” and “the patriarchy” in all campus manifestations.

Most of these initiatives surfaced within the past few semesters, so a Geiger reading on fallout is premature, but the message and predictable effects are worrisome. Aside from simple issues of fairness, academe’s crusade is almost guaranteed to backfire. Today’s white college students have little to do with the active bigotry of the past; treating them as if they arrive on campus with some endemic moral deficit is almost certain to foment a stronger sense of racial identity among students who deem the attacks unwarranted. (77 percent of today’s freshmen describe themselves as somewhere between liberal and middle-of-the-road.) No matter how erudite the packaging, labeling a race “depraved” is the textbook definition of bigotry (if not, some might argue, an institutionally sanctioned hate crime).

Consider, too, the implications for black self-reliance. It seems unhelpful to suggest to blacks that resolving the gap in minority performance remains a problem that somehow falls to whites; this undercutting of black agency subliminally echoes the very paternalism that colleges decry. For that matter, what is the message to non-whites of identifying such concepts as excellence, prowess, and stellar performance with whiteness?

On the meta level, these campaigns reinforce the legitimacy of racist thinking itself: if it is permissible to link whiteness and depravity, why is it not permissible to link blackness and criminality? This is the antithesis of the mindset that true diversity should foster. All students should be encouraged to conceive themselves as individuals united by some overarching lingua franca.

Most egregiously, in writing such positions into its canon, academia abdicates its commitment to both critical thinking and political neutrality. The philosophical question of whether orchestrated diversity is preferable to pure meritocracy remains a topic of heated disagreement between liberals and conservatives; for colleges to summarily “settle the matter” internally forecloses debate on numerous corollary issues and abrogates the rights of those who may differ for reasons that have nothing to do with racism. (Foolhardy indeed is the professor who takes a position against the academic concept of diversity. I may be foolhardy in merely making that point.) Similarly, to teach that black failure is a function of white malfeasance—the key underpinning of the “white toxicity” narrative—is to endorse a foundational talking point in radical leftist demagogy. Likewise, the contention that “mass incarceration” is a stealthy way for white America to disenfranchise blacks and maintain its loathsome “hegemony.” Such beliefs have no place as stipulated truths in higher education. They are political platforms.

Suggestion for my academic colleagues: ensure that opportunity exists for all, then allow diversity to occur organically on its own. It may take longer and never quite come to imagined fruition, but it will be genuine, and will not stigmatize an entire group of people in the guise of eliminating racial stigmas. You can commit to this truer diversity or you can allow your campus to devolve into a Balkanized chaos-sphere that not only perpetuates ancient grievances but stands in direct reproach to the mission of higher education.

You cannot do both.


Correction: 
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that New Mexico’s St. John’s College offered a class on the “depravity of whiteness”. While a student reading group was offered on the “depravity of whiteness” it did not garner enough interest to continue meeting. St. John’s College affirm that they are one of the few remaining classical liberal colleges in America, and their curriculum, called The Program, is almost unchanged since its founding in 1937. 


Steve Salerno is a widely published essayist and professor of journalism. His 2005 book, SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, explored the self-improvement industry’s wider footprint in society. You can follow him on Twitter @iwrotesham

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91 Comments

  1. Michael Allen says

    Or shorter form;

    ‘You don’t reduce racism by being racist in a different direction.’

    • Jonathan W says

      Well that’s why you cook up Critical Race Theory and tell everyone that being racist against white people isn’t actually racism because racism is about power and there are more white people than minorities so only white people have power.

      There you go. Be racist against one race all you want, just label them as “in power.”

      • Joe says

        I believe this argument has been used before in the past… where was it… Oh yes! Germany!

      • Dennis says

        Nearly all ethnic minorities do much better in white-majority countries than in countries in which they are the majority. We should encourage these people to either leave, or stop complaining. After all, if they’re right, whites are so irredeemably racist that surely they’d be better off going back to Haiti, Zimbabwe, Syria, Pakistan.

    • Sandra Goth says

      I very much appreciate this article which has done a great job of identifying the rampant ‘racism’ against people who are ‘white’. The frightening part of these facts is that this mindset is being furthered by academia which forms the minds of those who will teach my grandchildren. I am not ashamed of my ‘non-coloured’ history and do not subscribe to ‘white man’s guilt’ which often creates the demonizing of European heritage. It is time for a class action suit to stem the racism that is rampant in academia. All cultures have been oppressed and oppressors when do we stop using history as a big stick and actually learn from it that we all have the capacity to look for the enemies in differences and this is not what the worlds needs: to find more reasons why we cannot or should not thrive.

  2. KD says

    Of course there is room in diversity for white people: who else is going to be expected to shut up and pay for it?

  3. Emmanuel says

    It is true that everybody does not have access to the same opportunities, especially when it comes to primary and secondary education. However, race is not the main factor to consider when it comes to those inequalities. Money is. It is easier for middle class Black people to get their children a good education than for Appalachian trailer dwelling hillbillies (no offense meant). Affirmative action based on race benefits mostly to wealthier members of some minorities. The real losers are poor White and Asian people who are seen as being born with a silver spoon in their mouth in spite of the difficulties they might have encountered.
    While privileges exist they can only be determined on an individual scale, and to do determine them in a scientific way would mean taking in consideration an almost infinite number of factors. It is not humanly possible.
    What academics are doing right now is both inefficient and arbitrary. The only possible outcome of that situation will be racial resentment, and that will not end well.
    Policies should never aim at giving people the same outcomes. Only the same opportunities.

    • Bill says

      @Emmanuel, I agree in part but I think you oversimplify. Everyone has the same opportunities in education; however, not everyone is able to take advantage of those opportunities. It isn’t Money, it’s Location which is closely linked to money. It’s a vicious circle:

      The poor tend to congregate, because the “non-poor” are NIMBYs. Schools are funded from property tax but there’s a growing disparity in property value by location. The poor are located where there is low prop value, thus low tax, thus low educational funding. Now, on one side of the political spectrum is the belief that the school funding is the cause of the outcome but studies do not hold that true. I recall a couple studies in years past which looked at hand-outs of technology to low-end schools and the result was minimal, in part due to teacher use, but also to culture.

      If you talk to teachers, a part of the problem is parental participation. This is where the Money cycle really hits. Parents in the lower performing areas don’t have TIME to participate because they’re working/struggling just to keep food in their mouths and clothes on their backs.

      Addressing the problem isn’t simply giving the schools more money or bloating up the welfare state. In the former it’s just throwing away money and in the later it’s just inflationary. I’ve proposed to some of my Leftist friends two ideas which they thought were interesting but would never be discussed because they weren’t political weaponry:
      1. Restructure welfare to workfare. Include in the unemployment assistance space a movement allowance to create workforce mobility. If jobs leave an area and thousands have no money with which to move, they’re forever on the poverty rolls. Encouraging mobility also increases competition for labor which has the potential to shift wage scales.
      2. Diversity of teachers. Offer grants where teachers in higher performing schools perform temporary duty in lower performing and teachers from lower TDY to higher. Think of the reality show Wife Swap. They switch classes, work as subs, then get back together and discuss. I guarantee that they each would teach the other something be it strategy/observation/technique useful for reaching outliers in their classrooms. The underperforming school teacher may be so focused on just getting their kids to read they may be overlooking the next Beethoven while the teacher from the higher performing school may be missing that a couple of her students are suffering from home-life stress which is not the norm in that geography.

      • Emmanuel says

        When I write that money is very important in order to get a good education, I do not mean that increasing public spendings on education would improve the situation. Far from it. What I mean is that, in a country where the standard education provided by the state is low-quality, having money makes it possible to buy a better education, thanks to private schools or private teachers. I live in France where the quality of public education has massively decreased since the 80’s because of handful of lunatics left-wing ideologists (look at the concept of ignorant teacher developped by Jacques Rancière. It is amazingly stupid) who influenced the school system for the worst. So, now we have a double educational system : a bad public one for most of the students, and a very good private one for the wealthy minority. That situation is not specifically French.

        Money only becomes the most important thing to get a good education when the public system is failing to do its job properly, which is true in many countries. Wether or not the public system does its job properly is not only a matter of budget and spending. I believe the methods used by teachers are what matters the most. Spending money on schools that apply inefficient methods changes nothing.

        Once I have said that, I agree that culture matters a lot. Wether or not a child comes from a household where education is highly-valued has a major influence on his school achievements. That is why some communities of immigrants (especially from East and South East Asia but not only) who move in Western countries are doing so well. Cultural influences are not often discussed because it is not a politically correct topic, but they matter a lot when it comes to education.

        • Bill says

          Ah, I misunderstood, thanks for clarifying. Along this line, the money spent on post-secondary education is wasted now too as the value of the undergrad degree plummets while costs skyrocket. It is no longer a differentiation, often it provides no added value to the labor market, and the quality goes down as well. This last part is a result of free-money sending everyone to undergrad whether they need it, are a fit for it, or can afford it. Too many colleges simply grant the degree because they have the attitude of “well, they paid us a lot of money, if we fail them we look bad/get bad Yelp reviews.” These days, they’re playing a numbers game hoping one of the thousands they sign a degree for win the lottery and make an endowment.

      • Jonathan W says

        You can lead a horse to water and can’t make him drink.

        Similarly, you can lead good teachers to bad school and it still won’t make students think because, culturally speaking, learning and doing well in school are, for some minorities, viewed as cultural behaviors of the majority culture, and we can’t have that because we have to be different in all things less we lose our all important identity.

        Break the concept of racial identity and you’ll get kids to learn faster than you will providing them good teachers.

        And let’s be real: there are a lot of good teachers working at poor schools. Money doesn’t truly affect ones ability to learn. You can learn math, science and history all without the internet and without having modern text books and computers.

  4. “Regardless of political affiliation, fair-minded observers will concede that educational facilities for minorities have remained decidedly separate, and in no way equal, in the several generations since 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education.” Educational facilities for minorities? They go to the same public schools we do!

    • Skip Gallagher says

      Not all public schools are equal; schools in poor areas, where minorities dominate, are generally not as good as those in wealthier areas that have a more robust property tax base.

      • Money is not the only problem. Eliminating content-based lessons to spend time teaching reading skills is a huge problem. Content knowledge is a gigantic component of reading, and children from lower socio-economic brackets tend to have less content knowledge coming into school. This makes it harder for them to understand what they read, thus making reading difficult for them. Taking away time spent on learning content is never going to help them read better when that is the key difficulty they are facing. And of course, reading is the foundation for everything else they do in school.

        • Skip Gallagher says

          Your point seems reasonable, Matt, but isn’t it also a function of family wealth, usually associated with better educated parents who recognize the importance of giving their kids a “head start”?

          • It is, certainly, but putting more money into *schools* when they are doing the wrong things, pedagogically, isn’t going to fix anything. A better tax base isn’t necessarily the cause of better schools; it is the pedagogy that really counts.

            A better solution is to enrich children’s lives with content so that they can become better readers, which increases their chances of becoming wealthier and better educated parents themselves in the future (looking at the long-term for turning around struggling communities).

      • Caligula says

        Yet public schools in Washington, DC, spends more per-pupil than any other public school system in the United States.

        One could still claim these schools are “unequal” as they produce dismal results, but, it becomes difficult to blame these outcomes on inadequate spending. Especially when some rural school systems spend relatively little per-pupil yet achieve above-average results.

        Viewed on a state level, New York State spends the most and Utah spends the least, but, whether the comparison is at the local or state level it’s far from obvious that higher spending is all that related to educational outcomes.

        As Mencken supposedly said, “For Every Complex Problem, There Is an Answer That Is Clear, Simple, and Wrong.” There’s just precious little evidence that spending more is a reliable way to produce better outcomes.

        Which is not to say that some schools are not far better than others, just that the problem is far more complex than “not enough money.”

      • Jeremy Smith says

        That is absolutely not true. Most states redistribute money to poor areas to equalize school funding. Here’s a case study that proves that lavish funding makes NO difference in educational outcome, the Kansas City school district. Baltimore has plenty of money but they can’t seem to maintain their buildings due to corruption and incompetence. It’s what happens with black Democrat run govt and dysfunctional culture in the black community.

        https://object.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.pdf

      • asdf says

        Nearly all schools receive the funding per student, with a slight advantage for “poor” schools per capita. Typically rich districts will entirely fund themselves and poor districts will be funded by the state budget. Of course the state budget comes from state income taxes so its generally those same rich districts paying twice. Once for their own kids and once for “poor” kids.

        It’s not school funding, its IQ.

  5. Regardless of political affiliation, fair-minded observers will concede that educational facilities for minorities have remained decidedly separate, and in no way equal, in the several generations since 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education. Such inequities naturally show up in college enrollment and performance: minority students who are products of inferior grade-school systems find it harder to negotiate the realm of higher education, in terms of both gaining entry and keeping up once they’re there.

    Perhaps I’m not fair-minded, but unlike Salerno, I know the relevant literature reasonably well. Since Coleman’s studies in the 1960s, it’s been obvious that 1) the quality of educational facilities differs little between races and 2) those differences have very little to do with outcome differences between races. Here’s a good recent study which concludes that “expenditures and related school inputs have very weak associations not only with test scores in the sophomore and senior years of high school but also with high school graduation and subsequent college entry.”

    Salerno starts his article with this mindless “hurr durr white people are evil oppressors hurr durr” slander, essentially conceding the point of the people he purports to criticize. How are you going to counter the idea that “black failure is a function of white malfeasance” when in the second paragraph of your article you attribute black failure to the school policies that the white majority has pursued?

    One of the inherent weaknesses of the white oppressor narrative is that you must abandon the principle of parsimony if you try to use it to explain differences between races. This is because, while Salerno and others like to refer to some undifferentiated mass of “minorities” or “people of color”, there are actually large differences in outcomes among non-white people. Are you going explain the fact that Asians outperform whites in school and careers by reference to unequal school facilities? Or will you claim that Jews often outperform other whites to the same extent that whites outperform blacks because Jews have access to better schools than other whites? The white oppressor narrative which Salerno dutifully pushes collapses under the incessant special pleading that is needed to keep it together.

    • M, this is the author, Salerno. I’m necessarily doing this in a rush so please don’t peevishly nitpick every comma.

      Even in the “hurr durr slander” graph that you find so offensive, where do I say–or even hint–that educational inequality is white America’s fault? Where do I relate subpar black performance to “oppression”? You are so loaded for bear that you end up making an argument that smacks of the same “if black people do poorly in grade school it must be white people’s fault” mantra that was the entire reason I wrote the piece! You don’t see that irony?

      Fact: For all intents and purposes, we have reverted to a Plessy/Ferguson educational system.

      Fact: The study you cite includes disclaimers within its own text. Personally, I think there are too many moving parts here to cite such studies as confirming evidence. You also fail to consider the atmospherics of poor achievement. A large number of black children go to school only with other black children or with a relatively small number of (poor) whites/Hispanics. (Those data are in your study as well.) Much has been written about the “culture of excellence” that exists in better homes/neighborhoods. Children who are not exposed to that culture may not be as motivated to excel–and/or their teachers (who tend to be novices) may be unskilled at overcoming this ambient lack of motivation. That is not technically the school’s fault–nor is it white people’s fault, so your “oppressor” narrative again rings out of tune–but it is an important contextual factor of going to a segregated school in a lousy neighborhood. I could cite a number of other factors that you neglect to mention, but they all lead to two essential questions… Does any of this deserve to be remediated via affirmative action? (I lean toward no.) Does any of this invite the demonization of white America? Here I’d say hell no.

      Bottom line, there is no contradiction between my remarks in that paragraph and the core arguments in the piece. It is entirely possible for people to live in awful conditions without having been oppressed by anyone–certainly not by kids who are their contemporaries.

      • asdf says

        When you take out IQ you are left with:

        1) It must be blacks fault because of their shitty culture
        2) It must be whites fault because of oppression

        Those are you only two narratives that make sense (hand waving and saying “its complicated” is a dodge nobody buys). Republicans bitch about #1 and Dems bitch about #2. Nothing changes and nothing ever will.

        Whites should just give up on improving blacks. At least outside of narrow areas that can be shown to pass a reasonable effort to results investment ratio. We aren’t guilty for how God made them, nor are they.

        The real issue is that some whites allow other whites to bully them around because they are afraid of being called racist. Given the obvious and abusive brinkmanship of it all it should be obvious the left is playing a game of chicken and the only way out is to call them on it with an equally nuclear response. You have to change the incentives where calling someone racist is a consequence free will to power.

  6. KD says

    The mere possession of wealth has little intergenerational impact as this study of the Georgia lottery demonstrated:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436311/

    The Chinese elite today is something like 84% related to the elite in 1945, pre-Mao and pre-cultural revolution. Despite millions of deaths and imprisonments in the name of equality, the Chinese elite is almost identical.

    Chetty’s work shows step declines in SES for black males, and no change between white and black females, suggesting affirmative action at its current levels is not closing the racial gaps and never will.

  7. “Significant race-based preferences remain widespread, and lawsuits continue to be filed by white and Asian students who feel they bore the brunt of academia’s attempt to realize its vision of a utopian society in which minorities are represented at demographically correct levels.”

    This utopian vision does not apply for athletic activities. American football and basketball programs at large colleges are typically over-represented by African Americans, under-represented by whites, and extremely under-represented by Asians and Hispanics. I have never heard of affirmative action programs to increase the number of Asian, Hispanic, and White athletes to demographically correct levels at the expense of Blacks. And for the benefit of non-Americans who may wonder why this matters, I will note that University level sports are big business in the US and carry outsize influence on campuses. They are also very effective marketing tools for the universities. Beginning in the fall and continuing into early spring, big-time college athletics are plastered over millions of screens across the nation. You will see mostly black faces on the field or court, some white faces (a bit more in football), and almost never any Asians. At a break in play, you may then be subject to an infomercial by one of the competing colleges, perhaps touting their support of diversity on campus.

    What is the intellectual justification for this? Is it that affirmative action exists only to rectify the effects of historical injustices and ongoing discrimination on oppressed minorities, and therefore affirmative action cannot apply to Whites by definition? But then what about Asians and Hispanics, who have also been victims of historical discrimination and racial stereotypes?

    Also, how do the gatekeepers explain the dominance of African Americans (particularly those from urban backgrounds and lower SES) in these sports in the first place? Assuming that most of these people are blank-slaters (i.e. they don’t believe in any innate differences between populations of humans), then they must conclude that certain groups of people spend more time on sports than other groups, and the dominance of blacks in basketball and football is a fair and natural outcome of this. But then why not conclude the same for Asian dominance in STEM, and let the chips fall where they may? If individual blacks are not to be denied spots on the basketball team because they happen to be part of a racial group that dominates the composition of that team, then why should individual Asian students be denied spots in the classroom for the same reason?

    I would really like to believe that there is a rational and fair response to these kinds of questions; otherwise, it is just naked hypocrisy to selectively use diversity policies to benefit only one racial group at the expense of others.

    • JWJ says

      Excellent point. If disparate impact via numbers is a thing that supposedly indicates racism, then why not on the basketball court or hockey arena? Why are University football teams and swim teams so racist against Hispanics?

      • alan white says

        against Hispanics or against “short” players of any ethnicity?

    • I agree with you KD. We do spend an equal amount. It’s not just the cultural differences or wealth gap. It’s the fact that we live in the richest country in the world(the richest ever) and we rank 128th in education. Maybe its not a race problem but a problem with our priorities as a nation.

  8. When has anything ever improved ‘on its own’? Any advance in human history has been the result of someone being ‘annoying’ and ‘disturbing’ the comfort of the status quo (MLK, BLM, Abolitionists). The only thing that increases over time is bacteria or disease or evil. We have to take action to improve the world. The arc of the universe does not trend toward Justice, we have to do something. I don’t agree with demonizing people who haven’t ‘done anything’, but letting people know how their decisions support a system that continues to drive unequal outcomes in educational opportunities and housing is not a bad idea.

    • KD says

      You left out Stalin, Mao and Hitler, all men of action of the 20th Century, who were ‘annoying’ and ‘disturbing’ to the comfort of the status quo.

    • DA says

      Arc of the universe does not favor justice? The only thing that increases with time is bad things like bacteria? That’s your rebuttal? These kinds of things would sound right at home in the sermon of any religious extremist group.

    • I, like every other human being, make decisions solely with a mind to improve my economic circumstances and those of my family, and to preserve my and my family’s safety. I never make decisions informed by racial antipathy or malice. Are you suggesting I should abandon/sacrifice my and my family’s safety and/or economic health for the sake of strangers? That’s not how humans work. That’s not how humans will ever work.

    • augustine says

      Has any human social system ever “driven” equal outcomes successfully? If not, why? Perhaps it is you and your cohorts who are driven to equal outcomes.

    • That’s a very weak rebuttal. The mean spending level for blacks that they report is 99.8% of the white spending level. In some states, it’s a bit lower than for whites, in others a bit higher. The differences are of no consequence because they are so small and are pretty much unrelated to differences in achievement in any case.

  9. Caligula says

    “And yet wholesome is not the word that comes to mind when one assesses the newest wrinkle in academia’s attempt to balance the scales: an all-out, unapologetic assault on ‘whiteness’ itself.”

    Well, the author seems to get this right: it will always be easier to achieve equality by cutting some down rather than building others up.

    Yet deliberately treating white cis male students badly (aka “progressive stacking”) seems a near-sure way to incubate resentment. And at least some of that is likely to be directed toward those who are granted supposedly compensatory privileges, instead of at the progressives who have chosen to play (and impose) this very dangerous game.

    Historically, Russian Jews have been vastly over-represented among the ranks of chess grandmasters, while Kenyans and other West Africans have dominated long-distance running. Is it really necessary to point out that organic processes seldom if ever produce anything close to proportional outcomes? Therefore proportional representation in various human endeavors will never be achieved without some very substantial and continuing social engineering and handicapping?

    Part of what’s happening appears to be a battle between pragmatism and utopianism. But, allowing “diversity to occur organically on its own” is a pragmatic solution that will never satisy utopians, because it can’t be expected to produce anything close to proportional outcomes. Whereas pragmatists won’t accept utopian solutions that can only be achieved by deliberately handicapping some based on personal characterisics they could not alter even if they wished to, as this is perceived as a massive violation of individual rights.

  10. The more I read Quillette’s political commentary, the more it strikes me as propaganda of the ‘controlled opposition’ variety, often employing (as another commenter mentioned) the ‘argument to moderation’, while constantly flattering and cajoling the reader by mentioning his ‘fair-mindedness’ and ‘reasonableness’, etc. Such content, it seems to me, serves to rationalize the ‘moderation’ of timid minds that only allow themselves to venture so far from the safety of the herd; while also drawing back many of the more adventurous (but still weak-minded) who have strayed too far from the pastures of acceptable opinion.

    I have only been reading Quillette for a month or so; but already I find its point-of-view, which is remarkably standardized across a range of writers, tiresome.

    The extreme situation we find ourselves in today does not call for pusillanimous give-and-take and mean-finding. And the tendency to always take the P.C. class at its word regarding its ‘compassion’ for the ‘oppressed’ smacks of willful naivety. Is it assumed that the ‘discerning’ readers of Quillette are ignorant of the methods of Machiavellian power politics?

    Quillette readers, aren’t you tired of being treated like children by Quillette’s writers and editors?

    • Rick says

      @breathnumber, I disagree categorically with damn near everything you wrote here. My experience is almost the exact opposite. I’ve been reading Quillette for about 18 months, been a Patreon supporter for far less than that. But none of your complaints ring true from my experience.

    • I see your point. I do believe, however, that the approach can be helpful not so much in preaching to the choir, but in opening the eyes of the otherwise indoctrinated. Deprogramming so to speak. Personally I am well past that, but when speaking to my NYC friends, for example, the softer arguments catch more flies, and I find the articles here very useful in that regard.

      • dirk says

        I fully agree, Benita. Indoctrination (any) needs to be countered, as done most appropriately by the Quillette editors.

    • Victoria says

      @breathnumber

      I share your reservations about Quilette. The essay on Marx last week had precisely that ‘moderation fallacy’ character that you cite. There’s a lot of self-regard from the ‘classical liberal’ set too.

      This essay is a perfect example of seeming to question Critical Race Theory dogma, while at the same time conceding in uncritical terms massive ground to the neo-Marxist claims. I’ve seen similar essays of late at The Federalist and National Review with this pattern of concession, always on issues of race in America.

    • augustine says

      If you are suggesting that many writers here play chicken with difficult topics by taking an indirect or anodyne approach, OK. That does seem to be a pattern. But sometimes thinking is better coaxed by gentle persuasion and Quillette is more like beer or wine. Finding one’s way to stronger spirits, if desired, is not difficult.

      • This is the point I wish to make:

        What we get here at Quillette – over and over and over again – is the standard mainstream conservative/libertarian/’classical liberal’ response to the demands of the radical and liberal left for ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’. “Yes,” they say, “it would be nice if minorities were represented at demographically correct levels in every area of society. But it is a utopian wish, which we should not try to fulfill by ‘micromanagement’. Let us instead ensure ‘equality of opportunity’, and let diversity happen ‘organically’, for such diversity would then be ‘true diversity'”.

        Now almost all commenters here (and I suspect most readers) do not hold this view. They do not believe that minorities and women and the sexually deviant should be represented at demographically correct levels in every area of society. They believe that such a state is neither desirable nor possible – because, for one, race differences and sex differences exist.

        And what the conservatives/libertarians/’classical liberals’ are apparently too stupid to realize (or perhaps it is something other than stupidity), is that the radical leftists and liberals do not want minorities represented at demographically correct levels either. They want minorities OVER-represented in the interest of a revolutionary re-ordering of society. They want whites/men/heterosexuals etc. etc. suppressed as much as possible. And they welcome the ‘balkanized chaos-sphere’ that results, for they take it as a sign that the revolution is progressing.

        So responses like the one above are woefully insufficient – which is why they do nothing to stop or even slow the P.C. revolution. (And after a while one begins to ask oneself – are they even meant to? Or is this all a propaganda game?) In any case I’m getting tired of reading them – as are, it seems, many of the commenters here.

    • I’ve been reading Quillette about the same amount of time. I try to read one article every morning and another in the evening as time permits. But I have noticed what you’re talking about and wasn’t quite sure how to articulate it. I think someone upthread basically makes the argument that it’s a kind of rhetorical device designed not to alienate the opposition, and I think that’s probably right. My politics have traditiaonlly been pretty run-of-the-mill libertarian, and I was really resistant to talking about things like this at all up until about a year ago (and I think the general public would rather try to get along and not talk about race at all), but the last election cycle, Brexit, and the European refugee crisis sort of red-pilled me as the kids say. The conversation has to start somewhere for people who would rather put their heads in the sand, and I want to believe that what people like Salerno are doing is broaching these topics in a way that ordinary, well-meaning people might be amenable to considering. I wrote a kind of resentful comment downthread, but I want to (have to?) believe that articles like this are at least opening the door for this conversation to happen. But I’m not terribly optimistic about our chances for healing the divide that has opened up in the last few years.

      • dirk says

        Why healing divides, K,?? be a Hegelian, and think in thesis-antithesis-synthesis, for the first two steps you need divide. I got really tired of the blogs where I used to discuss, and where political correctness and SJ was the only tide (in the choice of articles at least, the reactions were mostly contra, and that’s why they decided to stop the reaction site altogether, this in great contrast to most blogs, where articles and all reactions all breath the same air, without any misfit).

        • @dirk I’ve enjoyed reading many of your comments here at Quillette, but I’m struggling to parse this one. I think you mentioned somewhere that you are from Netherlands (?), so it may be a partial language barrier or, perhaps, my own thick-headedness. Can you clarify your point?

          • dirk says

            @K: I was talking about the blog -OneWorld-, because I worked a long time outside the NL. I was amazed that all articles, quite unlike in my study time, were so anti colonial and pro colonies-of-once. Logical maybe, time dependent, but very lopsided, because colonialism was also a lot about medicines, education, extension, irrigation, infrastructure, forestry, nature conservation, and not at all only for the motherland.
            What I understood was that sociology and anthropology now (meaning the young academics and journalists) is quite different of what it was, extension of western standards and techniques. I have dealt on this issue before (e.g. in Academia’s Consilience, last comment). This does not mean, however, that I am pro westernisation at all costs.

  11. markbul says

    “Still, it’s hard to dispute the wholesomeness of the mindset from which such tokens of affirmative action spring.”

    This is a joke, right? There’s nothing wrong with Quillette offering a range of opinions, but the lack of skepticism shown here makes me less likely to come back. The fellow travelers of communism always had a rejoinder to every crime committed in its name – “well they’re building a better world.’ No, they weren’t. They were crushing humanity under their boot. So no, I see no ‘wholesomeness’ in dividing the country by race in order to stop dividing the country by race. Virtue does not grow out of vice. And no, school inequality is not the problem. $180 billion has been pumped into Head Start, and it has none absolutely nothing for school achievement in black children. The problem is outside the schools, not in them.

    • I agree with everything you wrote. Vice recently aired ‘Raised in the System’. It is one of the most powerful documentaries in recent memory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq3uVJQN8Gw)

      Watching it, one cannot help but think that these kids systemically have little chance for success, and that the main impediments are lack of stable families/positive role models, drugs and access to guns. Most end up in jail because at some point they are apprehended while possessing drugs and a gun at the same time. Of course they grow up in a world where the only successful people are those parading drugs and guns. I have no idea what the answer is, but at no point do you come away feeling that the problem is the schools.

    • ADM64 says

      Amen. I gagged when I read the “wholesomeness of the mindset” line. Most of the people pushing this stuff are vicious, envious and hateful, which is why the whole thrust of their illogical, self-contradictory “philosophy” consists of attacking and destroying, not building. They have no goodwill.

    • If I understand Quillette’s model, they don’t have a stable of writers; it’s all freelance submissions. So I think abandoning the site because of an article you disagree with is maybe an overreaction.

      I agree with everything else you’ve written.

  12. ga gamba says

    Regardless of political affiliation, fair-minded observers will concede that educational facilities for minorities have remained decidedly separate, and in no way equal…

    Asians are a minority. It’s a pity the educational system is failing them and they can’t catch a break. If only they could get into uni, I’m sure they’d do well.

    A suggestion to Mr Salerno. Prefacing your essay with a paragraph professing your ‘wokeness’ does nothing to advance your argument when you offer nothing to support it. If you meant black and/or Hispanic, then say so.

    All schools are equally funded per pupil by the Feds. States also chip in, and again this is done per pupil. At the local level, school boards sponsor referendums where the residents decide whether or not to support issuing bonds to provide funding above and beyond. Typically these bonds are repaid by increasing property taxes, though there may be other means. This is thinking and acting locally, kind of like how the leftists want everyone to source their food.

    The lower outcomes experienced by some school districts may be due in part to reasons such as intimidation of teachers by students, vandalism of facilities and materials by students or community members, money diverted to finance enhanced security, etc. It may even be due to some people thinking being studious is “acting white”. I suppose “stitches for snitches” plays a role keeping the disruptive and violent in the classroom. There is also the curios phenomenon where some non-minority residents of the urban school district pay their taxes and then also pay for their own children to attend private schools. Often these urban private schoolers are leftists. This is found not only in the US, but also in the UK where Labour Party leaders such as Diane Abbott, shadow minister for innumeracy, do so. Tragic Brown v Board of Education wasn’t applied globally.

    And ‘diversity’ is a codeword meaning not white, though with the diversity crowd’s creation of the new and exciting POCLA (People Of Color Less Asians) Asians too are being excluded.

    • Have you submitted any articles to Quillette? If not, you should. I’d read em.

  13. If you part from quack racial categories such as black, white, and Asian, you are going to end up with quack racialist analyses. Fortunately, this particular form of quackery is mostly confined to the Anglosphere where it is widely regarded as left-wing politics. The left in the rest of the world does not talk about the end of “white hegemony” but “American hegemony” in all its glorious skin tone and gender diversity.

  14. I think Americans, and Westerners more generally, know that their 500 year run as rulers of a global empire is coming to an end but are too scared to acknowledge it so, instead, focus on deconstructing the latest charlatanry.

    • KD says

      “We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who, during the eruption of Vesuvius, died at his post because they forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one thing that can not be taken from a man.”

    • dirk says

      500 yrs Rosa?, let me see, 1518, there had been some explorers to Florida and NwFoundland already, true, but the real rulers on the global scene at the time were the Hispanics, Portuguese and the Dutch. America’s US still had to wait about 3 centuries (and even then, half of the territory was still firmly in the hands of all kinds of native tribes). Nevertheless, yes, a shift in power is in the process of incubation, and the problem is not so much the military and economic, maybe, but the moral side of the change in equilibrium.

      • She did qualify her comment with “Westerners more generally”. I guess Pax Americana can be seen as an extension of an historical Western hegemony (or something?). You last sentence hits the nail on the head, though. But what to do about it? How do you get the glitter back in the bottle?

        • dirk says

          I just saw an interview with Alexander Doegin, who thinks that humanistic liberalism should by no means become the universal norm, so, on a global scale, diversity in norms and ideology is in the making, maybe.

  15. Jacob says

    It would be useful to engage with the apparent content of the courses that are the motivating examples used in the article. I don’t know for certain what is in them, but I do know that with the way universities are managed today, it doesn’t hurt a designer of a new course to name it provocatively to encourage enrollment. My limited experience with the types of literature and arguments associated with those courses suggests that “whiteness” may not mean what it sounds like it means.

    On another topic, I think it is generally unhelpful to compare Black people in America to other racial minority groups. The majority of the country’s Black residents have a lineage rooted in a fundamentally different experience than other minority groups. The tremendous extent to which the US was institutionally anti-Black in a very explicit fashion until the recent past requires seeing the Black experience as not just another minority group’s.

  16. John says

    The left have basically saying statements like “Eradicate whiteness” isn’t racist because it’s about more than skin color. Why they be so sanguine about “Eradicate muslimness”… more than any other group the SJW left love to play word games to indulge in bigotry, witness the re-definition (in their world) of racism to be something only whites can do.

  17. And western civ is about any civilization except western. And English lit is about the literature of any country except England. And even math is racist.

    I agree with the above commenter. Our reign is coming to an end. The dark ages approach. In another 500 or so years, when the new renaissance begins, they’ll look back on our decline and fall in wonder.

    What am I saying, future humans will plug into their own V.R. paradise. All physical human contact will end. They’ll be no one to accuse of colonialism… except the matrix itself.

    • The V.R. paradise and the P.C. paradise are one. For the vision of Political Correctness is a society in which bodily differences no longer matter culturally.

      P.C. is post-body. As such it is a thoughtless miming and enforcement of the new electric environment. Hence its great popular appeal.

  18. Victoria says

    “one of society’s more theoretically desirable goals: diversity”

    It’s telling Salerno says “theoretically desirable” since the empirical analysis of diversity and homogeneity in terms of relative impact on social and political goals is far from clear. Like many commenters Mr. Salerno appears to conflate a risk-management strategy and an end goal.

    I don’t even know what someone in raptures over “diversity” even means. Does Mr. Salerno value “diversity” of thought when it comes to women being equal citizens, children being protected from exploitative work and sexual abuse, protecting our environment from carcinogenic and other toxic pollutants, et cetera?

    Or is this a matter of skin-deep physical diversity coupled with uniform adherence to the prevailing orthodoxy of academia and media?

    “…fair-minded observers will concede that educational facilities for minorities have remained decidedly separate, and in no way equal, in the several generations since 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education.”

    Another shallow broadside unworthy of Quilette. The sheer intellectual laziness of invoking “minorities” when the ethnic groups with the highest per capita educational achievement are non-white speaks for itself.

    Further, people have already posted the evidence on educational funding showing why this ‘unassailably fair-minded’ position is in fact very much debatable in good-faith based on economic terms, before we even consider cultural factors.

    And finally, it goes without saying that someone who stakes out a bien pensant position like Mr. Salerno is not about to consider population genetics with regard to differential educational achievement between populations.

  19. doug deeper says

    The author writes:
    “Suggestion for my academic colleagues: ensure that opportunity exists for all, then allow diversity to occur organically on its own.”

    I must ask the author, what in the world makes you think such a “suggestion” will be taken seriously by the powers that be in academia?

    They are already decades down the road into their “radical leftist demagogy” and it is working out extremely well for them. They are now so entrenched that they easily swat away such suggestions w/o consequence. Unless there is some large movement with teeth in it by academicians themselves, nothing will change. Heterodox Academy is trying and doing a nice job of giving suggestions with some good tools to teach the value of diverse views. However, I do not think they understand the power of the institutions they are dealing with. They are a scattered, very minority group of employees.

    I now assume that academia will crash on the shores of its own Marxist inspired incompetence as more students, parents, employers and the public at large fully realize the appalling corruption of academia and refuse to pay the exorbitant price of a college degree – the value of which parallels that of a Soviet era Volga – takes forever to obtain, costs 10 years of salary and doesn’t work in the real world.

  20. What is DIVERSITY other than Orwellian newspeak for a melting pot, into which genuine human diversity (a product of past “natural segregation”) will eventually dissolve and disappear, thereby turning Americans into a single “mix-race master race”?

    It is also a strategy of divide and rule (largely subconscious or obsured by Orwellian doublethink), whereby society is divided into a morally superior, now supposedly non-tribal, unprejudiced, “colour-blind” and xenophilic elite, on the one hand, and the morally inferior, naturally (evolved human nature being what it is) tribal, prejudiced, not colour-blind, but nativist and xenophobically-inclined masses, on the other, who must submit to the authority of and domination by their “moral superiors” (a moral animal like ourselves can be manipulated and controlled by a regime of moral rewards & intimidation as well as by one of material/physical rewards & intimidation).

    It is, in effect, a modern, secular replacement for the power-political role of medieval church ideology. Original sin (disobedience of divine, i.e. priestly/state authority) has been replaced by “racial prejudice” (the natural human inclination – like original sin – to identity with members of one’s own tribe, race or ethnic group, which was made responsible (wrongly) for the Holocaust and equated with the evils of Nazi racism), and which only submission to priestly/academic/state ideology and authority can save us from eternal damnation for, not as heathens and heretics, as in the past, but as bigots, xenophobes, nativists or racists.

  21. Darren, Nottingham says

    Step 1 – stop using their language

  22. I am proud that I am White, and I don’t care if your brown skinned or not.

  23. John D. says

    The sad thing about this post and entire discussion is that no matter what side of the debate you are on, when the focus is on a person’s skin color, it leads to a binary choice in which the conclusion will always be wrong because the focus on the proper issue is wrong.

    By looking at skin color alone in addressing fairness and opportunity in society, it leads one necessarily into a rabbit hole in which statements like “I am proud to be white/black and I don’t care what white/black people think of it” become the norm thereby almost always causing some type of tribal response or emotion. It is due to such shallow thinking that American society remains divided, and allows for negative group stereotypes that take hold with an “us versus them” mentality.

    On the question of white people and diversity, the answer is yes, all person’s regardless of pigmentation are all part of a ‘diverse’, multi-cultural society. Differences in fairness, treatment, and opportunity arise however when one is afforded “privilege” over and or worst than others as one group versus another. Whether its skin color, religion, upbringing, education or whatever, we as a diverse society should always reflect on whether everyone is being given a fair shake and opportunity for the same outcome regardless of these factors. When we all start to view our country holistically from the standpoint of “privileged versus non-privileged” and fairness, only then will we be able to drop stereotypes, judgement based upon skin color, and other small minded ridiculous tribal thinking.

    • ga gamba says

      When we all start to view our country holistically from the standpoint of “privileged versus non-privileged” and fairness, only then will we be able to drop stereotypes, judgement based upon skin color, and other small minded ridiculous tribal thinking.

      Oh, my aching sides. The privileged versus non-privileged debate is entirely racialised and gendered; it’s deeply rooted in group identity. It appears you’re advocating for people to be viewed and treated as individuals, and the left abandoned that long ago. I’d wager if you were to make that pitch to a group of leftist identitarians, you’d be accused of exercising your privilege, or, if you’re a member of an oppressed group, you’d be told you don’t have the correct race/gender consciousness and be called a traitor.

  24. It’s a human condition: oppressed people dont want to end oppression, they want to exchange places with their oppressors.

  25. Jachin says

    I think that you are oversimplifying the problem. There are far more consequential inputs than welfare and the quality of education into decreasing animosity towards groups of people. Because people are inherently not racist, the actual philosophical justification against racism never cemented in the minds of people. Thus, most individuals believe racism is wrong “just because it is”. It is the kind of avoiding hard thinking that actually contributes to the animosity that we see, at least in part. Many in the social science who do study race relations are either biased to the point of unreliability of have something to gain from being self-deprecating. Professors can advance their careers of they are seen as being apologetic enough for “white” crimes against humanity. Again, white professors are incentevized to aggrandize their own guilt and minorities xn advance their careers simply by saying that they deserve more in more exotic ways, leads to an environment totally disconnected from reality.

  26. ccscientist says

    It is easy to blame schools, but you can clearly identify the benefits of books in the home and parents who read to kids (as well as 2 parents in the home) in fostering academic achievement. This is something that has to come from within the minority community.

    • KD says

      No, Flynn (of the Flynn effect) argued that the American racial gap in IQ was primarily driven by Blacks culture and bad Black parents. Of course, for his efforts attempting to refute the hereditarians, he was condemned for being a racist.

      Racial inequalities are all a result of an invisible malevolent power called “racism” that unconsciously possesses white people and is responsible for all suffering on the globe. Any other explanation proves you are a “white supremacist” displaying “white fragility”. Science is a socially constructed conspiracy to keep non-cisgendered heterosexual Christian white people down.

      • KD says

        As a member of the skeptic community, I deny the existence of God, but screech at my fellow atheists and skeptics to confess their sins and embrace the global jihad against “racism”.

  27. dirk says

    One of the biological reasons why the Kaukasian Whites conquered the globe and imposed their morals and socioecomics all-over is that they are a mixed race, a hybrid of Neanderthals and Sapiens. Imagine, that these neanderthals (existed for over 200.000yrs) with brains as large or larger than ours, but with another, less flexible structure and buildup) were still around (they have been out-competed or massacred long time ago), how would things (diversity and racism e.g.) have looked then? And how would the articles and discussions have been on Quillette?

  28. I don’t accept the premise of the disclaimer the writer gives. I wonder at the fact that he felt the need to provide one. At what point do we get to advocate on our own behalf without having to genuflect and cede the left’s position as the correct and benevolent one? Is it before or after threats of genocide from Twitter-Verified journalists, academics, and student activists turn to actual violence? Is it before or after we’ve been written completely out of our own myths, folktales, and histories? Is it before or after our universities have been thoroughly ransacked and looted of any trace of Western culture? Is it before or after our children have been indoctrinated in primary schools to hate themselves and their countries? Is it before or after those countries have been thoroughly transformed by Marxists and Third World immigrants?

    I’m done prostrating myself before the god of political correctness and diversity. I’m done ignoring truths we all can see and feel. Done pretending our societies are getting better. The time for pussy-footing around has passed. If you have something substantial to say, say it. Otherwise, you’re just pissing in the wind.

    • justme says

      I don’t see that your position has any chance at all of succeeding. A civil war will leave no one better off, although both extremes seem to be itching for one.

      I prefer passionate, activist moderation. Most people are moderates and have a distaste for extremists, although they might get some vicarious kick out of seeing them duke it out and cheering for the side that is defending them.

      The problem has been that moderates have been drummed out or silenced in most of our institutions. We need to reclaim our voice.

      Most people do want social justice for all, just not “social justice” as defined by the SJW. They want equality of opportunity, and institutions that help people get it, but not at the expense of fairness to others.

      We need to champion rational discussion of policies that help us do that, rather than class or race or gender wars.

  29. augustine says

    It won’t serve anyone’s agenda but probably the healthiest approach is to not politically promote integration/diversity at all, nor politically promote segregation. These trends happen on their own by individual and group choices in the natural order.

    It seems progressives and even generic liberals justify their universalist goals by denying any sort of natural order to begin with.

  30. This the St. John’s College communications office. Please note that the college does not, and never has, offered a class that takes on the “depravity of whiteness.” Our curriculum studies the Great Books of Western Civilization. We do, however, allow students to start book study groups on whatever topic, and on whatever book(s), they like. Last year, a student started a study group on the “depravity of whiteness,” but no other students attended and the group ended. At St. John’s College, we believe strongly in freedom of thought — and that the intellectual power of our Socratic seminar approach will weed out the weakest ideas; this usually proves to be the case. Where the college did err was in allowing a college email account to promote the class to other students; we should have been more cautious about the offensive name of the course. Once we learned of this, we updated our study group email policy. We ask the reporter to respectfully correct the record.

  31. Danielle Hatfield says

    Salerno defames St. John’s College, Santa Fe. St. John’s DOES NOT have courses outside of The Great Books Program, and to my knowledge, which is first-hand, there never was an historical author that we read that said anything about “the depravity of whiteness.” This is a COMPLETE LIE. He should issue a retraction immediately. I have directed a tweet to the College, even though they are already aware of this most egregious error, so that they know that alert alumni are correcting this on other forums as well. Salerno needs to correct himself immediately per the College’s request.

    • Anon says

      ” I hate equality. I love Liberty ” this was a popular sentiment during and after the Revolution of 1776. A coin was even minted in commemoration of this sentiment…of at least the liberty half of it.

  32. Anonymoose says

    Yeah sorry, as a white guy I’ve already checked out. I’m not interested in your diversity or being around non-whites in general.

    I’ve only been around for 28 years, but I’m already sick of these “people.”

    • dirk says

      I am also white Moose, and a few yrs older than you, but not sick of any category of people (but yes, of hypes and ideologies). You probably have nothing to do with education and desegregation (e.g. organisation,earning your income with it), because, there you can’t afford to be disinterested in diversity, and the many many problems involved. I’m neither, but sometimes, you hear or read about it, and reflect on it.

  33. Andrew_W says

    Early in the article Steve Salerno says: “Such inequities naturally show up in college enrollment and performance: minority students who are products of inferior grade-school systems find it harder to negotiate the realm of higher education, in terms of both gaining entry and keeping up once they’re there. ”

    At the end he says: “Suggestion for my academic colleagues: ensure that opportunity exists for all, then allow diversity to occur organically on its own. It may take longer and never quite come to imagined fruition, but it will be genuine, and will not stigmatize an entire group of people in the guise of eliminating racial stigmas.”

    Don’t those two points make it clear that it’s in schools that the inequality occurs, that surely it’s in schools and not universities that the problem needs to be solved?

    In New Zealand there is a system in which schools in poorer areas receive more funding per student than schools in richer areas, is a similar system used in the US, to improve the quality of education for younger children, it does seem to me likely that the costs of running an inner city school in a poor area might be higher to deliver the kids the same quality of education as in a richer area.

    • justme says

      “Don’t those two points make it clear that it’s in schools that the inequality occurs, that surely it’s in schools and not universities that the problem needs to be solved?”

      The inequality occurs in schools because of what happens in children’s lives outside it: families that don’t provide them with the original cultural capital that allows them to do well in them.

      Because higher education is so crucial to success in our modern societies, that has drastic consequences on social inEquality.

      But affirmative action at the university level is not the answer, because it is ignoring the fact that the problem is the resulting lack of the necessary intellectual preparation.

      The question for me is, can early schooling remedy somehow the lack of familial social capital, or not? If so, how?

      I don’t know, and it is not clear to me that sufficient effort has been expending answering this question because it doesn’t seem to have been asked.

      I would think it could be, for some, but at great effort and restructuring of schools in underprivileged neighbourhoods, emphasizing lots of content knowledge and giving children the variety of experiences they are not getting at home. Those who are naturally inclined to take advantage of it might flourish, while others won’t because they will not have the inner motivation.

  34. Pingback: “syllabi confirm the prevailing view of whiteness as something of a… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)

  35. Brent says

    Because it is so much easier to blame someone else for your failures then it is to take responsibility for your own place in the world.

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