Education, Top Stories

My Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

I Am Not Afraid of Social Justice

I am not afraid of eliminating discrimination. I am not afraid of dismantling barriers to freedom, opportunity, and dignity. I welcome such dismantling.

I am not afraid of welcoming women, racial or ethnic minorities, sexual orientation minorities, people who are disabled, gender non-binary, or pretty much any other manifestation of human diversity into the halls of academe, wealth, and power. On the contrary, if social justice is defined as equality of opportunity and an end to discrimination and barriers, I welcome it.

Nonetheless, there are reasons to fear, not social justice, but the intolerant oppressiveness of some strains of social justice activism. Although we do not need to give in to fear, if one is to fight oppressors, one needs to first acknowledge their existence, and their power—and the very good reasons to fear them. I have a track record of standing up to intellectual mobs, and plan to continue to do so. That does not mean there is nothing to fear.

I am afraid of those who will punish others for not subscribing to a toxic and oppressive view of social justice. I am afraid, not of actual social justice, but of what some people are willing to do, and are in fact now doing, in the name of social justice.

I fear less for myself than for younger scholars whose work leads them to evidence that runs afoul of dogmas popular in the academy. I am afraid they will be punished for discovering truths and hounded out of the academy. I am afraid that those truths will never come to light.

Language as Trojan Horse

Part of the problem in discussing this is that the meaning of words, as used in some-but-not-all Social Justice-speak, often differs from common usage. Here is my Academic Social Justice Translator:

Social Justice:

Common: Fairness for people.

Social Justice: Turning the tables. Justifying stigmatization of, hostility towards, and outright discrimination against those not in recognized victim groups or their visible allies. 

Diversity:

Common: Variety.

Social Justice: Conferring advantages to groups the Left deems protected.

Equity:

Common: Fairness. Rewards commensurate with merit or contributions.

Social Justice: Equality or superiority of outcomes for demographic groups the Left deems protected, regardless of merit or contributions.

Inclusion:

Common: Everyone is welcomed and treated with dignity and respect.

Social Justice: Marginalized groups, and sufficiently performative woke white people, are welcomed with dignity and respect. Others are subject to scorn and ostracism.

Clearly, not everyone in academia or on the Left subscribes to social justice usages. Enough do, however, so that, in this essay, when I use these terms, they refer to the meanings described above. 

Social Justice as Old Fashioned Bigotry

Many academic social justice activists are creating, not an inclusive society or academy, but an exclusive one. They are not seeking to end discrimination; they are seeking to change who is targeted with discrimination. They are justifying stigmatization of anyone not a member or vocal “ally” of an approved victim group, and they are creating institutional means to punish anyone they see as standing in their way.

Vindictive Social Justice

I am afraid of vindictive protectiveness: the willingness to aggressively punish others, to censor their ideas, to damage or ruin their careers, in the name of protecting members of victim groups, not from physical violence and not even from discrimination—but from ideas. For some examples, see herehereherehereherehere, or here.

I am afraid because the U.S. National Labor Relations Board found that James Damore’s discussion of the available scientific evidence on the biological bases of sex differences were “discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment.” Are scientists who study biological bases of sex differences also engaging in “sexual harassment”?

I am afraid because the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has defined sexual harassment in subjective terms: “For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.” Offensive according to whom? We are not told.  It could be anyone, for any completely concocted or delusional reason.

I am afraid for all scholars who have ever published anything controversial that might run afoul of repressive social justice dogmas. I am afraid because I do not want to get mired in the life-sucking swamp of Title IX investigations into ideas, as happened to Laura Kipnis and Stuart Reges. I am afraid, because I have academic colleagues who seem to truly believe that social justice cannot be criticized or mocked and that leashing men like dogs is a defensible idea.

I fear for the state of the university. How are universities supposed to pursue truth if discussing certain types of scientific evidence becomes a punishable offense? This is corrosive to knowledge and to a well-functioning democracy. Denunciations are indispensable to authoritarian regimes.

When even left-leaning pundits at the Washington Post and the New York Times post articles decrying leftwing intolerance on campus, there is something to fear. Although rightwing pressure groups can create their own censorious outrage mobs, I am far more afraid of the toxic activities of academics themselves. Especially for younger scholars, academic success does not rely on views of Fox News pundits. It does rely heavily on subjective evaluations of one’s colleaguespeer review, letters of recommendation, support among senior faculty, grant panels, and hiring. Intolerant colleagues can sound the death knell for careers and for ideas in ways that intolerance outside the academy cannot.

Much of the time, when I bring this up with my colleagues in academia, the response is some variation of “Look at all the white supremacists!” This is a terrible argument. It’s like responding to, “Why don’t you get a flu shot?” with “Look at all the people who die from cancer!”  White supremacists have not overtaken the academy.  Self-described radicals, activists, and Marxists have.   

Diversity Statements as Compelled Speech

I do not need to write a statement on all the things I have done for diversity, equity, and inclusion. I could, though. I have been an organizer in a multi-ethnic community to support public schools where half the students were not white. I have been an active participant/mentor in programs that seek to advance the careers of promising minority students. I have headed diversity committees and helped to create pro-diversity initiatives in my department—and by “diversity” here, I mean the very traditional types of demographic diversity usually emphasized by social justice activists. A fair amount of my scholarship reveals the subtle and pernicious effects of stereotypes and prejudice, including this paper showing how weight and gender stereotypes can produce self-fulfilling prophecies that accumulate across interactions.

Nevertheless, I am afraid because mandatory DEI statements resemble loyalty oaths. They invite an academic version of Havel’s greengrocer, who proclaimed fidelity to communism, not because he supported it, but because he felt he had to broadcast his obsequious fidelity to the ideology of the State. Only now it is the University, not the State, compelling fealty.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statements as Exclusionary Political Litmus Tests

Some argue that there is nothing wrong with DEI statements because fighting discrimination is a necessary part of being a college professor. If that is the case, then all a professor would need to write is, “Grades are 100 percent determined by multiple choice tests and they are graded by a scantron machine. This insures that discrimination will not affect grades.” I doubt such a DEI statement would satisfy anyone. 

Are DEI statements about ensuring diversity in the commonly understood sense or in the repressive academic social justice sense? If the former, then, the following would be perfect qualifications:

  • My classes include sections of free speech, censorship, and academic freedom.
  • I am a member of Heterodox Academy.
  • I delivered a keynote speech on academic freedom at a conference of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
  • I have written essays criticizing academic intolerance in outlets such as the Wall Street JournalQuillette, and AreoMagazine.
  • I have conducted social science research on political intolerance among academics.

Rather than being welcome, I suspect such a statement would be disqualifying. And what if an applicant has done nothing to advance diversity but, instead, contributes to improving the human condition as, say, a volunteer firefighter, children’s soccer coach, or museum volunteer? One sort of service is not inherently superior to any other; thus DEI statements are exclusive by not valuing these other contributions. 

DEI statements will almost surely be used, at least sometimes, as political litmus tests: “Are you with us or against us?” Of course no ad will say, “leftists and social justice sympathizers only.” But requiring DEI statements is essentially requiring a professed commitment to social justice activism.

Conclusion

DEIs and the toxic, punitive forms of social justice activism warrant fear. I do not want my colleagues to give in to this fear. Recognizing the danger is the first step to preventing it; to not giving in to fear.

The rise of DEI statements is a symptom of a rising tide among institutions of higher education to endorse de facto political discrimination in the name of social justice. Fears about not getting the job, the invitation to a panel, or the promotion are well-justified. For individual academics, it will take extraordinary courage to risk and resist the vindictive punishment of one’s colleagues. 

However, it is possible that this rising tide of political intolerance and litmus tests can be stemmed, not by individuals, but by institutions. Perhaps some will step up to create an alternative: “At Our University, we value truth, reason, evidence, and accomplishments. We don’t care about your politics or demographics. We realize that ‘justice’ means different things to different people, so we reject declarations of loyalty to any ideology.” My guess is that people would flock to such a place.

The rest, however, are complicit in creating a climate of fear, regardless of whether or not I personally have to write a statement about how I advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Except I have just published mine.

 

Lee Jussim is a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University and was a Fellow and Consulting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2013-15). He can be followed on Twitter @PsychRabble

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Lee Jussim is a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University and was a Fellow and Consulting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2013-15). He has published numerous articles and chapters and edited several books on social perception, accuracy, self-fulfilling prophecies, and stereotypes. His most recent book, 'Social Perception and Social Reality: Why Accuracy Dominates Bias and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,' ties that work together to demonstrate that people are far more reasonable and rational, and their judgments are typically far more accurate than social psychological conventional wisdom usually acknowledges.

67 Comments

  1. Tersitus says

    Think I heard Jordan Peterson say his latest endeavor is an attempt to create such an institution as you describe in your concluding paragraph. Let’s hope it marks the start of something big. I’m sure he’d welcome the involvement of professionals such as yourself.

      • K. Dershem says

        I hope this works; academia is in desperate need of more ideological diversity. Wealthy donors were successful in creating right-wing think tanks, which have exerted a significant impact on legislation. If they dedicate themselves to founding a right-wing university, they might succeed at that too.

        • Russel Shackelford says

          Liberty University is a right-wing institution, but the whole point of this article is that academic institutions shouldn’t be attached to ideologies. The practice of seeking truth through and knowledge through scholarship, regardless of the subject, requires an environment where evidence based conclusions wont destroy your career no matter who they offend.

  2. bumble bee says

    I totally agree with the authors assumptions that the SJW have become obnoxious. I do not fear them either as I know who I am. Just like the author I support equality, and as the author stated, they have turned the meaning of equality into their own brand of inequality.

    So for all the denouncing of the alt-right, where are those denouncing the alt-left? Which is more prevalent that the alt-right. I have read that pro-life liberals are not welcomed at feminist rallies (how’s that for having a choice), as is also true with some Jewish groups. How’s that for equality. No, like Cinderella, the new progressive incarnation must be adhered to militaristically. If the shoe no longer fits your fair game. There is no deviation for the program or they will eat you. The left loves to eat their own too.

    With every tick of the second hand, I get more appalled at the liberals especially the alt-left. They are so sure they have all the answers, all the methods, and what they are looking for is to purge those they will not tolerate. Their rabidity is not only marginalizing themselves, but is doing real damage to true equality.

    The author should be very concerned with how this pack wolves goes out and not only attacks anyone, but wants to ruin lives and careers. The kicker is they come up with all sorts of excuses for their own mistakes. They are at the pinnacle of hypocrisy. To top it all off they now start indoctrinating the young. This is not about teaching children about treating people with respect and kindness, of understanding that those that seen different are not. No this is political. The left firmly believes that by making social Marshall Law they can achieve their goals. When they care not about people, but ideology.

    All I can say is the left made this mess, and they are going to have to reel it in or you too will be sacrificed on their altar of ideological social justice.

  3. E. Olson says

    Here are some copy and paste DEI statements that will no doubt be very effective and popular for most current faculty:

    As a Leftist professor in a Leftist field, I hereby resign my post effective immediately so that someone of centrist or Right perspective can take my place and help diversify the department. I also pledge never to seek academic employment in the future until such time as a 50-50 Left-Right balance is achieved.

    As a Leftist professor in a Leftist field, I hereby agree to accept a salary of $1 per year effective immediately to enable the school to increase diversity and inclusion by making tuition free to all applicants. I also hope that my new salary will provide a tangible demonstration of equity and solidarity to graduating majors from our department as they go on to meaningful careers at Starbucks. I also pledge never to seek a higher salary in the future until such time as all wages across all occupations and positions are exactly equal.

    As a white male professor, I hereby announce my intention to kill myself at the end of the current term. I wish to demonstrate by personal example the only effective and permanent way to stop the scourges of toxic masculinity and white privilege from further contaminating the culture of the school. I also pledge to have my body composted into the soil of an organic food garden so that I do not contribute to any further man-made climate change, while providing nutrients for organic consumers of color and gender fluidity.

    • K. Dershem says

      Well done, E.! I know a college instructor who is a professed Marxist, but he always makes sure he gets paid when he has to come in for an hour or two on a non-duty day. I’m sure he’d say that human nature will be transformed once the revolution comes — including his own.

        • K. Dershem says

          @Amin – you’d lose that bet, because I do. Very strange comment.

    • Tersitus says

      I think you’re getting the hang of it, EO— you’ll be getting job offers to write diversity grant applications shortly.

  4. Truthseeker says

    We need to take back the language as the author is doing here. Let me do it in three sentences;

    Diversity of thought
    Equality of opportunity
    Inclusivity of temperament

    For many human endeavours skin tone, facial features and gender are irrelevant. It is only the SJWs that keep making them important and divisive.

  5. Quote:
    Much of the time, when I bring this up with my colleagues in academia, the response is some variation of “Look at all the white supremacists!” This is a terrible argument. It’s like responding to, “Why don’t you get a flu shot?” with “Look at all the people who die from cancer!” White supremacists have not overtaken the academy. Self-described radicals, activists, and Marxists have.

    I think you are completely misunderstanding the statement being made here by your colleagues. They are not worried about neo-nazis taking power, it has nothing to do with that kind of thing. They are warning you that you will be defined as a white supremacist for saying things that go against the toxic form of social justice. They’ve redefined “white supremacist” in this way, the same way they’ve redefined diversity, inclusion etc. That also explains why they talk as though it is everywhere, and why they DO see it in the academy – they are using a definition of the word that is entirely unrelated to what a normal person would understand it to mean.

  6. “Social Justice – Common: Fairness for people.”

    Oh hell no. Let’s break down what ‘social justice’ means, technically. ‘Justice’ means a perpetrator pays back what’s owed to a victim. ‘Social’ means, as pertaining to groups of people.

    So ‘social justice’ means that groups of people are expected to pay back damages to other groups. And let’s say that those groups might be defined by class, or race, or sex, or any number of attributes.

    It means that if White Man “A” robs Black Woman “B”, then White Man “C” can reasonably be expected to be charged for it.

    Social justice is no kind of justice at all, and anyone who pays lip service to this bastardisation of morality, is an enemy of actual justice. Everyone ought to know this by now.

    • ga gamba says

      You break it down really well.

      You’re more woke than the woke. And I mean this as a compliment.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @Nick

      You make excellent use of the transitive property. Keep up the good work!

    • Lydia says

      What was it Hayek said about social justice? it was something to the effect of, ‘if you have to put a qualifer in front of “Justice”, it’s no longer Justice’.

  7. thousandleaves says

    I sincerely hope that Professor Jussim will survive any repercussions of this gauntlet thrown at the feet of those who would twist attempts at equal treatment into a reverse inequality. Time will tell if his colleagues at Rutgers and the administration will stand by him when the mob comes for his job.

    And in case anyone would minimize what he risks by his statement, he is not just any tenured professor, but the director of the graduate program and acting chair of the psychology department. While the chairmanship is likely more of a chore than a position of power, his heading of the graduate program means that, at the very least, he has some influence on the current and future psychology Ph.D.s coming out of Rutgers. If more of them would follow his stance, that means fewer recruits in academia supporting the quasi-status quo. So, they will come for him, or risk being marginalized as the overreaching tail-that-wags-the-dog that they are.

  8. Ray Andrews says

    The man has guts. Errr …. I mean the guy suffers from toxic masculinity and Privilege. BTW shouldn’t it be: DIE? As in the real agenda which is essentially ‘DIE (whitey)’?

  9. Donald Collins says

    They fight not for social justice, but for social tyranny.

    T

  10. Dan Flehmen says

    As an old liberal, I am far more afraid of the modern left than the same stupid old far right, precisely because the intolerant, authoritarian, god-is-on-our-side left controls the media and the academy, hence the minds of our children.

    • K. Dershem says

      In the U.S., the right currently controls 2 1/2 of the branches of government — and the media is far more diverse than it used to be. I’m equally concerned by extremists on both ends of the spectrum.

      • Jay Salhi says

        @ K. Dershem

        Dan referred to the “stupid old far right” and you respond with a comment about the mainstream right, as if they were one and the same.

        • K. Dershem says

          I think the current Republican Party is far right. That’s a view shared by many political scientists and former Republicans. Ronald Reagan and John McCain were mainstream conservatives; they would have no place in the modern GOP.

          • K. Dershem says

            Although the Democratic Party has moved to the left since this was written in 2015, I think it remains mostly accurate:

            “Today’s Republican Party…is an insurgent outlier. It has become ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition, all but declaring war on the government. The Democratic Party, while no paragon of civic virtue, is more ideologically centered and diverse, protective of the government’s role as it developed over the course of the last century, open to incremental changes in policy fashioned through bargaining with the Republicans, and less disposed to or adept at take-no-prisoners conflict between the parties. This asymmetry between the parties, which journalists and scholars often brush aside or whitewash in a quest for ‘balance,’ constitutes a huge obstacle to effective governance.”

            ― Thomas E. Mann, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism

          • Saw file says

            I don’t think the current Republican Party is far right. That is a view shared by many political scientists and current Republicans.
            I think that the Democratic Party is extreme left. That is a view shared by many political scientists and former Democrats. FDR and Debs would be right at home in the modern DNC.

            WOW….this is easy!

          • Jay Salhi says

            You provided a quote from 2015, which predates the Democratic party losing its mind in response to the outcome of the 2016 election.

            The Republicans are closer to the center than the Democrats. I never thought I’d say that (I’ve never voted Republican in my life) but the leading Dem candidates are in a competition to see who can be the most woke (i.e, the biggest far left imbecile). The party has been taken over by a faction that is illiberal and authoritarian and promotes and agenda that will have the exact opposite effect of its stated intention (allegedly making things better for the most vulnerable). If you don’t believe me, explain how all the leading candidates endorsed the patently absurd Green New Deal.

          • E. Olson says

            Mainstream View
            Democrat pre-2008 Republican pre-2008

            Taxes higher the better lower the better
            Welfare more the better workfare not welfare
            Defense cut, cut, cut stronger, stronger, stronger
            Abortion legal but rare killing of innocent life
            Racism temporary affirmative action equal rights
            Feminism equal rights ditto
            Border Control fences make good neighbors ditto
            Israel support ditto
            Marriage only between man and woman ditto

            Mainstream View
            Democrat current Republican current

            Taxes soak the rich lower the better
            Welfare more the better workfare not welfare
            Defense cut, cut, cut stronger, stronger, stronger
            Abortion infantcide should be legal killing of innocent life
            Racism permanent checks on white privilege equal rights
            Feminism ban toxic masculinity equal rights
            Border Control open borders build the wall
            Israel Palestinian right of return support
            Marriage gay marriage or bankruptcy mixed support for gay marriage

            Which party has changed and become more extreme?

          • K. Dershem says

            E., you’re misrepresenting Democratic positions (the party does not support “open borders,” the right of return for Palestinians, significant cuts to defense spending, infanticide, or “banning” of toxic masculinity [whatever that means]). You can obviously find individual Democrats who make extreme statements, but they don’t represent the mainstream of the party — any more than Steve King’s views on white nationalism represent the GOP’s platform. You’re also ignoring or misstating the degree to which Republicans have shifted right. Reagan signed an amnesty bill; W. was prepared to sign a comprehensive immigration bill in 2005. McCain co-sponsored bills to restrict campaign contributions (which passed, but has subsequently been gutted by Supreme Court decisions) and address climate change (which did not pass). (I know you don’t believe in AGW, but the GOP is the only major political party in the world which denies climate change — it’s clearly an outlier.) In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation proposed a market-based approach to health care as an alternative to single-payer systems. In 2009, Republicans attacked the ACA as “a socialistic takeover of health care” (it did expand Medicaid, but support for Medicaid used to be bipartisan). During the Obama administration, Senate Republicans used the filibuster an unprecedented number of times. They refused to work with Obama on almost anything — even on policies that they previously supported.

            Jay, the version of the Green New Deal proposed by Markley and AOC has zero change of getting passed, even if the Democrats win the presidency and the Congress in 2020. Candidates are virtue signaling to primary voters in expressing their support. The Democratic Party has not been taken over by illiberal progressive activists — Pelosi and Schumer are still in charge. In contrast, the GOP is currently being led by a President who is “illiberal and authoritarian.”

            I’m sure that neither of you will agree with my analysis, but my broader point is that right-wing policies have a far greater impact on the lives of Americans than antics of the illiberal left. Quillette is understandably fixated on the latter — that’s it’s raison d’etre — but I think concern about the regressive left should be kept in context.

          • Alistair says

            “I think the current Republican Party is far right”

            Of course you do. Because you can’t think in quantitative or measurable terms. Just Feelz. So your subjective judgements seriously warps your view of reality. Many “political scientists” simply share your biases; skewed criteria and skewed metrics. Bubble. Bubble. Bubble.

            Go away and do a policy-by-policy take on the 1984 platforms vs the 2016 Republican platforms then come back here to make you claims. Oh, and while you are at it, define “far right” in meaningful terms; not just “people I disagree with”.

          • E. Olson says

            K – surprised you could make heads or tails out of my failed attempt to have nicely spaced columns. As to your points:

            Yes Reagan did sign an amnesty bill, but on the condition of tighter border security to keep further illegals from entering, but of course the tighter security never came. The failure of GW Bush and McCain to gain comprehensive immigration reform was largely based on fears by the mainstream Republicans that border security and other measures to keep out illegals would again be watered down or never implemented. So the mainstream Republican position has consistently been to have strong border control and strictly enforced legal immigration, which was also the mainstream position of the Democrats until recently when they have switched to proposals that disband ICE and knock down existing fences – otherwise known as open borders.

            Infantcide is now the law in New York and is in a bill in the Virginia legislature, and there are no mainstream Democrats talking about anything except expanding abortion rights and funding, so the 1992 Clinton pledge of legal, safe, and rare abortion is long gone. Republicans have not changed at all on abortion.

            Healthcare – yes the Heritage Foundation did propose a market based health care plan in the 1990s, but it was never adopted as a mainstream Republican position. Romneycare was implemented in a Democrat state by a Republican governor in a weak position, and was a mixed success that Romney did not propose implementing nationally in his 2008 or 2012 presidential campaigns. Personally I liked a lot of the Heritage plan built on health savings accounts and cheap, high deductible catastrophic health care insurance, but such a plan would never get support from Democrats who have been pushing single payer since the Truman administration. Obamacare did not receive Republican support because it was an unworkable plan that was marketed to the American people with lies (i.e. you can keep your plan and doctor if you want, and save $2500), and it has proven to be a failure in practice. And speaking of cooperation, I think you are forgetting that Obama told Republicans shortly after taking office in 2009 that “elections have consequences” as a rebuff to any Republican inputs.

            Support of Israel used to be an area of agreement between Democrats and Republicans, but Democrats are now all in with the Palestinians and Muslims in general.

            The Republican party ended slavery, and were the first to give women the vote, so have always been for equal rights. Once they gave up on their KKK efforts, Democrats also became a party promoting equal rights, but now are all about equal outcomes by discriminating against males, whites, heterosexuals, and Christians. Bernie Sanders is getting crap from his how party because he is male, white, and heterosexual. The Democrats were also with agreement with Republicans that marriage was a union between a man and woman until 2010, but now not only insist on the right to gay marriage, but that every baker and pizza place in the country cater gay weddings or get sued by the government. Republicans are mixed, with substantial portions supporting gay marriage (but none supporting forced wedding cake baking), and substantial portions against gay marriage (but more widely supporting legal civil unions for gay couples). So again, the Democrats have gone extreme.

          • K. Dershem says

            E.,

            You’re wrong about Democrats supporting open borders; that’s a right-wing smear which only applies to radical leftists and extreme libertarians.

            “Democrats have argued that building a wall on the southwestern border is ineffective and a waste of resources, and rejected hard-line proposals to limit legal immigration. But Mr. Trump is grossly exaggerating Democrats’ positions when he conflates their opposition to his signature campaign promise and immigration priorities as “open borders.” And there is no evidence that they ‘want anybody,’ including MS-13, to enter the United States freely.

            While criticizing Mr. Trump’s immigration policies, the Democratic National Committee has committed to improving border security.

            Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leaders, have rebutted the president’s charges. Additionally, their aides cited several examples of legislation that are supported by Democrats and would have provided border security funding.”

            https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/us/politics/fast-check-donald-trump-democrats-open-borders.html

            In the past, Republicans supported a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other illegal immigrants. Now most elected Republicans reject those proposals out of hand. Obama deported an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants in hopes convincing Republicans that he was serious about immigration; they refused to negotiate.

            Late-term abortions are vanishingly rare. Again, charges of Democrats supporting “infanticide” is a right-wing smear.

            “The idea that abortion providers tear apart full-term, viable babies about to breathe has animated the right for a long time. It’s the stuff of pulp fiction, and the myth bears little resemblance to reality. In the U.S., most abortions are performed early in the first trimester. Second-term are rare and third-term abortions are rarest of all, representing around one percent of all abortion performed in the U.S. Later abortions are usually performed because a woman’s health is at risk, or because of fetal nonviability. Nobody gets a third-term abortion for the hell of it. It’s an invasive, costly, and sometimes physically painful process, and women who need these procedures are usually in emotional distress over the loss of a wanted pregnancy.”

            http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/01/no-virginia-democrats-dont-support-infanticide.html

            Obama bent over backwards to work with Republicans on the ACA early in the process. When it became clear that they were unwilling to negotiate, it was ultimately passed on a party-line vote. The ACA is neither unworkable nor a failure. It’s far from perfect, but it’s significantly reduced the number of uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies. Some Americans have suffered due to rising insurance premiums (families which make too much to qualify for subsidies), but the net effects has been positive — especially in states that expanded access to Medicaid. The failure of Republicans to repeal and replace the ACA when they controlled Congress shows that they have no viable alternative.

            “The Republican party ended slavery, and were the first to give women the vote, so have always been for equal rights.” True — that was a long, long time ago. Almost all of the Southern whites who were segregationist Democrats switched (over a period of decades) to the Republican party, and the GOP has employed a race-baiting “Southern strategy” for decades. Right-wing activists successfully defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Republican office-holders were overwhelmingly opposed to gay marriage until very recently, when some have shifted their views in response to changing public opinion. It’s very possible that the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court will overturn the Obergefell decision and return the issue of marriage equality to the states. Even before Kavanaugh replaced Kennedy, the Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and enabled states to enact voter suppression policies. Should a baker who provides services to the public be allowed to refuse to make a wedding cake for an interracial couple because his religion prohibits miscegenation? I don’t think so, but YMMV.

            “Democrats also became a party promoting equal rights, but now are all about equal outcomes by discriminating against males, whites, heterosexuals, and Christians.” That’s interesting, because the according to surveys the leading candidate for the Dems’ presidential nomination is Joe Biden, even though he hasn’t declared yet. Yes, some activists prefer Kamala Harris because she ticks the proper demographic boxes, but activists do not represent the party as a whole.

            There! Now you can’t accuse me of not responding point-by-point or offering arguments. 🙂

          • E. Olson says

            K – thank you for your point by point response, but I think I see the problem based on your answers. You don’t seem to realize you are on a Democrat ship floating in a Leftward direction further and further from the Republican shore, and you are erroneously attributing the increasing distance to the shore moving away from your stationary Democrat ship.

            None of your responses refute my points that Republican positions have not changed much since the Reagan era (except a bit leftward on gay rights), but you really don’t address my points about how Democrats have charged Left. A majority of Democrats voted for a wall in 2006, now Nancy and Chuck call walls immoral – that is called a mainstream Leftward shift. 1990s Bill Clinton wanted abortion to be legal, safe, and rare, Democrats just voted against a bill that would force medical staff to save an aborted but still living baby – that is called a mainstream Leftward shift. Taking bakers to court for not baking gay wedding cakes is a very leftward shift from the mainstream Democrat position that marriage was between a man and woman that prevailed past the 2008 election (remember Bill Clinton signed the defense of marriage act).

            You may not like the mainstream Republican position on many issues, but they are largely the same as they were years ago when many Democrats agreed with them.

      • Carolyn says

        You say the media are far more diverse than they used to be. That depends on ones’ definition of “diverse”. If you mean the usual litany of superficial diversity like skin color, sex, etc., that is true but meaningless. But if you mean diverse as in ideological diversity, that is observably false. Reporter Lara Logan of CBS is only the latest media insider to expose the leftist ideological conformity demanded by the legacy media.

        The media polices their own ranks relentlessly, as witnessed by the swift smackdown of veteran Tom Brokaw when he committed the thought crime of suggesting that the U.S. could do a better job at assimilating immigrants.

        The media complex have turned themselves into modern day Tourquemadas, ossified by their ideological rigidity and poised to attack anyone who strays outside their accepted bounds of cultural and political conformity.

        • K. Dershem says

          Carolyn, the media hasn’t been limited to CBS, NBC and ABC in several decades. Very few Americans under the age of 60 even watch network news. I was referring to the “media” in a much more expansive sense: cable news (Fox is clearly conservative), talk radio (aside from NPR, it’s dominated by conservatives), websites (Breitbart et al.), Facebook news feeds (which funnel conservative stories to members who have “liked” previous conservative stories), etc. It’s true that most reporters lean liberal on social issues (but not necessarily economic ones), because they’re college-educated professionals who live in large urban areas. However, many bend over backwards trying to include conservative perspectives because they’re constantly accused of having liberal bias.

          There are plenty of centrist news sources available for people who seek them, just as there are dozens and dozens with center-left, center-right, left-wing and right-wing biases (see https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/). Unfortunately, people have a tendency to seek out sources which confirm their own biases instead of challenging them, resulting in an echo-chamber effect.

          • Jay Salhi says

            @ K. Dershem

            “the version of the Green New Deal proposed by Markley and AOC has zero change of getting passed, even if the Democrats win the presidency and the Congress in 2020.”

            I agree but that does not excuse the leading Dem Presidential candidates from endorsing it. Insanity is OK because it will never pass? The willingness of Presidential candidates to endorse the GND is an indication of what direction the Democratic base has moved.

  11. Allan Revesz says

    I think Ctrl left is a good mirror term to the Alt right….now if we just hit the del key,

    • Tersitus says

      A good take on our digital politics and “cut and paste”, thinking, AR.

  12. Farris says

    Regarding oppression or its misuse:

    “People who live under real oppression have no need to fabricate oppression. When you live in an oppressive country, there’s no one you can take your grievances to because that is what it means to live in an oppressive country!”
    “When you live in North Korea, you can’t go to the local police and gripe about your working conditions or the sawdust in your bread.”
    Johna Goldberg

  13. Here, I will play devil’s advocate off your statement:

    “I am not afraid of welcoming […] human diversity into the halls of academe, wealth, and power.”

    Can you say you expect anyone competing in these arenas to “play fair” just because the humans involved are more diverse?

    Wealth and power don’t even pretend to offer a defense. They’ve always been treated as zero sum games. I get land when you lose land. I get influence when you lose influence. We might negotiate a peace to parade around in our chivalrous masks, but we both know how the score is kept.

    Academia may seem a bit more noble on the surface, but still rides the shoulders of wealth and power. It’s not the world of the lone scholar who sits in his or her room searching for truth. It’s the world of peer reviews, papers, and prestigious awards.

    You say you “have academic colleagues who seem to truly believe that social justice cannot be criticized or mocked and that leashing men like dogs is a defensible idea.”

    Centuries ago, I’m sure people had colleagues who seemed to truly believe that the idea that men should run everything could not be criticized or mocked, and that banning women from academic study was a defensible idea.

    So I say, you’re right, you don’t hate the players.

    Nothing has changed. You just hate the game.

  14. The above redefinition of “diversity” has long been a bugbear of mine.

    When teaching Experimental Design I always mention that principles like randomisation and blocking become especially important in any experiment involving people because people are so variable/diverse. When I say “diverse” rather than “variable” I always have to add that I mean “diverse” in the correct sense, not just as a euphemism for “visible diversity”.

    Diversity1: everybody is different, and should be allowed to be different

    Diversity2: people can be regarded as belonging to different groups

    There is relentless motte and bailey switching between diversity1 and diversity2 to take advantage of the fact most people agree with diversity1.

  15. Ah yes, throw the term Marxism in there for good measure, as if this social conservatism masquerading as civil rights has anything to do with a socioeconomic critique. While I thoroughly enjoy reading the articles here, they are beginning to sound like the feces that passes muster on HuffingtonPost.

    • Tersitus says

      Huhhh? Out of thousands of words of article and comment, you seize on one passing reference to”self-described Marxists” to jump the shark. It would seem to me anyone who is “self-described” is responsible for having thrown the term in. Really, Max… was he mischaracterizing anything or anyone? And could you please offer a few particulars on “social conservatism masquerading as civil rights”? Is that anything like blackshirt Antifas putting their masks on and masquerading as civil rights crusaders?

      • Someone’s self-description of being a Marxist doesn’t immediately envelope all other tendencies within it.. My point is that there is a growing trend amongst anti/counter-SJWs to equate this cultural superciliousness with an economic critique that has nothing to do with it. It’s not unlike SJWs equating criticism of the APA’s decision on delisting gender dysphoria with fascism or Nazism.

        And this de-platforming or resistance to critique, to the point of suppression and ostracization, if reminiscent of the stifling of free exchange of thought that one can find in regimes such as Turkey or Saudi Arabia. Social-conservatism doesn’t particularly mean conservatism in an ideological sense.

        I’m not sure of the relevance of your comment regarding AntiFa. I don’t condone their nonsense either.

        • Tersitus says

          And where in the article was Jussim making any such equation— or reducing Marx to a social justice warrior?Looks to me like you’re trying to score points on a straw man.
          If you want to defend Marx’s “socioeconomic critique” against false equation and reductive argument, a better place on this site might be the comments section of C.K. Ryan’s article of a few days ago.

          • “Self-described radicals, activists, and Marxists have.” I have no doubt that anyone can find a self-described radical, activist, or Marxist on a campus however to attribute the politically-correct, SJW dogma that has arisen as of late to Marxism reeks of someone with a disdain for anything Marx-related and has found an easy way to tie a negative to an individual/ideology. I wouldn’t dare write a paper and equate a phobia, bigotry, -ism, etc. with any of the “founding fathers”, simply because those as alt-right rallies tend to invoke them.

            I’m not sure if I’ve read the article you’re referring to but in the case that I haven’t, I will read it.

  16. That is the first time I’ve read the Damore EEOC letter. It is frightening, especially this passage:

    “[S]tatements about immutable traits linked to sex—such as women’s heightened neuroticism and men’s prevalence at the top of the IQ distribution—were discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding [redacted] effort to cloak [redacted] comments with “scientific” references and analysis, and notwithstanding “not all women” disclaimers.”

    Basically, in the eyes of the EEOC, you can’t talk about group differences, regardless of how well-supported they are by scientific research, and regardless of any efforts you may take to clarify that presumptions should not be applied to any particular individual.

    • @Mike

      The irony is that they did treat him as an individual by not also adding anything about men’s heightened aggressiveness and higher statistical prevalence of antisocial personality disorder to back it up.

      Aren’t you tired of this yet?

      Please understand that I’m not taking the “feminist side” which will claim the ideal goal is for us all to become equal rats in the race. If you take Damore’s statement at face value, that executive decisions are ideally made unaffected by stress or interpersonal concerns, and you consider the company for which he worked, in 30 years you’ll have a very difficult time arguing against the idea that AI should be developed to function in an executive capacity.

      Because how can you say that men are better suited for executive decisions because they allegedly have a higher stress tolerance, yet not say that a strategically designed decision making algorithm is better suited than men for that very same reason?

      • @Maya

        I don’t think I understand your comment regarding irony, or how it relates to mine.

        I don’t have a particular dog in the fight of whether AI is applied to one task or another, as long as we are able to discuss decisionmaking based on all evidence and argument, without “tabooing” some if it out of consideration.

        • @Mike

          The irony is that what people call Cultural Marxism tends to discuss people-as-a-class based on a class identifier (sex, race, etc), and that even the most radical feminist arguments against men-as-a-class can use class-based statistics to prove their point.

          I would think that more people would be happy this line of thought is considered inappropriate, and see it as a precedent to argue against continued use of that rationale.

          I’ll leave the AI part alone for now, just remember that no matter what the AI is made for, it was always designed with a purpose in mind.

          • There is nothing wrong or ironic with discussing the relative prevalence of attributes among particular groups of people, as long as one remains cognizant that it is not an excuse for making assumptions regarding any particular group member. It is silly to assume that 90% of the prison population is male because of sexist discrimination, for example, and it should not be taboo or illegal to *postulate* that this could arise from inherent attributes that are more prevalent in males than females. It is equally silly to presume that any particular male is a violent criminal simply because of his sex.

  17. @Mike

    Take these two separate lines of thought and combine them.

    1. The majority of corporate executives are male.
    2. The majority of violent and antisocial criminals are male.

    If you believe there is a biological cause for both 1 and 2 and then consider the absolute state of disaster the human world is in today, you’ll open a fun new can of worms to play with.

    Then you’ll start to see why people are talking about AI so much.

    I’m not trying to talk about “sexist discrimination” in the middle of the culture war. I’m trying to talk about the focus on class dynamics as a part of the war machine.

    • @Maya

      You seem to be side-swiping at points with innuendo rather than simply stating them. I’m not particularly interested in a new can of worms to play with, but I do not believe the human world is an an absolute state of disaster (at least as compared to thousands of years of human history).

      • @Mike

        We can definitely agree to disagree, but I’m not really trying to state points.

        Instead, I’m sharing thoughts.

        Now my thoughts say it’s probably best to leave it alone.

        Peace.

  18. DiamondLil says

    Campaigning against lynching is not the same as demanding your turn holding the rope.

  19. Alan G says

    Dr. Jussim,

    “At Our University, we value truth, reason, evidence, and accomplishments. We don’t care about your politics or demographics. We realize that ‘justice’ means different things to different people, so we reject declarations of loyalty to any ideology.”

    A brave and cogent declaration. May I suggest an expansion, one perhaps appropriate to a place of learning:

    • We propose to seek truth and discover error, therefore none shall block the way of inquiry.

    • We esteem truth, reason, evidence and attainments.

    • We disregard doctrinal, religious, political and ideological allegiances.

    • We treat demographic, ethnic and sexual distinctions as extraneous and irrelevant.

    • All shall be considered equally against the same criteria, no other egalitarian test shall be recognised.

    • All admissions, assessments and preferments shall be considered and decided on the basis of relevant attainments alone.

    • All shall enjoy freedom of expression and association: these rights shall not be abridged, except where contrary to any other of these principles.

    • All acts of injustice, intolerance, coercion and aggression shall be impartially judged and appropriately sanctioned: penalties may include expulsion.

    I do not advance or intend this as definitive, nor even elegant, but rather in the hope of keeping this particular ball in play.

  20. Allen Farrington says

    I enjoyed and appreciated the article, but am eagerly anticipating somebody with some clout just coming out and saying that universities are finished. They are an insurance product against social failure, but the insured against event is almost entirely an illusion, especially given that buying the insurance cripples the typical student for life and goes far further towards guaranteeing failure than does buying into the scaremongering of the insurance salesmen. Once large employers start realising that university indoctrinated graduates are useless and disruptive as employees and are moved to adopt standards of accepting nontraditional education, the transition will happen very quickly and be scary and disorienting for many. But better to come to peace with it now, methinks …

  21. ““At Our University, we value truth, reason, evidence, and accomplishments. We don’t care about your politics or demographics. We realize that ‘justice’ means different things to different people, so we reject declarations of loyalty to any ideology.”

    This seems to be a pretty accurate description of Hillsdale College – hillsdale.edu

  22. Tom More says

    These are the natural consequences of the loss of a teleological understanding of life. So we spend our lives bowing to materialist philosophical principles leaving us with.. hearts just happen to beat… not hearts are supposed to beat. This includes everything about us, especially sex organs of course where much of the insanity is centered. The solution? Rediscover western realism..Aristotelian logic.. which founded the west. Final cause, meaning , purpose.. 17th century materialism is breaking down. Philosopher Ed Feser or Mortimer Adler are good at leading out the lost souls. Time to get real folks.

  23. James Lewthwaite says

    Just came to say I’m loving the comments as much as the articles. I’m currently studying a Masters in Linguistics and my dissertation is in the area of political discourse analysis, the articles on this site are very thought provoking and inspiring.

  24. Bill Frays says

    This essay is BS. He thinks he’s a brave man. He thinks he’s found a new path. The reality is he is late to this party.

    This intolerance in academia has been going on for years. Just look at people like Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, Glen Loury, etc., who were either isolated or shown the door for voicing their thoughts.

    Where were people like this writer back then? It’s utterly disgusting that we are lifting up people like Bret Weinsten, his wife, and others. What is the difference between now and back then? Let’s just be frank, nobody was going to stick out their neck for a black man. Now, that these injustices are starting to happen to white people, oh let’s play the violin…

    And here’s a huge difference: the men before never played victim or tried to write anything as pathetic as this drivel. They were true men and pressed on, creating new thoughts and ideas. That’s who we should be paying attention to — not this crap.

  25. Jean-Pierre Rupp says

    How widespread is this in the Western world. It seems that this social justice cult is the orthodoxy in all universities, white collar industry, and sectors of government. How can we asssess how far the damage goes? Is it too late? Are we heading into a neo-Marxist dystopia?

    • Dolphinson says

      I wonder if it is too late. The students I have are not only incapable of critical thinking–as they should be, since college is the place to learn that–but resistant to it when they see it as a threat to their own interests or ideologies. They’re already rewritten history: Whites wants to cut off welfare now that they are no longer immigrants and slavery was the genesis of all American wealth.

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