Friday, February 04, 2005

Diversity Experts Angry - College Freshman are Colorblind

A recent survey conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) reveals that college freshman "are less preoccupied with race and diversity." Stuart Silverstein reports for the LAT "that a record high 22.7% of freshmen said racial discrimination was no longer a major problem in America," and "just 29.7% of the nation's college freshmen characterized 'helping to promote racial understanding' as an essential or very important personal goal. That was the lowest level ever in the 28 years that the poll has raised the question," as opposed to a record high of 46.4% in 1992.

The experts are worried. Sylvia Hurtado, director of HERI at UCLA, said "the freshman views on race were troubling." Why? "'There are different groups in society experiencing life differently in the United States, and that's always historically been the case,' she said. 'If they don't see these issues as important, we won't be able to change that.'" Apparently the tautology of her statement escapes her-what if the reason students "don't see these issues as important" is because they are increasingly "experiencing life" together, and in much the same way? After all, we are all equally human beings, aren't we?

Anthony Lising Antonio, Assistant Professor at Stanford's School of Education, is quoted as saying: "I worry about these trends, because they may indicate that our youth are beginning to take on an attitude of color unconsciousness, a kind of colorblindness that allows them to ignore racial diversity..." Professor Antonio's remarks reveal the naked absurdity of the new science of diversity that infests the academy. He is worried that students are increasingly colorblind?

He and his cohorts no doubt reject the famed dissenting words of Justice Harlan in Plessy V. Ferguson, when Harlan proclaimed that "our Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among its citizens?" As Edward J. Erler said in the Summer, 2004 edition of the Claremont Review of Books, " has become orthodoxy among liberal constitutionalists to argue that adherence to the idea of a colorblind Constitution was a mistake."

Thankfully, the young are far wiser than many of those who are certified to teach them. Unlike their elders, who define people by their pigmentation, many of the next generation truly disregard what color skin people happen to have. Often without realizing it, their reason and experience reveal to them the self-evident truths of the Declaration that are accessible to all men-truths which their teachers utterly reject.

"UCLA freshman Karina Hernandez...says she isn't especially concerned with the issue of race and ethnic relations." Karina "brushed aside" the "worries" of Professor Antonio: "'You don't need any extra, hard-core official concentration on learning about other cultures. It'll just happen' as part of a student's experience, she said."

The UCLA study provides no data on how college seniors respond to the same questions after four years in the artifical environment of the modern academy with the likes of Professor Antonio-one wonders. But if the survey is to be trusted, Karina and others like her will weather the silly, race-baiting world of the academy well.



How Leftists hate their own society: The post below is lifted bodily from Daily Ablution in London, U.K.

BBC political editor Andrew Marr, writing in the Telegraph, reminds us of an interesting exchange that featured in his Start the Week programme (which, as the BBC website modestly informs us, "sets the cultural agenda every Monday"). Marr recalls:

"... a guest I had on Start the Week, the theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, who believes that we are living among many parallel universes, possibly in different dimensions all around us. He further believes that, as our universe accelerates towards a final chill nothingness, humans may eventually be able to escape through a "wormhole" and start again in alternative dimensions."

Now I suspect that most people would, upon hearing this theory, react with either "that's utterly bonkers" or "cool!" (I'm one of the latter, since you ask - and Mr. Kaku makes it sound almost plausible. A few million years from now, anyway.)

But Carol Rutter is not most people - as a professor of English, an academic steeped in Western European guilt, her first reaction (streaming RAM, ~11:18 in) reveals an ear that is precisely tuned to the ever-present bogeyman of colonial injustice:

"I was thrown back on the last time Western Europe discovered a parallel universe, when we discovered the New World - and when we went into that world we as colonisers didn't actually work very well to the benevolence of what we found there. And I just wondered if we go into a parallel universe - if there's going to be somebody there - what is our relationship going to be to those people, or those aliens who are there, and are we going to have as disastrous a future in this parallel universe as we've had in our own?"

Sage nodding all round...

Onora O'Neill, who appeared on the same broadcast, is not most people either - she's a moral philosopher! On the programme to support her arguments for limiting freedom of the press (Fox News being the predictable exemplar of why stricter controls are needed), she describes how terrorist acts ought to be covered by the media (~32:00 - emphasis added):

"Report terrorism, not by reporting the violence that terrorists do, but by trying to understand what terrorists are trying to communicate."

In other words, the press should ignore the brutal reality of mass murder and reduce such acts to the equivalent of an earnest Radio 4 conversation among academics (rather than, say, a Dadaist happening - the latter being notoriously difficult to decode).

Listening to Monday's broadcast, I was struck by how neatly these two excerpts illustrated (once again) the moral vacuity of a certain prevalent brand of academic thought. We have, of course, seen such examples time and time again, so this in itself is nothing new. But what's interesting about this particular manifestation is that it so starkly points out the consequences of this self-flagellating mindset.

The likes of Ms. Rutter and Ms. O'Neill are wracked with a feeling of collective guilt so extreme that, given the opportunity, they would hesitate to save the entire species from certain extinction because of the chance of a negative effect on some quite possibly nonexistent aliens.

But this is not altogether surprising, since they're also quite ready stand back and watch (or, rather, deconstruct some communication) as the civilisation that makes them so ashamed - that which allows the existence of English professors and moral philosophers - is similarly threatened.

No comments: