So let us examine some realistic aspects of those three foundational branches of “Diversity’s Promise”: It must be an imperative; it must be inclusive; and it must differentiate:
Since this campus is in San Diego County, there is a perfect example that I personally recall regarding the U.S. Navy in San Diego. LT Kara Hultgreen was a Navy Pilot over twenty years ago who was artificially thrust forward through a jet training pipeline because there was a “Top-Down Imperative” (from Washington) to produce a female F-14 Fighter Pilot. Her flight performance record as a student would never have permitted her to get as far as she had if she were a male F-14 pilot. She was killed in 1994 behind the tail of the USS Abraham Lincoln, having stalled her airplane out through pilot-error, crashing the $38 million dollar fighter jet into the Pacific Ocean, and almost killing her backseat Radar Intercept Officer (who safely ejected).
My point is not that women don’t have a place as Navy Jet Pilots (there are countless women in the field of aviation), but they would have fallen naturally into this position as those with “The Right Stuff” were given the opportunities. The point is the Navy’s affirmative action imperative resulted in an unqualified candidate and a real-life catastrophe. Similarly, the line of thought Dr. Smith makes can be compared to making it an imperative to fit a square peg into a round hole, wishing to fit as many different shapes as possible into that round hole. If the square peg or other shapes don’t fit into the round hole, then modify the round hole until that new peg can be forced in!
As an employee in a field that requires demanding skills, experience and scientific knowledge, the idea of rewriting the job descriptions to reflect this new diversity mandate essentially trivializes serious professions, and I view this as more a disservice to the institution, one that could easily produce an accident as in the Hultgreen story or at least drag down its overall effectiveness or efficiency.
I do know the professor’s answer to this as she had referred to it many times that evening: “Excellence!” We shouldn’t allow placement in this new position unless the candidate possesses the excellence that is required. But how is excellence measured? This opens another can of worms, one that challenges the meritocracy question as it relates to hiring for employment or selecting applicants for a college freshman student body — an issue that really was not seriously addressed in her talk. As an older man myself having had a long exposure to our world, I would advocate that society needs to bite the bullet and accept the evidence and conclusions presented in Herrnstein and Murray’s The Bell Curve — that there are real differences between groups in traits important for success in today’s society and that there is no magic wand available to change them. The Bell Curve presents the truth egalitarian-minded liberals hate and refuse to recognize: that there is a bell curve, with highly intelligent, average, and lesser intelligent peoples of all races and groups. We are not all created equal.
It would behoove Dr. Smith (and other scientists and authors who share her philosophy) to reread the concluding, “The Way We Are Headed”, “A Place for Everyone,” and the “Afterword.” And then, maybe, she should reconsider the profound direction she is taking, and its potential consequences. I postulate that this bell curve applies also to other abilities such as athletics or the creative arts. One thing for sure is that, by assuming that all groups should be represented at all levels of various hierarchies depending on their percentage of the population, Dr. Smith ignores the conflicting data presented in The Bell Curve. Her diversity imperatives can potentially be disastrous, and in any case they are unfair to those with real merit.
Regarding the clause that her diversity proposition must be inclusive: The professor’s answers only validated those White associations which “navigated the issues of White privilege, implicit bias, or the multiplicities and intersectionalities of diverse groups,” as if these were the only kind of identity-embracing issues White groups should be allowed to engage in if they want to associate with each other! Can we say that a double-standard exists?
Now with the “must differentiate” clause, I partly agree with her. Here are some realistic pros and cons:
First the Cons: Each time you break up society into more parts or identities, you are creating more special interests and agendas, thereby introducing ever more conflicts of interest and problems that need resolving. This can lead to insanity trying to deal with them all, and that is why we have laws against discriminating against race, creed, color, gender, ethnicity or veteran status. When we come to work or go to school, isn’t it best practice to keep the blinders on with respect to that and treat others based on their merits, performance and behavior while taking any true disabilities into account? Dr. Smith disagrees. However a scholarly historian might see this “differentiating” mandate as a new “Divide and Conquer” strategy, building a movement of diverse groups, all with a Cultural Marxist interest in undermining our Western Culture and diminishing free speech for the current White Majority — the coalition of the aggrieved. The role of Whites in all this is to be guilty and step aside as all these other groups are promoted.
The Pros: We do need to differentiate groups that historically masquerade under White identity when it benefits them (purposely placing their “out-group” in bad light) or when they get caught in a shameful event (thereby concealing recognition of their true “ingroup” from society). These people embrace another identity completely when they meet in their organizations and their families or accept accolades. For example: Leonardo DiCaprio, White European-American, was cast as the abominable and greedy Jordan Belfort of The Wolf of Wall Street (Belfort is Jewish and very explicitly depicted as Jewish in the autobiographical book version, but no one watching the movie would realize this with DiCaprio playing the lead); and Donald Sterling, a.k.a. the Donald Tokowitz, owner of the L.A. Clippers was described in the media as a “White racist” after his racially tinged comments were caught on tape; or how about the current news where President Obama has nominated yet another “White” Supreme Court Justice, Merrick Garland. Here, the media conveniently omits the fact that it would bring the 2% Jewish population to representing 45% of the highest court in our land — perhaps a bit of over-representation given that there is not one Protestant justice; and then there’s the famous American rabbi, Stephen Wise, who admitted in the 1938 that Jews are Jews first and foremost, saying in a speech: “I was a Jew before I was an American. I’ve been an American all my life, but I’ve been a Jew for 4,000 years”.
Professor Smith made much of the history of our country being a reason for not allowing a fresh start with a centered pendulum. So maybe it’s time to restudy all those White people in the history books, to really scrutinize those who have enabled radical change, advocated and financed the movement against the basic foundations of Western culture, or those who’ve lobbied in Congress not to have their true identities distinguished in censuses as other than White Caucasian … and to see, perhaps, where their identity and agenda might be leading? Apply some differentiation to current affairs and you’ll find that it is not Whites that are privileged.
Not permitting the special interests of organized White people to be recognized is oppressive racism. Shouldn’t Whites organize as Whites, not to engage in self-flagellation about the past, but to assert their very real interests in the present, such as shaping immigration policy in their interests just as every other group does? Inclusiveness in Dr. Smith’s world is exclusive of Whites. This is fraud on her part. And unless we navigate the true inequities and fallacies in the imperative for greater diversity, then we may be in dire straits … as Dr. Daryl Smith’s strategies are being readily accepted, promoted and institutionalized at present, and not just in academia.
There is much beauty in the human diversity of our natural world, but it is truly sad that there may be a day in our distant future where it is not so much seen, thanks to the imperative of professors like Dr. Daryl G. Smith and those at the top who enable her power to make change.