Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Another Black Eye for ‘Diversity’


Right on the heels of the pummeling Roger Clegg (and others) dished out for Prof. James Sterba’s thoughts about the supposed benefits of continuing “affirmative action” policies to ensure “diversity” in college student bodies, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal writes about The ‘Diversity’ Sham. (It’s the top piece in yesterday’s WSJ “Best of the Web.”)

Taranto specifically covers a flap at NYU that was brought on when Tunku Varadarajan, columnist now also teaching at NYU’s Stern School of Business, wrote that the killings at Fort Hood were a religiously motivated act of messianic violence. Of course, all hell broke loose over that.

Muslim students complained that Varadarajan’s statement was “hate-mongering.” The NYU administration fell into line, attacking Varadarajan.

Taranto’s summation is right on target: “This is how ‘diversity’ works in practice: Intellectual contention is drowned out in a sea of emotion, much of it phony. Members of designated victim groups respond to a serious argument with ‘pain’ and ’shock’ and accusations of ‘hate,’ and university administrators make a show of pretending to care.”

But we must remember that “diversity” produces great “educational benefits” for colleges and universities. The Supreme Court fell for that risible assertion in  Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003, leading Taranto to conclude, “Every incident of this sort makes it clearer how the University of Michigan played Justice O’Connor and her colleagues for fools.”

Precisely so.


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