Phi Beta Cons

The University’s High Seat in the ‘Kingdom of Lies’

Victor Davis Hanson counts the countless untruths by which we have been bombarded for decades in the “kingdom of lies” that we inhabit.

Driven by egalitarian aims and self-interest, the “ministries” of media, government, the arts and entertainment industry, and, of course, the university, have perpetrated all manner and form of lies.

Hanson describes, for example, the procedural sleight of hand employed to ensure proportional racial representation at UC Berkeley, which

is worried about diversity since blacks and Latinos are underrepresented (as are whites) while Asians are vastly “overrepresented.” . . . I understand how such proportional representation will eventually be achieved by various ministries, and all contrary to state law: the underrepresented whites will be assumed to be overrepresented, the Asians will be quietly and insidiously pruned back by considering “community service” in preference to grades and test scores, and far more African-Americans and Latinos will be admitted by rejecting unfair criteria such as meaningless grades and test scores. . . . This — not science or the humane arts — will be mostly the business of the architects of undergraduate education. The alternatives? They are too ghastly to contemplate. Just let things alone, and the underrepresented communities will decide on their own why they are not going to college in sufficient numbers, and take self-help measures to the degree they see it as a problem — or shrug and admit that the ministries are using archaic neo-Confederate racial criteria in a mixed-up, intermarried world where one needs a genealogist to plot one’s precise racial ancestry.

Through such thickets of lies we subjects have been conditioned to wend our way circumspectly, taking it for granted, as Hanson heavy-heartedly observes, that what we see and read is “simply not true — and cannot be said to be untrue.”

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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