Phi Beta Cons

Kudos to the Harvard Crimson

It ran a good, brave piece today, “Noble Lies: At Harvard, affirmative action takes its toll,” by Sahil K. Mahtani.
The bottom line is exactly right – even if you think that PC faculty diversity provides some benefit (and any benefit is, in my opinion, greatly exaggerated), you must weigh it against the undeniable and myriad costs of hiring discrimination (which is what you are doing if you consider race and ethnicity in making the decision).
It is personally unfair, passes over better qualified individuals, and sets a disturbing legal, political, and moral precedent in allowing racial discrimination; it creates resentment; it stigmatizes the so-called beneficiaries in the eyes of their students, colleagues, and themselves (this is the point made by the piece); it fosters a victim mindset, removes the incentive for academic excellence, and encourages separatism; it compromises the academic mission of the university and lowers the overall academic quality of the faculty; it creates pressure to discriminate subsequently, for raises, promotions, and the like; it breeds hypocrisy within the school; it encourages a scofflaw attitude among college officials; it mismatches professors and institutions, guaranteeing failure for many of the former; it papers over the real social problem of why so many blacks and Hispanics are academically uncompetitive; it gets schools involved in unsavory activities like deciding which racial and ethnic minorities will be favored and which ones not, and how much blood is needed to establish group membership.
Oh, and it’s illegal, by the way.


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