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January 18, 2008

What's New In Diversity

By John Leo

Yale's burgeoning diversity program has another announcement: it wants to "incorporate the role of ethnic counselor into that of freshman counselor, who will become responsible for providing enhanced community support for cultural affairs on campus," according to the Yale Daily News.

What does that mean? Well, according to the News, which neglected to supply an English-language version of the plan, "students would become increasingly aware of extant cultural resources on campus, along with gaining knowledge of new support to be rolled out under the restructure."

Okay, that clears it all up. There is, however, dissent. "This is unbelievable. It reads like an article from the Onion," said the first reader comment on the News site yesterday. "Do these people realize they are becoming laughing stocks?" Apparently not. The feeling at Yale seems to be that most students lack sufficient diversity awareness and are in some danger of going mainstream instead of remaining in their identity cubbyholes.

Yale currently has 90 residential counselors in its 12 residential colleges and only 13 ethnic counselors, hardly enough by today's diversity standards. The Daily News says the ethnic counselors have a "sometimes nebulous role within the college community," but nebulousness seems destined to fade. The goal, as one ethnicity counselor told the News, is to change the culture at Yale so students aren't afraid to talk about diversity and race and "really understand the way in which ethnicity plays a role in their life within the residential colleges." To that end, the "intercultural educators" take a missionary position, planning speeches and intercultural events, and preaching the diversity gospel.

Along the way, the Yale diversicrats seem determined to segment the student population into smaller and smaller identity groups. The university hired a new assistant dean for Native American affairs. In yesterday's Yale Daily News, dean of freshman affairs George Levesque was quoted as opining that it no longer makes sense to lump Saudi, Japanese and Pakistani students into the Asian category. So maybe Yale will have more official ethnic groups and an expanded set of deans for ethnic affairs.

For at least a generation, the relentless spread of diversity ideology on campus has produced a sprawling set of programs apt to pop up almost anywhere on campus, even in dorms, as the indoctrination program at the University of Delaware makes clear. Yale even has a diversity council in its library system. In the last few years, some universities have brought these programs together under a diversity czar. Yale has a chief diversity officer. Ohio University has a vice provost for diversity, access and equity, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a vice president for diversity and climate. The University of Iowa has a special assistant to the president for diversity and associate provost for diversity who oversees the office of equal opportunity and diversity and the center for diversity and enrichment. As the programs multiply, the czars gain ever more clout

Some of the effort is clearly to make diversity rather than merit the standard for admissions and faculty appointments. But there is a vague, quasi-religious belief in diversity for its own sake that believers can never quite explain. Google the question "What does a diversity officer do?" and you get two veteran diversicrats, Damon Williams and Katrina Wade-Gordon, saying this: "Chief diversity officers have responsibility for guiding efforts to conceptualize, define, assess, nurture and cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource... Chief diversity officers define their mission as providing point and coordinating leadership for diversity issues institution-wide."

Ah, so now we know.



Comments (53)

Peg C.:

I work for a 3 letter household global corp. and annual Diversity training is mandatory. It has devolved into ludicracy and even the libs despise and joke about it.

Fortunately it's all online now and easy to complete without actually taking any of it in. That stuff rots the brain, you know.

Peg C.:

Gad, "ludicracy." This is what happens when you work 12 hour night shifts. LUNACY (or ludicrousness) is what I meant.

OrlandoRey:

One thing about "diversity" that always raises my ire is the fact that Americans of European decent cannot be diverse, unless they are gay. A Greek communist, a Polish Catholic and a French Pentecostal would somehow not be "diverse" but children of Tiger Woods, Jennifer Lopez and Oprah (if she had any) would be diverse even if they all went to the same boarding school and lived on the same block.

JohnnyL:

"The goal, as one ethnicity counselor told the News, is to change the culture at Yale so students aren't afraid to talk about diversity and race..."

Hmmmm. In my experience, when you see something like this it means that students and faculty become MORE afraid to really talk about race and diversity as you never know what may get you reported to the diversity infrastructure. Generally the only real talk about these subjects is that which adheres to the company line.

Cris:

Thanks, John. This is nothing more than the attempted institutionalization of thought control.
With its foundation in presumed bias (political, cultural, historical) the diversity officers' role is one of enforcement.
Their jumbled academic jargon and PC phraseology is incomprehensible and thus inhibits free speech, paralyzes independent thought and impresses an attitude of docility onto students by threat of suspension or expulsion. One does not know what to say in response, so one says nothing.

Eric Norris:

Divide and Rule, or Divide et Impera, a venerable technique in the conquest of peoples.

Nice to see that Yale has learned to apply it to the conquest of minds.

nancy reardon:

Actually I kind of like the word ludicracy . . . I think it's a pretty apt term for the diversity czars and their minions--

Rob:

Peg, actually, I think 'ludicracy' is a great coinage - a combination of ludicrous and bureaucracy, which is actually what we have here, a thoroughly ludicrous bureaucracy.

Seems as if these universities are interested in transforming Animal House into Animal Farm.

I think MLK had it right -- judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

Fred B.:

Peg -- don't walk away from your neologism: ludicracy (rule by those who play games) makes absolutely perfect sense to me.

ron:

I think "ludicracy" is a great word and should be added immediately to daily english language usage.

sbw:

Arm yourself. Label Yale's writing for the inanity it is. Then laugh it into submission. Want to learn more? Read Richard Mitchell's "Less Than Words Can Say". Clifton Fadiman called it "The wittiest, the most brilliant and, probably the most penetrating discussion now available of our growing American illiteracy. This book must be read at once, in the short time that remains before all of us become incapable of reading and writing."

Run to read it either online for free or from Amazon - I like the typesetting of the original version.

From Mitchell's foreward, "Words never fail. We hear them, we read them; they enter into the mind and become part of us for as long as we shall live. Who speaks reason to his fellow men bestows it upon them. Who mouths inanity disorders thought for all who listen. There must be some minimum allowable dose of inanity beyond which the mind cannot remain reasonable. Irrationality, like buried chemical waste, sooner or later must seep into all the tissues of thought."

JeanE:

When the focus is on the unity of the group, then the group begins to think of itself in new ways as new people come in. For example, if the group is "Yale students", at one time you could have assumed that all fellow members were male, white, protestant and probably fairly wealthy. When Irish Catholics first arrived at Yale, the community began to include Irish Catholics as part of the unified group, and then became less leary of Irish Catholics. The same for Jews, blacks, hispanics, women, Asians, etc. When you recognize a member of the "other" as part of your community, they cease to be "other." That leads to real acceptance of a diversity of ethnic, religious and political groups in larger society.

Diversity programs do exactly the opposite. By emphasizing the "otherness" rather than the shared identity as Yale students, they foster a sense of isolation rather than belonging. This in turn makes it more likely that you will look at people who are different from you in any way as being "other"- not a part of your community, not someone that you have anything in common with.

comatus:

Ludicracy--derived from 'Ludicris," innit?

They need to institute a diversity program to promote greater understanding of and greater appreciation for redneck hillbillies like me who grew up in Tennessee hunting rabbits and can't stand all this diversity crap but just want to treat each person based on "the content of their character."

Pantera:

My high school has a similar program, except not nearly as rigourous. It's where we take one day off and talk about nothing but diversity (of all kinds. They even included biodiesel in this years program) and the great thing is, it's a day off from class.

I do wonder, what are the qualifications for being a divirsity chief? IMHO, it being great friends with the head dean. I think this whole divirsity thing is some kinda scheme to help your friends out.

Thomas Collins:

Peg, I am going to work more 12 hour night shifts if that's what it takes to come up with inspirations like "ludicracy." If anyone knows Professor Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, please convince the good insta-professor to use "ludicracy" in his blog. There are enough governmental, nonprofit and for-profit organizations with bureaucracies that fit the term perfectly!

Jim:

I think I work for the same company as the first commenter. We have a high ranking corporate officer charged doing nothing but promoting diversity, and a "diversity fact of the day" featured prominently on our intranet home page. Since I'm about as "non-diverse" as can be (according to how diversity's champions use the term) I'm one of the losers. It's a zero-sum game.

rix:

I think it would be delightfully ironic if Christian students held a sit in and demanded that they be allowed to have christian counselors to meet their unique needs which are not addressed by the university.

Jason Allen:

Ludicracy is a perfectly cromulent word. The ludicrats are running the asylum.

John O':

Not only am I delighted with Peg C.'s "ludicracy", but I am delighted that so many other commenters are delighted.

But I quibble with commenter Orlando Ray's statement that "Americans of European decent cannot be diverse, unless they are gay."
Being gay is not enough to render you diverse if you are of European decent.

Volunteering legal services to a Gay and Lesbian (oops, Lesbian and Gay) organization in the early 1990's, I was required to attend a diversity training session where the facilitator, a black woman, basically berated the group of volunteer lawyers for being almost entirely male and white.

But one can fight fire. At another Lesbian and Gay lawyers' meeting addressed by city council candidates, a white Lesbian and a gay Hispanic who relentlessly referred to persons of pallor as "Anglos", I was able to do an AZZA. "As a person of Irish decent, I am deeply offended by your referring to me as an Anglo."

We are all victims here.

newscaper:

The bit about "Asian" being useless is hilarious as well as true because it is precisely the PC crowd who foisted that useless word on the rest of us.

"Oriental" as the man-in-the-streets catch-all for Chinese/Japanese/Korean fell into disfavor. Same for the traditionally technically correct "Mongoloid".

It was the PC idiots who decided to lump these people's in with the Indo-Europeans of "southwest Asia" (i.e. the ME)and India.

"Asian" is even more of a useless stretch than monolithic "African", which as we all know is usually shorthand for "sub-Saharan African", IOW "black".

Marty:

Let's not laughing at Yale. When it comes to diversity, they do a far, far better job than almost all other Class I universities, especially, with their varsity sports teams.Yale has done a great job in ensuring that white athletes have a chance to play the varsity sports that will lead to big dollar professional contracts. Most other universities, especially, the public ones, seem to go out of their way to avoid hiring any thing but African American athletes. A true diversity program would desegregate some of these sports programs.

RebeccaH:

At the university where I labored for many years, diversity was a buzzword for "African-American". This was made clear to me when much ado was made about increasing the diversity of the engineering and science colleges (whose students were almost equally white, Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani). In fact, in those graduate programs, whites were a definite minority. The emphasis that there were not enough black students was perfectly correct, but pointing out that you cannot force black students to apply to programs they're clearly not interested in (and sadly, too many were not qualified for) made no difference to the "diversity" minded.

Chris Rampley:

It seems like the old Soviet Union used to require 'political officers', Zampolits I think, in most settings. It seems as if liberal institutions here are getting pretty close to that standard...

Ron C:

Just for kicks, I googled Peg's word "ludicracy", and it seems its been used quit a bit out in the cyberworld. There were 57 google pages showing cases of its use.

Please note, I am in no way trying to take away from Peg's serendipitous brilliance.... she was certainly spot-on with her usage of the term.

And I would agree with another commenter (who by sheer coincidence shares the same moniker with me), it should be added to lexicon.

Kudos to Peg C

According to SparkNotes, of Yale's 5409 undergraduates 1%, or around 50, are Native American. If I were an alumnus I would certainly question if the school really needs a separate Dean for every 50 kids.

Larry:

"Do these people realize they are becoming laughing stocks?" Diversity diverting from literacy at Yale when they don't know laughingstock is one word.

Two thumbs up for ludicracy.

What JeanE said.

JFP:

There's all this emphasis on diversity in terms of race and gender, but nothing about diversity in terms of class. Why not? Isn't it just that most of the faculty, as well as those staff members who do this diversity stuff, are likely themselves to be upper class or upper-middle class? They want you to feel guilty, but they will never feel guilty about their own privileges.

When I was at Yale, in the late Jurassic, "diversity" was just beginning to be discussed, and Yale was still, alas, predominantly white and male.
I am very grateful that such homogeneity was beginning to break down.

But it is my generation that has introduced all the nonsense about "diversity," in the sense of an abstract standard that can somehow be enforced, and I am very glad to see, by reading the discussion here, that so many see through the shibboleths and bromides to the underlying ludicracy.

At present I work for a large health care organization that -- as one of its great strengths -- employs people from every conceivable ethnic and religious group, and seems to function quite harmoniously, by and large. We have our "diversity committees," but they seem to be almost redundant and rather harmless.

But it worries me that bureaucratic entities and officers, with a vague mission of "promoting diversity" at Yale, seem to be growing and metastasizing.

Jamie Woolery
Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Branford, Class of 1969

Park Slope Pubby:

Only give money to conservative colleges. Yale certainly has a big enough endowment so they don't care, but most colleges depend on alumni.
Otherwise, you are supporting the most nonsensically liberal institutions in the USA. Institutions which sneer at capitalist free market economies, and teach the students to do the same, in addition to all this diversity nonsense.
I am so upset that the left has taken hold of the educational system in this country, and is propagandizing young minds. The ecology nonsense they teach is truly frightening, and starts in kindergarten.

MarkD:

It must be time for yet another national monologue about race relations...

Since I've heard the speech, and I'm not allowed an opinion, have fun.

Me? I'm still waiting for diversity to include political thought. More specifically, conservative political thought. I suspect it will be a long wait.

Gad...this kind of stuff drives me insane. Here's my two-cents -- my wonderful son who we adopted from Korea applied for the diversity scholarship at Gonzaga University. He didn't make the cut. The problem was my wife and I...you see, we're "white," heterosexual, etc. -- pretty mainstream, in other words -- so he wasn't diverse enough. Didn't help that instead of showing an interest in Korean history as a young boy he loved to read about the American Civil War, preferred mac and cheese to kim chi, and instead of wanting to learn Korean as a foreign language, decided to learn French.

Like many things, diversity programs kinda sorta sounds okay, but then you peek beneath the surface and see it as another form of tyranny.

The real problem, I think, is that diversity has been established as a primary "value." What if Yale and others decided to return to emphasis on traditional values: fairness, excellence, mercy, compassion, beauty, and so on. In other words, by emphasizing fairness, wouldn't you expect to see more kids from lower income households attending elite universities?...

Thomas Collins:

Did "sensitive" and "diverse" Yale finally accommodate those Orthodox Jewish students who didn't want to live in coed dorms? I know that Yale won the court case, but certainly an institution committed to embracing diversity would have seen the light and stopped trying to force students into coed dorm living.

Thomas Lipscomb:

I think this is just great.

Look how many slots they are opening up for minority hires. That should improve those EEOC numbers.

In the meantime guess which ethnic groups have the most disproportionate number of slots at Yale as students and faculty?

Doesn't "diversity" require their "reallocation" to something approaching their population percentage?

In the meantime, consider the following: Is there a basic conflict between the ideal of a "university" and "diversity" as espoused by the ludicracy"?

Orson:

As I re-enter the academy for grad school, I guess I'll offer myself as a bisexual Austrian-Scandanavian who suffers from PTSD and Lefthanded discrimination. From this "platform" I will chide the useless diversicrats to get real jos - like in the military or the Peace Corps at least/ Anywhere else they can do less damage in the world.

Richard Mitchell, the Underground Grammarian - yes
Ludicrats - yes, yes

Each society educates its young into the culture they expect them to inhabit. Yale is declaring quite clearly what they hope that to be.

Zhombre:

Ludicracy is a great word! We have a Presidential race in which the wife of a former President (himself impeached and a perjurer and serial skirt chaser who had oral sex performed upon him in the Oval Office) running for office herself on the basis of having been his loyal spouse and carpetbagger senator from New York appears on a talk show hosted by a former supermodel and answers questions from a box of "Issue Tissues" i.e., simpering stupid questions from the audience written on kleenexes, well, we are very very close to a government of the ludicrous and puerile. You see, satire is dead. Reality strangled it.

Jim C.:

"Ludicracy" is not in the OED, alas. It should be.

Mace:

The supreme irony is that our universities are being run by the participants of the "free speech" movement of the 1960's. These are the very same people who promote this diversity agenda as well as the speech codes that restrict what people can say on campus.

Mwalimu Daudi:

I think it would be delightfully ironic if Christian students held a sit in and demanded that they be allowed to have christian counselors to meet their unique needs which are not addressed by the university.

Likely all that would happen would be the standard Christianist-theocracy-is-just-around-the-corner alarmism from university officials and the media.

More kudos to Peg C. for her brilliance!

Leslie B.:

Oh this just makes my blood boil! Our daughter is a ninth grade boarder at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Tx. Tomorrow, all the students are 'required' to participate in the MLK march in downtown Austin, as well as listen to an FBI agent lecture on hate crimes and participate in 'assigned' discussion groups on diversity. I emailed the dean and informed him that we did not grant permission for her to either participate in or attend the MLK march. So she has to sit around in the infirmary while the others get a few hours off of their academics to participate. Grrrrrrrr........ I don't mind the lecture by the FBI; and I think she can hold her own in the discussion groups, but trying to 'require' her to march really gets under my skin. So I assigned her the task of reading this web page (including all the comments) before she checks into the infirmary with a good book tomorrow. That should shore her up a little bit....

lyrikel:

All the more reason people should not write off a presidential candidate like Ron Paul who begs people to stop categorizing each other. We need to see each other as individuals, not members of ethnic groups.

Brad:

The people that push for diversity really don't believe that the races are equal. Nobody really does. They just claim they believe this nonsense. I am willing to bet that if they hooked up every professor and official of these universities to a lie detector test and asked them if they believe the races and men and women are all "equal' they would not pass the test. We need to demand that anyone who wants to be a professor or dean, president ,etc. must first pass a lie detector test to prove that they really believe in this P.C. nonsense. No one would pass. the phonies would be found out and this idiocy would end. It's one thing to claim you believe in equality of the races. Anyone can do that. it's another to actually pass a lie detedtor test to prove you believe in such nonsense.This is the way to go. The next time some liberal sychophant claims everyone is a racist ask him or her to take a lie detector test. See how fast they come up with an excuse to avoid such a test.

Peg C: You were right the first time. "ludicracy n, government by the ludicrous, flourished ca 2007+ at Yale and other institutions of 'higher learning' [q.v.]"
PS: given the rest of the comments, I doubt it'll be long before it is in the OED.

sbw: I'm glad Richard Mitchell isn't around to see how badly things have gone. He wrote "Graves of Academe" a long time ago, and it's still right on the mark today.

Marty brings up an interesting point. Let's have the Ivy League colleges recruit some Orthodox Jews for the football team. Sure, they'd have to reschedule Sabbath games, but that would be a small price to pay for the benefits of diversity.

Rebecca touches a nerve: at our Big Comapny, there are "African-American Engineer of the Year", "Asian-American Engineer of the Year" &c. One conclusion might be that the people so honored wouldn't be so honored if they were in what used to be the majority.

It wasn't that long ago (late last year) than another major university took a lot of heat for its diversity program, wich mandated that resident students attend "diversity training" sessions. Search for "shakti butler delaware".

For even more depressing research, search for "diversity training" (630,000 hits).

Greg:

As a labor economist who studies academic labor markets, I would say that Yale is serious about diversity. In a state this only 6 percent black, it has managed to place 3 black economists on its faculty. In contrast, the Univ. Mississippi, a state that is 40 percent black, has NEVER hired a black economist.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -George Orwell

I don't necessarily agree however I can understand where you are coming from with that. At least it was well thought out.

Good lord!, that sounds totally amazing!

Good blog, but it would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep posting.

Robb:

It could have been Tallyrand who made the famous quote the line - I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep lead by a lion than an army of 100 lions lead by a sheep.

Lazaro Friedli:

Wow, wonderful site layout! All of your site is fantastic, as neat as the content and material!

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