The Outstater: Undiversified Diversity

September 30, 2017

(For the use of the membership only; not for publication, distribution or reproduction.)


“As Indiana universities tout their diversity awards, initiatives and inclusiveness, some black faculty members are bringing lawsuits saying they were denied opportunities because of discrimination. — Dwight Adams, the Indianapolis Star


THE STAFF of the Indianapolis Star in connection with its ongoing campaign “End the Hate” is intent on an ever-more-refined definition of “diversity.” Please know that these are well-meaning men and women, hard-working journalists all. You should hope they fail miserably.

Instead, the word needs to be placed back in its original and noble context, that is, diversity of free individuals rather than members of politically chartered groups. For up until now the model policy for diversity has been one that assigns privilege to most any group that feels it has been uncommonly historically oppressed or the victim of discrimination. The Census Bureau, however, estimates that in 2044 more than half of Americans will self-identify as members of social, ethnic or racial groups now considered minorities.

The newspaper, most oddly, refers to this demographic shift as America becoming a “majority-minority nation.” And this, sadly, is thought in itself to be a good thing — this mere transposing of numbers on either side of a ledger, regardless of the character of the individuals making up either the majority or the minority a generation hence, regardless of the form of government they might choose.

Dwight Adams, who writes on such things for the Star,seems to lament that “Indiana is not in the forefront of this movement.” He reports that we are one of the 10 least-diverse states. A new study, he says, ranks us a horrible 42nd overall on its diversity measures.

So what?

Again, the “diversity” being measured is merely the assignment of entitlement and privilege by group, It is a policy that has wreaked havoc throughout history (see the Balkans, Northern Ireland, Beirut, Rwanda, Catalonia). Nobody now should be surprised that its tragedies are starting to pile up here. On threat of being labeled bigots, we are asked to assign privileges not because this or that group has been oppressed or is a minority but because, well . . . because they deserve it.

There is no shortage of those willing to step forward to decide who exactly deserves what and where. But they should be warned that social engineering is difficult work. It requires careful balance, continual adjustment and ultimately, if history is judge, the violent application of force.

Here are a few things that the Star will have to untangle before it takes on the job of ridding humankind of hate:

Affirmative Action — Special consideration for certain minorities has been a mainstay of federal and state policy for 50 years. It has been justified in that many African-Americans were brought to this country as chattel slaves and their descendants excluded for generations from social and economic advantages. Yet, it is possible, given affirmative action programs based on skin color, that a significant percentage of those now benefitting are descendant from freely immigrated groups that traded in chattel slavery 150 years ago. Kenya, for example, was a supplier for the East African Slave Trade. How can that be sorted out under the current system?

Welfare Dependency — Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell and other scholars have asked over the past few decades whether for current generations the breakup of the family isn’t more of a debilitating legacy than even slavery. Only 8 percent of black married-couple families now live in poverty, Dr. Williams notes. And among black families in which both the husband and wife work full time the poverty rate is under 5 percent. Poverty in black families headed by single women, in contrast, is 37 percent. “The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has,” he concludes.

Test Scores — It is estimated that 1 or 2 percent of African-Americans would win admission to the top colleges absent affirmative action. That is to be compared with the current 6 or 7 percent. A marked disparity in SAT scores has continued for the past generation despite changes in test questions to adjust for cultural differences. If scores don’t even out, will special consideration for blacks abruptly end in 2044 or will it continue under a new rationale?

Crime — Black males, although only 6 percent of the population, make up 42 percent of those arrested for killing police officers, according to just released FBI data from 2016. A police officer is 18 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an officer is likely to kill an unarmed black man. Given those odds, police officer, black and white, are reluctant to actively enforce the law in high-crime areas — the so-called “Ferguson effect” here, “No-Go Zones” in Europe.

Brain Drain — Nobody seems to want to count them, but there is a significant number of high-achieving students from low-income families in the Midwest and Great Plains who do not go to the top colleges. It is theorized that these students are overlooked because admission officers have been preoccupied for two generations courting minority applicants in high-population areas. “The most disregarded students today are the same kind of people who got us to the moon in 1969,” concluded one reviewer.

All of which tells us to drop our Indianapolis Star and pick up our Declaration of Independence. Pursuing equality of opportunity might work where pursuing equality of results has not.

— Craig Ladwig

Resources

Dwight Adams. “Diversity in Indiana? Not so Much.” The Indianapolis Star, Sept. 21, 2017.
Walter Williams. The Black Family Is Struggling, and It’s Not Because of Slavery.” The Daily Signal, Sept. 20, 2017.
Steve Sailer. “Not Affirmative Enough.” Taki’s Magazine, Sept. 20, 2017.
The East African Slave Trade. “Port Cities” at discoveringbistol.org. Last viewed Sept. 29, 2017.
Heather Mac Donald. “Hard Data, Hollow Protests.” City Journal, Sept. 25, 2017.
Craig Sutton. “Why Are Low-Income High Achievers so Underrepresented at Elite Schools?” The Washington Post,Dec. 18, 2015.
Caroline Hoxby and Christopher Avery. “The Missing ‘One-Offs’: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students.” The National Bureau of Economic Research. December 2012.



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