Mira Milosevich is Analist at FAES.
The Diversity Delusion. How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, de Heather Mac Donald.
St. Martin’s Press, September 2018, 278 pages.
The title of Heather Mac Donald’s (author of The New York Times bestseller list) latest book is somewhat complicated: The Diversity Delusion. How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. A complicated title for a detailed book that exposes two fundamental characteristics of American universities:
1) The ease with which American universities create internal bodies to study and decide on supposed or real problems.
2) The arbitrariness with which university bureaucracies make drastic decisions on their faculties without any judicial oversight.
This lack of judicial oversight is especially evident in two phenomena currently destroying university teaching in the United States: when it comes to the alleged systematic violence against Hispanics and African Americans which is denounced by these minorities, and when it comes to the alleged “campus violations” denounced by feminists.
The author exposes this in a very rich dossier of persecutions against professors of important American universities; not all of them belong to the Ivy League, but they are mostly elite universities (Harvard, NYU, Yale, Duke, Davis, Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, San Diego State University, etc.). The offensive of the associations of African-American and Hispanic students has been more virulent and deleterious here, thus decimating the teaching staff, who see themselves defenceless against the cowardice of the university administrations that have systematically been granting credit to the persecutors to the detriment not only of the persecuted professors, but also of the institution itself.
The data that the author makes available to the reader demonstrate that university administrations have been willing to collectively blame themselves for the “crimes” that students attribute to their individual members. At best, they have enabled the creation or emergence of an atmosphere of racism that favours aggressions against the collectives of African-American and Hispanic students.
Mac Donald begins by exposing her own case: an expert on the post-structural and deconstructionist studies of the late twentieth century (expressions of post-68 leftist ideologies), she tried to apply these studies to the new radical ideology of the turn of the century. The presentations of her book The War on Cops, on the police’s general blame for the systematic violence against Hispanics and blacks, were systematically boycotted or banned on various campuses, as well as labelled as fascist and racist aggressions against black and Hispanic students.
The author underlines the delirious nature of these accusations. Her accusers insist that campuses are dangerous scenarios for them, given the racist bias of the political culture of many of their white (and Asian) professors and classmates. According to Mac Donald, never has a human group enjoyed greater security and protection than current students at American universities, and she adds that the “micro-aggressions” denounced by black and Hispanic university students are not only phony and false. Most importantly, these denunciations are part of an ideological strategy aimed at expanding their privileges (an increase in admissions and scholarships for Hispanics and African Americans, as well as the reduction of academic requirements).
This strategy, as the author demonstrates using incontrovertible statistics, is highly detrimental to its theoretical beneficiaries, which are confined to the lowest band of university performance and professional expectations.
Gender ideology and the feminist myth of “campus rape” constitute another cause of the destruction of university teaching and are a reflection of the current radical ideology. According to Mac Donald, the delirious or fallacious character of the aggressions denounced by university feminist organizations has permeated the ideology of the #metoo movement. “Campus rapes,” in the most realistic assumptions, are at the level of the “micro-aggressions” denounced by anti-racist student associations.
The author concludes that the greatest problem lies in the opportunistic and cowardly attitude of university authorities, who circumvent the legal measures of governments (for example, those that, like California’s Proposition 209, voted by the majority of the population in 1996, put an end to any positive or negative discrimination based on gender or race) by intentionally twisting the regulations to restore discrimination, also disguising it as holistic criteria that require factors such as family origin or personal leadership capacity to be taken into account over and above academic performance, knowledge or provisions favourable to the various studies. All of this aimed at once again giving priority to racial factors in the selection of students.
This attitude has led, in fact, to the division of American universities into a prestigious ghostly entity (Berkeley I, for example) that still lives off of the academic reputation obtained in the past, and another entity (Berkeley II, following the example), which is undermined and destroyed by gender and race ideologies.
The two themes of this book (the ease with which American universities create internal bodies to study and decide on supposed or real problems and the arbitrariness with which university bureaucracies make drastic decisions on their faculties without any judicial oversight) may be difficult for Spanish readers to understand. Even considering the broad autonomy of Spanish universities, these two characteristics of the American ones cannot be transferred to Spain’s public universities. Not even to the private ones.
In Spain, any professor who believes he/she is being treated unfairly by the academic authorities of his/her university can appeal to the civil courts. It is not easy to do so in the US. In any case, this book deserves to be read because it explains how fallacies are brought out in order to destroy the university education system under the umbrella of political correctness.
Translation by Javier Martín Merchán