The University of California is facing sharp budget cuts–except in one area of its sprawling bureaucracy: the diversity apparatus, as I write about here:
Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.
Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
It cannot be said often enough: There has never been a more welcoming, tolerant, supportive, equal-opportunity environment in the history of man than the modern American university. This is an institution so eager to welcome as many minority students to its ranks as possible that it radically lowers its admissions standards to do so. The modern university is staffed with the most liberal members of our society, people who believe that the rest of America continues to oppress blacks, Hispanics, and women, and that the university’s special mission is therefore to provide a harbor from the racism of the outside world.
And yet the standard rhetoric of the campus diversity industry is that the university itself is not a “safe” space for officially designated victim groups, and thus that special havens of race-consciousness are needed to protect these victims from some always unspecified danger. It is not just the directors of the Women’s Centers and the Afro-Am Centers who indulge in this melodramatic rhetoric of “safety” and danger; it is the top leaders of campuses, such as outgoing chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, Marye Anne Fox, who oozed last year in a university-wide letter entitled “Collaboration Ensures a Safe and Inclusive Campus:”
we are resolute in our determination to ensure a safe and just environment in which everyone may live, work, learn and flourish.
Name some names, Chancellor Fox. Who is denying “safety and justice” to everyone on your campus? Given the difficulty of identifying the exact locus of these looming threats, it becomes imperative to treat any trivial incident of juvenile rebellion against political correctness as the equivalent of an organized lynch mob.
“At UC San Diego, this is an issue of safety for students,” [said a member of the UC San Diego Black Student Union at a UC Regents meeting last year]. “The campus climate cultivated this toxic environment.”
The fact is this: to the extent that minority students feel “unsafe”–i.e., uncomfortable or out of place–on an American campus today–it is the direct result of affirmative action policies that admit them with academic qualifications far below their white and Asian peers. If every black or Hispanic student were confident that he could compete with his classmates on the organic chemistry exam, we woudln’t be hearing about “unsafe campus climates.”
But when university administrators play into those feelings of inadequacy (feelings that result from the very double standards that they insist on) by affirming the notion that universities are hostile or dangerous places, they are unfitting the purported beneficiaries of their noblesse oblige for full participation in the real world. By teaching students to regard the most cushy, protected environment known to man as a hostile, unsafe climate, they are insuring that they will go through life with a distorted view of reality.