The ‘Diversity’ Fraud

By Thomas Sowell

Diversity-1024x683
The ‘Diversity' Fraud
Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- Nothing so epitomizes the politically correct gullibility of our times as the magic word “diversity.”

The wonders of diversity are proclaimed from the media, extolled in the academy and confirmed in the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States.

But have you ever seen one speck of hard evidence to support the lofty claims?

Although diversity has become one of the leading buzzwords of our time, it has a history that goes back several generations. In the early twentieth century, the principle of geographic diversity was used to conceal bias against Jews in the admission of students to Harvard and other leading academic institutions.

Because the Jewish population was concentrated in New York and other east coast communities at that time, quota limits on how many Jewish students would be admitted were concealed by saying that Harvard wanted a diverse student body, consisting of students from around the country.

Therefore some highly qualified Jewish applicants could be passed over, in favor of less qualified applicants from the midwest or other regions of the country.

My own first encounter with the idea of geographic diversity occurred more than half a century ago, when I was an undergraduate at Harvard, and worked as a photographer for the university news office, in order to help pay the bills.

The instructions I was given were to concentrate on taking photos of students from other parts of the country, rather than from the east coast, from which Harvard already received more than enough applicants. The idea was to encourage applications from places that would produce a geographically diverse student body.

It struck me as an odd idea at the time, but I was being paid to take pictures, not make university policy. Moreover, I had no idea how such a policy had originated and, by the 1950s, it might have been continued from inertia, for all I know. Meanwhile, I could enjoy seeing publicity photos I took appearing in newspapers in Chicago and elsewhere beyond the east coast.

Fast forward to today.

It is common, at colleges and universities across the country, for the test scores of Asian American students who have been admitted to a given college to be higher than the test scores of whites or of blacks or Hispanics.

That may not seem strange, since that is true of test scores in general. But, at any given institution, applying the same standards to all, the test scores of students at a particular institution would tend to be similar. More Asian Americans would be admitted to higher ranked colleges and universities, however, if the same standards were applied to all.

In short, something very much like the quota limits that were applied to Jews in the past are now being applied to Asian Americans –– and, once again, are being justified by diversity.

But what justifies diversity? Nothing but unsupported assertions, repeated endlessly, piously and loudly.

Today, as in the past, diversity is essentially a fancy word for group quotas. It is one of a number of wholly subjective criteria — such as “leadership” — used to admit students to colleges and universities according to their group membership, rather than according to their individual qualifications.

This is not something new. Nor is it something confined to the United States. Very similar patterns were found more than a decade ago, when doing research for my book “Affirmative Action Around the World.”

In India, the courts' attempts to rein in some academic quotas were met by a proliferation of new, and wholly subjective, admissions criteria. Individuals from groups that were not as qualified by objective criteria were simply ranked higher on subjective criteria and admitted.

In the United States, the Supreme Court itself has long been part of such game-playing when it comes to affirmative action. Back in 1978, an opinion by Justice Lewis F. Powell banned racial quotas with one hand and created “diversity” as a criterion with the other. In other words, colleges were told in effect that they can have racial quotas, but they just can't call them racial quotas.

According to the Constitution, “We the People” are supposed to decide what laws and policies we live under. But not if we can be so easily fooled by courts using slippery words like “diversity.”

About Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, as well as a prolific author including Black Rednecks And White Liberals. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read his articles visit his website above.

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Sharon Palmer
Sharon Palmer
3 years ago

Some schools are even recruiting minorities from other countries to meet their pathetic quotas. My son had a friend at the U of Utah who was from Philippines and in business. My son was a history major and was helping the guy get through an accounting class. The guy told my son that even though he was a senior, he knew nothing about business. The school was not about to fail him because he helped them meet the quota – he graduated and of course got a job because some company also wanted to meet their quota. I have talked… Read more »

Mike Murray
Mike Murray
3 years ago

Across the board Asians score higher on IQ, which is not to say there are no equally high scoring Caucasians, Blacks or Hispanics. Lets go back to equality of opportunity, no equality of outcome.
If the colleges represent diversity, how many conservative and libertarian professors do they have?

Pete
Pete
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Murray

Well put about the professors.

MamaLiberty
MamaLiberty
3 years ago

SuperG… I’ve been both a parent and a teacher for much of my life. I’ve known and taught people from almost everywhere, all ages and stages of preparation. I’ve known a lot of Asians as well. In all that time, I never did see any effective way to FORCE people to study or learn. It just doesn’t work that way. And the Asian parents I knew taught their children self control, respect for others, and used the natural curiosity of their children to inspire them to study and learn. I never saw any of them attempt to FORCE their children… Read more »

SuperG
SuperG
3 years ago

The Asians excel at studying because their parents make them. They are not smarter than anybody else, but they have studied harder and remember more come test time. It all points back to parenting. The teacher can only do so much if the parents are not there forcing their kids to attend class and learn.

Tionico
Tionico
3 years ago
Reply to  SuperG

so “intelligence”, just like “wealth” or “prosperity” are a whole lot alike. One can work hard, buck the trends of their upbringing, and get them. Or one can simply learn what their (intelligent, wealthy) parents teach them and become like them. It works in reverse, too. Kids born into single parent/multiple sperm donor “families” learn what they are taught.. by example, abdication, absense, their peers (keep company of fools you’ll be like them, too). So its no surprise Asian kids, as a group, are “smarter” than their non-asian peers… nor that the black orphan kids in Chicago’s ghettoes are not.… Read more »

Marky Mark
Marky Mark
3 years ago

I work at an really large US corporation that now include within the diversity umbrella, sexual orientation. They have gone so far as to create safe places, noted by desk flags, where they can talk and discuss their “issues” freely. Why? What does this have to do with business? Nothing, Who knows what will be next! It has become a MAD MAD world!

Phantom Phlyer
Phantom Phlyer
3 years ago
Reply to  Marky Mark

They have some of those flags/safe places for Christians and Bible study? Right?

Oh yeah, I’m SURE of that!

Might be a lawsuit there if you can stand the ‘death threats.’ 🙁 Oh sorry, you will get fired as you are most likely not in one of the ‘protected/haloed’ classes. 🙁

Gees Mill
Gees Mill
3 years ago
Reply to  Phantom Phlyer

May I be so brash as to ask what corporation it is that you are employed by? I would like to work where there is a safe space. Is your firm hiring? I understand that maybe asking a lot though and understand if you are unable to provide additional information.

Pete
Pete
3 years ago

In 1971 I applied for employment at a major U.S. company in a division of that company that was short handed and needed experienced, qualified employees. But the myth of a “hiring freeze” within the company was being used to conceal affirmative action. The company was “diversifying” its workforce. My main problem was that I’m a white male, and so I was not hired there. This is a variation on Dr. Sowell’s point.

Phantom Phlyer
Phantom Phlyer
3 years ago

Absolutely on point. All the identity politics and affirmative/diversity scams are power grabs – nothing more, nothing less.

We are still a very long way from MLK’s ‘content of character’ criteria.

Seek excellence and you will get diversity. Seek diversity and mediocrity follows like ‘stink on doodoo.’

Janek
Janek
3 years ago

Compulsory Diversity undermines ‘Natural Selection’. We’re doomed to extinction! LOL