Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) amounts to the complaint that there are too many white males on the faculty and the demand that this be radically changed, forthwith. It would appear, at least to the grievants, that females, “people of color” (“colored people” is no longer allowed to be said at university, despite the continued existence of the National Association of Colored People), and members of the LGBT community cannot really learn from straight white male professors. Students with these characteristics, it turns out, need role models in the professoriate from their own demographics if they are to prosper in higher education. Numerous academic job notifications now routinely require adherence to DEI sensibilities.
I don’t want to criticize the students responsible for these complaints. They are young kids, and, presumably, don’t yet know any better. If anyone is to blame for this new campus initiative, it is their teachers (many of whom are woke white males).
The main charge in one particular case is that the student body is less than 40% white male, while professors of the same ilk constitute about 75% of the faculty. Out of a board of trustees of roughly three dozen, almost two dozen are white men. The conclusion would appear to be that there should be something akin to proportional representation. The present situation is rejected as “shocking,” “bizarre.” As a result, students, all of them, are subjected to a “white centric” education where “whiteness” predominates.
There is more wrong here than you can shake a stick at. First of all, there is no such thing as white math, or black logic, or Asian economics, or male physics, or female chemistry, or homosexual astronomy, or heterosexual philosophy. This may or may not apply to grievance studies (black studies, gay studies, feminist studies), but if it doesn’t, then these are not worthy subjects to be studied at an institution of advanced learning. There are not many truths each for a separate category of human beings. There is only one. Get used to it.
Second, proportionality. Many people expect that absent racial, sexual, and other types of discrimination, all groups would be equally represented in all aspects of the labor market. But as the insightful work of Thomas Sowell has demonstrated, this is simply not the case. The National Basketball Association comprises about 75% blacks, who make up only some 13% of the overall population. Players in the National Football League are roughly 70% black. Is this due to the fact that the NFL and the NBA discriminate against whites and Asians? Of course not. These sports leagues will sign up anyone, even people with chartreuse-colored skin and covered with pink and blue polka dots, provided, only, that they are world-class athletes with the requisite skills. Should we, in any case, kick out of the NFL and the NBA as many splendid black athletes as needed so as to attain proportional racial representation? That would solve one “problem,” but then many college teams would likely be able to beat these professionals unless, of course, we employed the same procedure for them. And so on down the line.