American Elephants

“Diversity” is a Fad, and an Unhealthy One at That. by The Elephant's Child


“Asian-Americans are one of America’s great success stories. To get into top schools, a student needs SAT scores that are about 140 points higher than those of their peers. In 2008 over half of all applicants to Harvard were Asian, but they made up only 17 percent of the entering class. (now 20 percent), Asians are the fastest growing racial group in America, but their proportion of Harvard undergraduates has been flat for two decades.”That’s from the New York Times, Nov. 24, 1014.

“Diversity” has raised its ugly head once again. In today’s meaning, diversity refers to race. So you are talking about affirmative action, not diversity of anything but race. A lawsuit against Harvard was filed in Boston federal court in 2014, by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit that includes Asian American students who were denied admission to Harvard. The U.S. Justice Department, at the end of August filed a statement of interest supporting the claims of the plaintiffs. It does take a long time to work it’s way through the courts.

Are Asian-American students simply brighter than other Americans? Probably not, but they are very apt to have “tiger mothers” who make sure they do their homework promptly and thoroughly, excel at all their schoolwork, and are qualified to get into any school they want. It makes a difference, and reflects badly on the rest of us, who who let our kids get away will all sorts of nonsense. See “Reynolds Law” in the previous piece.

I ran across a quotation yesterday from one Charles Peguy, who I had never heard of, a French essayist and poet, ca. 1873, but I liked what he said: ” It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been committed for fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.” The introduction to the Asian Tiger Mother came from the book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua, which spawned a whole raft of other books and articles. If the entire entering class of Harvard was entirely Asian-American, it might make other mothers spend more effort on their children’s success. Would that be healthier? There’s another book by a tiger kid that says not.

Is there some position in our society which successful blacks have not reached? Renowned Economist, scholar, writer Thomas Sowell whose almost every word becomes a quote in someone else’s vocabulary. World famous physician and surgeon Ben Carson, now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. President of the United States Barack Obama, Stars of every sport, world famous movie stars, CEOs of major corporations, world famous musicians, none of whom arrived at those positions because of “affirmative action., and that hardly even begins to cover the gamut of success achieved with hard work.

Diversity of background may be worthwhile. Someone from Alabama may well learn a lot from having a roommate from Wyoming, and vice versa. Someone who grew up on a Texas ranch might learn a lot from a friend from Manhattan, but it isn’t the locale that would bring them together. A military brat who lived on army bases all over would have more in common with other military brats. Students from widely divergent backgrounds may become lifelong friends with others who have the same interests in science. “Diversity” as it is practiced seems to be based on a conviction of biases and prejudices that I’m not at all sure exist any more, and would seem to  encourage a focus on race to the exclusion of common interests and similar backgrounds. “Diversity” is a fad, and important to have the correct number of races and genders in photographs, as above. They tried to get “ageism” in there too, but that didn’t work. Elderly people are not of interest, because they are — old.

I have written often about “diversity” because I believe it is an unhealthy, politically sponsored push to force national interests to focus on what’s different rather than the enormously successful melting pot that America really is. No other country in the world has so successfully become a melting pot of a strange and wild variety of peoples. If you are interested, enter “diversity” in the space over Bog Hope’s head in the sidebar.

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