Today's Paper Arkansas News LEARNS Guide Legislature Sports Core Values Puzzles Newsletters Public Notices Archive Obits Opinion Story Ideas

Admire the honesty—or the brazenness

by Robert Steinbuch | March 12, 2023 at 1:50 a.m.
Robert Steinbuch

A Freedom of Information Act request of state universities produced bone-chilling diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) PowerPoint slides.

At the University of Central Arkansas, "diversity indicator language" (huh?) reflects "the faculty's understanding of and commitment to the interrelation between [DEI] and excellence."

In this Picasso-esque universe, the precondition of parroting party propaganda is painted upon excellence. And the substance of that mandatory mantra: preferences, set asides, and quotas.

Prefer not to propagate pigment-and-plumbing prioritizing policies? Pish posh! You're not right-minded enough to be excellent. (Or is it left-minded?)

At my school, one faculty applicant was prioritized over another due to "fit" with the school and students based on factors of the candidate that coordinate with the school's racial-justice center and the student body. That tracks.

Bad fit: That's what was said historically in discriminating against Jews in academia. Sorry, no square pegs allowed in the round holes of compelled conspicuous conformity.

DEI is merely discrimination dressed up in prêt-à-porter professorial parlance. Excellence's insidiously forced entanglement with DEI is the newest Higgs boson excreted from socialists' supercollider of social engineering.

The turnabout is staggering. Civil-service exams previously supplanted rampant cronyism. Today, progressives' outcome objections to objective exams laughably justifies (they claim) returning to the very subjectivity these tests aptly replaced, with one difference: The left controls academia now. (Progressive principles be damned when power pertains.)

UCA's goal of "[i]nfusion of diversity and diversity-related issues into [faculty's] research, pedagogy, and/or service" baldly abandons the pretense of disguising the political conformity requirement.

My peer-reviewed research demonstrates that DEI's core doctrine of massive preferences given many minority groups hinders learning. I doubt that satisfies UCA's red-party definition of "infusion."

Compare the claim from Pine Bluff in another slide that "[r]esearch has shown that calling a transgender person by their correct name and with their correct pronoun is the most effective way to reduce suicide risk," with the same presentation recommending that you should "[p]ractice using THEY/THEM to avoid him or her."

Wait, what?

While I use whichever pronoun someone requests, many don't have the option to make that decision. Nicolas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio, landed on a claymore when teaching a male student identifying as a woman. Meriwether sought to use the student's name rather than any pronoun or third-person descriptor. In response, university officials accused Meriwether of creating a hostile environment and commanded him to use the student's chosen pronouns.

Meriwether sued. But not many academics have the fortitude or finances to take on these cathedrals of communist catechism. And for those who do, watch out for being labeled a "serial complainer." I prefer "serial winner" for successful iconoclasts like Meriwether.

Another slide from Pine Bluff says that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) views as unlawful denying an employee access to the restroom corresponding to the employee's gender identity. But that's roughly equivalent to describing Walmart's bathroom policy, because the EEOC is an administrative agency that doesn't determine law. Courts do. (Misleading much?)

University of Arkansas at Fayetteville defines religion as a "secondary" diversity characteristic; race is primary. How is this anything other than the political preferences of the DEI commissars?

Curiously, a later slide defines race as including a common religious background. How can religion be in both categories?

To someone who follows DEI nonsense, though, this is no surprise. DEI architecture is entirely made up and applied ad hoc to achieve a leftist agenda of preferences and set asides.

Doubt me? UA's quota system is finally explicit: "[e]quity refers to the process of creating equivalent outcomes (not the same as treating everyone the same) for members of historically under-represented and oppressed individuals and groups."

The Marxist agenda is, in the end, full monty. (Workers, unite!) You have to at least admire the honesty. (Or is it brazenness?)

A theme across schools is a slide depicting three people trying to look over a fence. The first panel shows participants standing on same-sized crates. Only the tallest can see. The next panel displays participants standing on differently sized boxes. Everyone can see.

In the comparable Kremlin-commanded slide from UA Little Rock, the first image shows one individual on many boxes, the second on one box, and the third in a hole. The caption reads "reality." And the next slide has the fence removed and calls this "liberation." The only missing icons in this Trotskyite tribute are the hammer and sickle.

Kurt Vonnegut's 1961 communism-critiquing story "Harrison Bergeron" lays bare that society can't equalize merit up, only down. So dig deeper holes for those with extra height and crates. (Even Faust would reject that bargain.)

All this elides the basic arithmetic of higher-education admissions and hiring. There are fewer spots than applicants. So we must differentiate. Doing so randomly is foolish. Doing so by race: racist. Doing so by merit: just.

Thankfully, folks are waking up (pun intended). The University of North Carolina and Texas A&M just banned DEI dogma in admissions and employment. Florida is soon to follow legislatively.

Where's our bill?

This is your right to know.

Robert Steinbuch, professor of law at the Bowen Law School, is a Fulbright Scholar and author of the treatise "The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act." His views do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

Print Headline: Admire the honesty—or the brazenness


Sponsor Content