"Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition."
G. K Chesterton
London Daily News, 1910
In the 1950`s, universities were castigated for asking faculty to swear that they were 100% Americans. Now they`re asking them to swear that they`re not. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, job applicants at Bucks County Community College have been asked to describe their "commitment to diversity" - in the same terms that real world job applicants are asked if they`re in the habit of showing up on time, are they hard-working, or can they spell "parallel?"
But not everybody in America thinks diversity is necessarily a good thing, especially if they have to sacrifice such things as fairness, excellence, truth, and honesty to achieve it. And this belief is what`s called a "political" position.
It`s a fairly respectable political position, and more or less the position of political conservatives and the Republican Party.
Most of these people don`t even know any Republicans. They can`t even conceive that a Republican is an intellectually respectable thing to be. (I`m aware that many in this audience are members of the Reform, Constitution, Libertarian, or Non-Voting Parties. But the principle is the same.)
When Nixon was elected by a landslide in `72, Pauline Kael couldn`t understand it.
"No one I know voted for him." she said.
And while the college is no doubt trying to satisfy EEOC guidelines on the ethnic diversity of their workforce, I doubt if it has occurred to them to beat the bushes for more Republicans, in spite of the fact that Republicans constitute fifty percent of the electorate and five percent of teachers.
Colleges are up to 95% Democrat. Does this mean that the Civil Rights Commission should investigate their hiring practices?
No, they should be investigated by the Civil Service Commission, for reasons that have nothing to do with the concept of a "culture war."
The FIRE web site has details of a lot more of various kinds of PC, and the book The Shadow University is well worth reading. The general level of actual insanity in the academic profession is growing.
But while I could talk about the Decline of the West, the Long March through the Institutions, or the Destruction of Civilization, what we`re looking at here is much simpler, which is good, because it can be explained to a jury if necessary.
I can illustrate this with a story.
During World War II, a man applied for a job at a defense plant in Texas.
The interviewer asked him the following question: "Are you a member of any group or organization which means to overthrow the Government of the United States?"
"Yes, sir, I am." he said.
"You are?" said the interviewer, who had never previously gotten this response. (The question, also asked by the INS, is not designed to actually catch Communists, it`s supposed to provide a legal basis for firing them when they`re discovered.)
"Yes, sir, I`m a Republican."
In spite of the fact that he may have wanted to overthrow FDR or the Governor of Texas, they gave him the job anyhow, because of Civil Service rules.
So this diversity oath thing is not Wrong versus Right, socialist versus free-market, or ungodly versus godly. It`s much simpler than that.
It`s Democrat versus Republican. And that`s illegal, same as it is in the Fire Department.
March 14, 2001