The National Association of Scholars has a bold idea, and some might see it as a turn toward…scholarship.
President Peter Wood has penned a paper titled “Regime Change: Repelling the DEI Assault on Higher Education.”
DEI’s criticism of America for “inequitable treatment” of minorities, Peter writes, often “veers into simplistic claims and fictions presented as fact.” But “esteemed historians” as well as “parents of all races” oppose classroom messages that frame the country as “fundamentally racist.”
The author outlines DEI’s posed “peril”:
- Ethnic division and strife: DEI is an incitement to racial resentment, primarily of blacks against whites, and at another level of whites against blacks.
- Political opportunism: DEI…is aimed at recruiting students through emotional manipulation into durable loyalty to progressive political ideologies.
- Cultural impoverishment: DEI imposes ruthless hostility toward Western values and falsely romantic views of other traditions.
- Historical amnesia: DEI…sets forth grossly inaccurate accounts of the American past as if they were true, and it provides students with no basis to recognize that there are other accounts better grounded in the facts.
- Professional incompetence: Because it lowers academic standards and diverts attention from…facts, DEI leaves graduates with an inferior education.
- International competitiveness: Other nations are not handicapping generations of students by providing them with inferior DEI-inflected educations…
- Destructive orientation: DEI prioritizes race in all contexts and subordinates all other principled considerations.
NAS opposes racial preferences and the “rising tide” of “anti-intellectual authoritarianism in American colleges and universities.” For such scourges, the classroom is one “insertion point.” But more potent are — among others — pronouncements of systemic racism from high-ranking school officials, mission statements composed in DEI language, institutional “diversity action plans,” diversity scrutiny/reviews of faculty, and woke tenure requirements.
Another biggie: DEI “redefinitions.”
Academic qualifications…are redefined to include “lived experience.” Evidence is redefined to include “trauma-informed” opinions. … The definition of academic “success” in every discipline is redefined to include mastery of the contributions of [minorities], even when these are historically minimal.
The National Association of Scholars contends that DEI violates three Constitutional amendments:
- First Amendment, via coerced and prohibited speech
- Fourth Amendment, via intrusion into matters of personal conviction
- Fourteenth Amendment, via racially discriminatory rules that violate the Equal Protection Clause
There is no reason why legislatures could not responsibly exercise their existing powers to end the un-Constitutional and illegal actions colleges and universities have put in place to advance “antiracism.”
Peter’s recipe for success:
- Ban mandatory DEI training
- Ban all forms of DEI evaluation
- Require transparency
- Encourage vocational schools and post-secondary education
- Terminate funding to institutions that refuse to mend their ways
The paper calls for established “vigilance” and a “counter-bureaucracy.”
The DEI bureaucracy must be met with a well-informed and equally-determined body of people who are opposed to its agenda. This counter-bureaucracy should enforce the policies mentioned above and take whatever actions are needed to restore free speech, academic freedom, and due process in institutional settings where these have been compromised.
DEI certainly appears to have penetrated the heart of education. It’s surely hard for modern-day students to imagine that, relatively few years ago, no such thing existed. The public ed apparatus has been overwhelmed by identity-group-focused social-justice bureaucracies, overseeing classrooms that inculcate that same emphasis. Has such a transformation benefited our future? If not, what’s more feasible: a return to old-school education, or an abandonment of the government school system?
Either way, the National Association of Scholars is thinking big.
Higher education, the article asserts, can form “young men and women into responsible adults prepared to participate fully in our free and self-governing society.”
The antiracist mania now running loose in academe does exactly the opposite. It prepares students to live in fear, resentment, and recrimination in a society dominated by a manipulative elite. We look to our elected leaders to stop these developments now, before the damage of so-called antiracism becomes irreparable.
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