The Diversity Racket
The Left's efforts to eviscerate meritocracy in favor of "inclusion" is reaching metastatic levels.
“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” —Eric Hoffer
In modern-day America, there is no greater racket than diversity. Moreover, the American Left’s ongoing determination to eviscerate meritocracy in favor of “inclusion” is reaching metastatic levels.
We begin in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio and newly appointed schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced their intentions to diversify admissions to the city’s eight specialized high schools — by eliminating the admissions exam. “We cannot let this injustice continue,” de Blasio declared. “By giving a wider, more diverse pool of our best students an equal shot at admissions, we will make these schools stronger and our city fairer.”
What “injustice?” Asian dominance, it would seem. Asians comprise 74% of the student population at Stuyvesant, 66% at Bronx Science, 61% at Brooklyn Tech, and 82% at Queens HS for Science at York College, despite comprising only 20% of the total NYC public school population.
How do officials intend to make the pool wider? “To remedy the dearth of black and Hispanic students, the mayor proposes expanding enrollment by 20 percent, with additional students who failed to get qualifying scores, but only from majority black and Hispanic middle schools,” columnist Lisa Schiffren explains. “And he wants to bring in the top 7 percent of each of the 600 middle schools in the city. Consider that many of those middle schools do not report even one student reading or doing math at grade level.”
For a hack like de Blasio, dumbing down NYC’s best high schools is preferable to taking on the all-powerful teachers union and fixing the schools known as “failure factories” they have cultivated — for decades.
In a stark and oh-so-revealing contrast to these contemptible machinations, a homeless black student educated at a NYC charter school aptly known as the Success Academy just received a full ride to MIT. “Moctar Fall, of The Bronx, is one of 16 members of the charter school network’s first graduating high-school class — all of whom nabbed spots at four-year colleges ranging from Barnard and Tufts to Stony Brook and Emory,” the New York Post reports.
Unsurprisingly, the Success Academy and other charter schools that put the lie to leftist education schemes are considered beneath contempt by de Blasio and the teachers’ union.
Chancellor Carranza? “Not so long ago, chancellors were hired to run schools and promote educational excellence for all students,” columnist Micheal Goodwin asserts. “Now they’re hired to engineer outcomes based on race, ethnicity and family income.”
Tragic, life-wrecking outcomes.
Where else is meritocracy on the ropes? An Obama administration “diversity road map” directive released in January 2017 requires Navy commanders to “effectively manage diversity” and “refine approaches to engender a sustainable culture of inclusion.” It will be enforced by layers of bureaucracy, including the total force integration board, the executive diversity advisory council, and the diversity and inclusion council. It is part of an overall initiative spearheaded between 2012 and 2017 by the Department of Defense which asserted that diversity “is a strategic imperative, critical to mission readiness and accomplishment, and a leadership requirement.”
As The Washington Times notes, the directive “has the hallmarks of former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the eight-year officeholder whose legacy is steeped in social change.” The same Ray Mabus who sought to “gender-integrate” Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) job titles by removing the word “man” from them.
Warped priorities seemingly have their consequences. A three-month Navy review reveals that nearly 85% of its junior officers “struggled to react decisively to extricate their ship from danger when there was an immediate risk of collision,” Defense News reported.
This stunning lack of basic seamanship included struggles with “operating radars and the associated tools at hand,” and applying international rules “practically during watch standing, especially in low-visibility situations.” And while most of the first-tour officers of the deck (OODs) demonstrated the ability to remain clear from other ships in a simulator, they nonetheless demonstrated an inability to “take immediate action to avoid collisions” when they found themselves in actual extreme situations.
Vice Adm. Richard Brown attributes this incompetence to “a bell curve distribution.” He explained, “We had 27 who were on top, we had 108 who were in the middle and we had 29 who were kind of at the lower end.”
One is left to wonder whether such bell curve distributions provide any comfort to the families and friends of 17 sailors on the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain killed in what a Navy report called “avoidable” collisions.
Retired Navy admiral James A. Lyons doesn’t buy the elevation of inclusion over talent. “I believe the current problems our ships are experiencing can be traced to these mandates,” he asserts. “With the hundreds of millions of dollars that are expended to build today’s sophisticated warships, we must have the ‘best and brightest’ to man those ships. Now is the time to take the lead by breaking the shackles of political correctness and put the Navy back on an even keel.”
From the Navy, we move to air traffic control — and utter insanity. “The safety of America’s airline passengers is being compromised for the sake of diversity in hiring air traffic controllers, an attorney suing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host Tucker Carlson on Friday,” Fox News reports. Attorney Michael Pearson stated that an FAA sub-group known as the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees determined the “workforce was too white.”
The story has come to light due to a revived lawsuit filed by Andrew Brigida. In 2013, he graduated with two aviation-related bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University, one of the FAA’s Collegiate Training Initiative schools. He also aced the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam (AT-SAT). Nonetheless, he hasn’t been hired in five years.
Why? In 2013, the Obama administration determined that diversity was more important than merit. Preference was no longer given to CTI graduates, and a “biographical questionnaire” (BQ) was added to the screening process.
Fox News obtained a copy of it. “Applicants with a lower aptitude in science got preference over applicants who had scored excellent in science,” Carlson reveals. “Applicants who had been unemployed for the previous three years got more points than licensed pilots got. In other words, the FAA actively searched for unqualified air traffic controllers.”
Fox also obtained an internal email written by an executive at the firm that revised the BQ. It admitted the test had nothing to do with finding the most qualified controllers.
Brigida filed a lawsuit against the FAA in 2016. It was was initially dismissed, but U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich overturned that decision. William Perry Pendley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a public-interest law firm representing Brigida, stated the blindingly obvious. “We’re not talking about somebody driving a truck,” he said. “We’re talking about somebody guiding an aircraft into snowbound Chicago.”
Is this the final straw for diversity mandates? Or will fear of flying give way to, say, fear of surgery?
Only the diversity racketeers know for certain.