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Douglas Andrews / Aug. 19, 2020

Conforming to a Race Lie

Our colleges are all in against systemic racism — but what if that's not the problem?

In September 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and called in the 101st Airborne Division to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School in accordance with the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The rest is history.

One wonders, though, what Eisenhower would make of our schools today — especially our colleges and universities, whose race-obsessed Red Guards have weaponized terms such as “white privilege” and “systemic racism” and who’ve made a mockery of our nation’s steady and monumental progress on civil rights.

When he left office in January 1961, Ike warned us about “the military-industrial complex,” saying that the “potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Had he a crystal ball, however, he might’ve warned us instead about the rise of the racial-industrial complex. Because no issue has been more viciously wielded nor more shamelessly monetized than race — and nowhere is this more apparent than in higher education.

For example: Bureaucrats at Cornell University are encouraging the entire Big Red community to read racism scholar Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist.

And what, exactly, is antiracism? As author and columnist Christopher Caldwell explains, “It is the political doctrine behind the street demonstrations, ‘cancelings,’ Twitter attacks, boycotts, statue topplings, and self-denunciations that have come together in a national movement. Anti-racists assume that the American system of politics, economics, and policing has been corrupted by racial prejudice, that such prejudice explains the entire difference in socioeconomic status between blacks and others, that the status quo must be fought and beaten, and that anyone not actively engaged in this system-changing work is a collaborator with racism, and therefore himself a legitimate target for attack.”

Kendi, it should be noted, recently proposed a constitutional amendment holding that any racial inequality is, by definition, the result of racism. And, by golly, after securing a two-thirds supermajority vote in both the House and Senate, and then securing passage by three-fourths of the 50 state legislatures, he’d create a Department of Antiracism to enforce our 28th Amendment.

Good luck with that.

Cornell’s case isn’t an outlier, though. As author and researcher Heather Mac Donald lays out in a recent essay, academia’s all-in embrace of systemic racism threatens not only our institutions but also our foundational principles. And this obsession with race has only increased since the wrongful May 25 death of career criminal George Floyd while in police custody.

“Colleges and universities,” she writes, “also promised increased diversity spending, though in amounts dwarfed by those corporate outpourings. Nevertheless, the academic response to Floyd’s death and the ensuing violence will have the greatest impact on the nation’s future. Academia was the ideological seedbed for that violence and for its elite justifications; it will prove just as critical in the accelerated transformation of the country.”

“The American Mathematical Society,” Mac Donald continues, “declared that ‘equity, diversity, and inclusion’ are fundamental to its mission. Mathematicians had an ‘obligation’ to ‘help create fundamental change,’ according to the AMS. The American Astronomical Society held color-coded Zoom meetings, one for white astronomers to ‘discuss direct actions to support Black astronomers,’ one for black astronomers to ‘talk, vent, connect, and hold space for each other,’ and one for ‘non-Black people of color to discuss direct actions to support Black astronomers.’”

“Harrumph,” they all harrumphed.

Then there’s the chairman of the earth and planetary sciences department at Cal-Davis, who announced an “anti-racist reading group” for faculty and students to help confront the “structural racism that pervades” the field of geology.

Mac Donald cites numerous examples like this from institutions large and small, and she finishes by asking the question few dare pose: “What if the racism explanation for ongoing disparities is wrong? What if racial economic and incarceration gaps cannot close without addressing personal responsibility and family culture — without a sea change in the attitudes that many inner-city black children bring with them to school regarding studying, paying attention in class, and respecting teachers, for example? What if the breakdown of the family is producing children with too little capacity to control their impulses and defer gratification?”

Answer: “The graduates of these ideologically monolithic universities will proceed further to dismantle our civilization in conformity to a lie.”

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