The Biden era begins. There is every reason to fear that the United States’ drift towards civil confrontation will be accentuated. The Democratic Party’s ideology is nothing more than identity politics and sexual-racial vindictiveness: a doctrine that divides society into tribes of oppressors and oppressed. Namely, a diversocracy.
The press highlights about Vice President Kamala Harris are not her ideas (very radical, by the way), but her status as a woman and Asian-African-American. It is not her mind that is of interest, but her genitals (although, with the irruption of transgender activism, basing sex on the gonads is five minutes away from being considered Fascist) and her skin color.
Not since the Nazis has politics been so racially obsessed. Martin Luther King’s dream – that every person “be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” – is further away than ever.
Black boxer Joe Louis’ immortal phrase (when asked, after winning the world championship, if he was “proud of his race,” he said, “Yes, I am proud of my race: the human race, of course”) would today be considered a “racist microaggression” by the University of California’s diversity handbook (“Fostering Inclusive Excellence: Strategies and Tools for Department Chairs and Deans”).
Yes, the statement “there is no race other than the human race” is discouraged, as it amounts, according to the handbook to “denying the individual as a racial-cultural being.” So are others such as “The most qualified person should get the job”, “America is the land of opportunity” or “When I look at you, I see a person, not a color”. Color-blindness, the great achievement of Lincoln or Frederick Douglass, has come to be seen as a cover for “white supremacy.”
And yes, the toxic doctrine that has infected politics and may end up infecting all of Western society comes from the University; that’s why Heather MacDonald’s “The Diversity Delusion” is a must-read. In the departments of Women’s Studies (now “Gender Studies”) and Critical Race Theory, the worldview that is being inculcated into entire generations of young people has been codified.
Its main theses are:
- That human beings are defined, not by their beliefs, abilities, interests or achievements, but by their sex, race, and sexual orientation.
- That Western society has always been based on the domination of women, non-whites, and homosexuals by the white heterosexual male.
- That all socioeconomic, academic, etc. differences between the sexes and ethnic groups are due to systemic male chauvinism and racism.
It is not only that these ideas inform the functioning of universities (endowed, for example, with a very complex and expensive “diversity bureaucracy” dedicated to monitoring the ever-imminent male chauvinist/racist/homophobic aggressions and discriminations), but that they are almost the only thing that is learned in them (at least, in the humanities and social sciences faculties).
One example among many provided by MacDonald: until 2011, students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were required to complete one course on Chaucer, two on Shakespeare, and one on Milton to earn a major in English Philology; after a revolt by “anti-racist” professors, that requirement was dropped, and instead they began to be required to take subjects such as “Gender, Race, Disability and Sexuality Studies” or “Imperial, Transnational and Postcolonial Studies.”
English Literature majors will no longer know anything about King Lear, Oberon, and Othello (racism!), but will recite the litany of white privilege and intersectional oppression off the cuff.
A generation of ignoramuses is being educated, convinced that there is nothing valuable in a Western past in which they see only “male privilege” and “white supremacy.” The Founding Fathers’ figures have ceased to be respected: statues of Jefferson or Washington, who are now only seen as “slave owners,” are beginning to be attacked.
And in addition to being ignorant, they are intolerant. In the 18-35 age group, the percentage of those in favor of unconditional freedom of speech decreases: only those who agree with the secular religion of racial-sexual irredentism have the right to speak.
Professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis were harassed – and eventually expelled from their professorships at Yale – when they dared to criticize in an email the dean’s circular ordering whites not to dress up as characters of other races on Halloween; the president, instead of defending the professors, rewarded the agitators.
Similar cases of professional lynching had affected professors Jordan Peterson (for refusing to use the “non-binary” newspeak pronouns: transphobia!), Bret Weinstein (for criticizing the inverted “Truancy Day,” during which all whites are expelled from campus), Val Rust (for pointing out to a student that the word “Indian” should not be capitalized: racism! ), Amy Wax and Larry Alexander (for publishing an article in which they defended the “bourgeois values” of mid-20th century America: marriage, hard work, self-discipline…), and long etcetera (including Heather MacDonald herself, who had to deliver her 2017 lecture at Claremont McKenna College under heavy police escort and before an almost empty auditorium, while a horde of anti-supremacist students banged on doors and glass).
In Spain, professors like Alicia Rubio or yours truly have suffered similar situations.
The obsession with racial diversity is destroying meritocracy and distorting universities’ selection mechanisms, as MacDonald’s data show. In Berkeley’s liberal arts program, blacks and Hispanics can enter with an SAT score of 250 points (on a scale of 1600) lower than that required of whites and Asians.
A 2002 Wall Street Journal article showed that UCLA had accepted a Hispanic student with an SAT score of 940 while rejecting a Korean with 1,500. The 2003 John Moores Sr. study revealed that Berkeley had admitted 374 applicants with SAT scores below 1,000 (almost all black and Hispanic) while rejecting 3,128 with scores above 1,400 (all white or Asian).
The underrepresentation of African Americans and Hispanics in college is not a product of “systemic racism,” but of varying levels of academic achievement beginning in elementary school: among eighth-graders (13-14 years of age), 11% of blacks achieve proficiency in math; among whites, 42%; among Asians, 61%. The respective percentages are 15%, 44%, and 51% in reading.
The reason why, in the United States, only 14% of engineers and 25% of computer scientists are women is not the entrenched male chauvinism in science faculties and technology companies. Still, the fact -soberly accredited by psychological studies but made unpronounceable by political incorrectness- that women, on average, are less attracted to mathematics and technology. In the 0.1% of the population with the highest mathematical ability, males outnumber females by 2.5 to 1.
But the big universities and companies do not accept reality: totally imbued with the dominant progressive ideology, they distort the selection process for students and employees, applying “holistic” criteria so that belonging to the desired group matters more than the knowledge possessed. The goal is no longer the pursuit of excellence but of racial and gender diversity. Excellence is sacrificed to diversity.
Identity politics is not lethal to a country just because it dissolves the individual into the racial or sexual herd of the day. It pits men against women, whites against blacks, or Asians against Hispanics. Not only because it leads universities, administrations, and companies to devote enormous resources to the persecution of racism/sexism/homophobia that no longer exists (except in a very marginal way).
Above all, preventing the meritocratic selection of employees, executives and researchers will soon affect business competitiveness and scientific progress. We will regret it when we will be operated on by surgeons there, not because of their expertise and knowledge, but because of their sex or race. When companies are run, not by the most capable, but by those favored in the new racial-sexual distribution of power.
The obsession with sex and race is even reaching into science and technology, as MacDonald’s book shows. Amherst College’s hiring policy in the Biology department turns out to be presided over by the principle that “diversity is crucial to achieving scientific excellence.”
One would have thought that progress would be achieved with strong research teams, whether “diverse” or not. But qualification is sacrificed to diversocracy, as demonstrated by Amherst’s commitment that merit will be evaluated “holistically” (i.e., arbitrarily).
The American Astronomical Society has recommended eliminating the requirement to pass the Physics GRE exam in order to pursue a PhD in astronomy, as it prevents more women and members of “underrepresented racial minorities” from applying. Oxford University has extended the time for its mathematics and computer science exams in the hope that more women will pass.
Identity politics is toxic in a final sense: by proposing systemic (imaginary) racism/sexism as a universal explanatory key, it discourages individual and family responsibility. Unjust structures are always to blame, not one’s own misconduct.
For example, the politically correct explanation for the African-American under-representation in the academic elite and their over-representation in criminal and prison statistics would be the alleged racism of teachers, police and judges, and not, for example, the near disappearance of the family institution among African-Americans (71% of children are raised by single mothers).
Appealing to self-responsibility, effort and self-improvement is “blaming the victim.” When Amy Wax and Larry Alexander published in “The Philadelphia Inquirer” their article calling for the recovery of the “bourgeois values” of hard work, thrift and family stability, they were accused, as always, of racism, for advocating “white virtues”: “the superiority of one race over another is not an admissible idea in the 21st century,” thundered the Penn Graduate Students Union (GET-UP).
To no avail, Wax and Alexander explained that there is nothing inherently “white” about such virtues, and that they can benefit all races equally, as evidenced by the academic and professional success of Asian-Americans, which is superior to that of whites, or African Americans. As in so many other cases, academic authorities sided with the “anti-racist” lynch mobs.
A spokesperson for the law school where Wax and Alexander taught declared that “the views expressed in the article belong only to its authors, and do not represent the values and policies of Penn Law School.”
Accelerated by the Democrats in power, racial and gender tribalism will continue to undermine America’s civil peace, economic well-being, and academic and scientific excellence. Meanwhile, China waits and smiles.
Francisco José Contreras Peláez is a philosophy of law professor of the University of Seville.