Heather Mac Donald: Colleges Teach Students to See Bias Where It Doesn’t Exist
“Taught by a metastasizing campus-diversity bureaucracy to believe that they are subject to an existential threat”
Heather Mac Donald, a scholar at the Manhattan Institute, has been leading an effort to expose the left’s ruinous agenda in higher education.
She writes at Time:
How Colleges Teach Students to See Bias Where It Doesn’t Exist
“You have blood on your hands. You’re a murderer,” shouted one of the protesters at Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate hearings of his nomination to the Supreme Court. This apocalyptic rhetoric had been espoused before — at none other than the Yale Law School, immediately after President Donald Trump announced the school’s graduate as his chosen replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.
There, a group of alumni and professors circulated an open letter declaring that selecting Kavanaugh “presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country.” People “will die” if Kavanaugh is confirmed, the letter announced. By the time of the hearings, Kavanaugh had gone from being a future murderer to an actual one.
These protests, intended to shut down the proceedings — and the fantastical social-media charge that one of Kavanaugh’s former clerks displayed a white-power sign during those hearings — showed how academic identity politics is transforming the non-academic world. To be sure, there were differences: the Capitol police actually intervened to restore order and the Judiciary Committee is ideologically balanced. But the long-term prognosis for reason and civility is not good.
The key feature of academic diversity ideology is the assertion that to be a member of an ever-growing number of favored victim groups at a college today is to be the target of pervasive bigotry on campus — despite, well, being favored. Taught by a metastasizing campus-diversity bureaucracy to believe that they are subject to an existential threat from circumambient bias, students equate nonconforming ideas with “hate speech,” and “hate speech” with conduct that should be punished, censored and repelled with force if necessary.
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The diversity bureaucracy teaches what it is paid to teach. They are a symptom of the problem, not its chief source.