A dear grandniece recently e-mailed me a news clip about the University of North Carolina, my alma mater. It filled me with a profound sense of disquiet. It may be that this once proud bastion of classical liberal education is gradually succumbing to the assaults of the progressives.
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewick has informed the UNC faculty that they will be required to take DEI training. DEI stands for “diversity, equity and inclusion,” and DEI programs have taken center stage in the American workplace. It appears to be a noble effort to improve understanding, racial harmony, and fairness for workers in government, business and academia.
As defined by its advocates, Diversity refers to the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, political perspective, or membership in a population that has been and remains underrepresented in this particular workplace and marginalized in the broader community. Wow! That appears to cover the field.
Equity means promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. This requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities in our society.
Inclusion is an outcome that ensures that those who are diverse actually feel and/or welcomed. Inclusion goals are met when you, your institution, and your program are truly inviting to all and that diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within the organization or group.
Now, may I utter a double wow?
As I stated, DEI appears to be a noble goal. Boiled down to its most elementary expression, the aim of DEI is to ensure that everyone receives fair treatment in the workplace. Who can honestly disagree with that purpose?
My concern is with the actual implementation of a DEI program. Does the program take account of the natural differences in talent, energy, ambition and personal strengths and weaknesses that differentiate one worker from another? From personal experience, I know that disgruntled employees will often scream discrimination and inequity without cause. I also know that, in today’s America, a talented, hard-working employee will usually get ahead regardless of his/her ethnicity or socio-economic status. Will DEI have that much of a positive impact, or might it be counterproductive? I wonder.
Even more troubling is Chancellor Guskiewick statement that the DEI program “will offer common language to better understand how the world shapes and informs our shared values and experiences and will use an interactive platform to explore such topics as identity, power, privilege, and communication.”
Those familiar with the left’s manipulation of language to achieve its goals will recognize that development of a set of common terms is a method often used to frame issues in a way to preclude dissenting opinions. This is a tactic straight out of a Marxist playbook. Also, does anyone remember that the expression Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! was being shouted by the revolutionists in 1792. It was a beautiful idea, but the result was a mass effusion of blood. Frenchmen seeking egality were inclined to get it by cutting the aristocrats down to size (removing their heads) rather than raising themselves up.
I am not certain about the motives of those pushing the DEI program at UNC, but I urge the professors to stay vigilant. Do not allow yourselves to be led astray.
Speaking of being led astray, I also learned that UNC employs a lecturer named Dwayne Nixon who teaches a large introductory course on Asian studies. It is a very popular course and seems to be what we former students referred to as a “crip course”, meaning that it requires very little effort to get a high grade. Nixon is evidently a dynamic speaker, and many of the students adore him. He has been associated with anarchist organizations that promote social revolution, and he has been arrested at least twice for involvement in mob violence. From student reports, it appears that Nixon does not hesitate to express his extremely radical views in his lectures. I am very much in favor of the open discussion of ideas at the university, but does Nixon go too far? Does he honor the principles of DEI, or are his students being brainwashed and conservative views suppressed?
Shallow thinking progressives and nihilists are in the saddle. Judeo-Christian values and western civilization itself are at stake.