Monday, September 28, 2020

Will More Diversity And Inclusion End Systemic Racism On Campus?

Universities have been at the forefront of diversity for the past 40 years. Yet, after the unfortunate death of George Floyd, they have rushed to declare that their campuses are replete with systemic, institutional racism.

To end racism and achieve “racial justice” on campus, and by extension in the wider community, universities have announced initiatives on teaching, research, and governance. A letter of September 23, 2020, from Stanford Provost Persis Drell to the Stanford Community typifies these measures. They include:

Hire more distinguished Black (and other underrepresented minority) professors to study the impact of race in America. 

Hire more junior Black scholars to study race/ethnic relations.

Train more black graduate students in race/ethnic relations to create a pipeline for future academic appointments.

Create departments of race/ethnic studies.

Require students to take one or more courses with a rigorous diversity experience. 

Train faculty, staff, and students on explicit and implicit racial basis.

Greatly increase Black inclusion across all units of university governance.

Will these measures reduce and ultimately end racism, especially anti-Black racism, on campus?

The short answer is No. Let me explain.

Inclusion does not mean Inclusive. All of the new hires, courses, research programs, and training sessions will not include all points of view, especially any criticism of the racial justice orthodoxy that prevails among university administrations, deans, and faculties.

Here are some prominent Conservative Black Intellectuals who have written extensively on race/ethnic relations. Many have argued, with evidence, that affirmative action does not largely help its intended beneficiaries, and that statistical disparities do not imply discrimination.

Thomas Sowell

Walter E. Williams

Shelby Steele

Jason Riley

Candace Owens

Clarence Thomas

Ben Carson

John McWhorter

Larry Elder

Star Parker 

Will any of their books and articles be included in the enhanced efforts to study and reduce "racial injustice?" Probably not.

Here are some Conservative White Intellectuals who have written extensively on race/ethnic relations. 

Gary Becker

Clifford Geertz

William Hutt

Pierre L. van den Berghe

Alvin Rabushka

Will any of their research be included in the efforts to improve race relations? Certainly not.

But what if some of their arguments are correct, that more focus on diversity, inclusion, and the pursuit of racial justice will worsen race relations? I will be shocked if a single book by any of the above-mentioned authors is required reading in any of the new initiatives in leading universities.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Abraham Accords. Peace Between Israel and the United Emirates and Bahrain

First Egypt in 1979, then Jordan in 1994, and now the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed peace agreements with Israel, establishing normal diplomatic relations, and launching cooperative economic and other arrangements. Saudi Arabia permitted a commercial El Al flight over its air space, from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi. More Arab countries are in the queue to sign peace agreements with Israel. All of this in addition to the Serbia-Kosovo deal.

Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament, for the Abraham Accords, and Magnus Jacobsson, a member of the Swedish Parliament, for the Kosovo-Serbia resolution. Peace prize nominations from Scandinavians are high praise.

Accolades have poured in, even from some anti-Trumpers.

Peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors has been one of the goals of every Secretary of State. Some spent days shuttling back and forth between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. The rise of Iran and the recalcitrance of the Palestinian leadership to accept any offer has rendered the Palestinians irrelevant. As Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban famously said, the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Now they are on the outside looking in. Maybe young Palestinians will instigate an orange revolution of their own and move to make peace with Israel and concentrate on bettering the lives of their people.

The Abraham Accords were signed at 1:00 PM EDT on September 15, 2020. As I post this comment, 48 hours have passed. I looked to see what all the former living Secretaries of State have said about this historic agreement. 

There are seven living Secretaries of State, or rather, the great George Shultz and six others, three Democrats and three Republicans, who served in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. All six all have Facebook and twitter pages, some more up-to-date than others. Shultz only has an inactive Facebook page.

To my surprise, none of the six posted or tweeted any comments on the Abraham Accords. Perhaps none of them wanted to acknowledge Trump’s foreign policy achievement. Maybe one or more will issue statements later. Still, rather disappointing.