By Monica Showalter
A plagiarism scandal is engulfing and tainting Harvard University’s president, Claudine Gay, and the entire woke institution that defends her.
But there’s a certain silver lining that’s coming of it: One of the academic scholars who got plagiarized, Carol Swain, has begun to draw some attention, and she’s well worth paying attention to indeed.
I’ll admit I’d never heard of her until the Gay scandal drew her name into the news. What a loss that was. Her knowledge of academia and her lion-like courage to challenge it is absolutely worthy of attention because she’s a truth teller.
Here is her latest tweet:
Why do some colleges and universities have mandatory #DEI statements? I’m glad you asked.
Mandatory DEI statements help liberals weed the pool of applicants to exclude conservatives and anyone else who believes in a meritocratic system. Once hired universities have a myriad of ways of punishing anyone who questions the status quo.
Universities have a “systemic bias” that ensures that defectors will pay a high cost for questioning the biases.
Administrators have ave the ability to make one’s life miserable by withholding raises, issuing denunciation statements, and labeling defectors as the weakest link.
Professors often steer students to preferred professors and stir unrest among students to maintain control. I have seen it all.
That’s a powerful expose in a nutshell explaining why academia has gotten so left-wing.
They already were left-wing when I was a student in college, decades ago, at the Jesuit-run Univesity of San Francisco, but there were pockets of ideological diversity at the time. By the time I got out, they slowly and surely being shut down by the left.
By the time I got to Columbia in the 1990s, it was all left-wing, but there still was tolerance and respect for divergent views. I remember we had a whole class lecture featuring an essay by Stephanie Guttmann of National Review on the slow shutout of conservative ideas.
Today, academia is a disaster area — solidly woke, censorship-minded, cancel-culture-minded, triggered, micro-aggressed, safe-spaced, and completely intolerant of dissent. And sure enough, in that academic monoculture, it’s also corrupted with plagiarism, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. In any political system of any kind where there are no checks and balances, stealing happens. It’s Claudine Gay’s world and it’s the scandal-plagued Harvard world of now that she helped make.
Swain points out that the villain is diversity, equity, and inclusion — which is what is shutting conservative academics, and the very people who could provide checks and balances in academia — out.
She explains that every university committee requires these statements of applicants, and they are what are used to keep conservatives out. DEI, in other words, is the absolute truth, like water is wet, so someone who doesn’t hew to its premises is considered crazy or not a good fit for the comfy one-party faculty lounges financed by taxpayers of all political stripes. The DEI crowd cannot distinguish between political takes and objective truth.
She also tweeted about what she told one of these DEI committees, which is a masterpiece of brevity and clear thinking.
A few months ago, I was invited to apply for a visiting professorship at a major university out west. As part of the application, I had to submit a mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement.
It was difficult to write because I believe that all DEI programs should be abolished and that we can achieve diversity without discrimination. As I argued in my co-authored book, “The Adversity of Diversity,” DEI programs are divisive, and many, if not all, of the programs violate our civil rights laws, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Therefore, I argued that diversity programs should share the same fate as race-based college admissions, which the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional last June.
Below are some of the main thoughts I offered in my required DEI statement:
I am fervently committed to advancing diversity, equal opportunity – not equity – and inclusion, resulting in a policy that can promote true integration and respect of individuals in American institutions and society. True diversity comes through the practice of nondiscrimination, outreach, and compliance with existing civil rights law and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Honoring the First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion can and should result in diversity of thought and goodwill among diverse groups of people. Institutions can and should abide by the First Amendment. Institutional leaders should encourage and promote the simple but enduring tenets of the Golden Rule: treat others how you would like them to treat you.
This approach truly does work. I speak as a person who started life in poverty, dropped out of middle school, married at age 16, and had three children before I turned 21. And yet I found success.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination on account of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion; its passage opened doors for people like me. It created a merit-based system, where nondiscrimination in hiring and college admissions became a reality.
I had the good fortune to benefit from the possibility for the recruitment of talented minorities. I believe this should still be true: we should continue to recruit talented individuals from diverse groups that include poor whites and Asians. We can have integrated workplaces and campuses if we become creative in how we define diversity and how we go about pursuing it: not merely based on the obviousness of race or ethnicity, but on concepts like character and vision. I believe we can accomplish this approach to diversity goals within the confines of current state and federal laws.
Treating everyone equally under the law should be a given. Recruiting talented individuals and helping where needed on an equal basis is where our nation should be headed if we are to achieve equality of opportunity in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
I strongly believe that this alternative approach to diversifying institutions can be a counter to America’s divisive DEI programs. It should work because of what we know about human nature and, I dare say, what I have personally witnessed during my lifetime.
Naturally, she didn’t get the job. Soviet-style mediocrities know a threat to their blotting-paper world when they see one.]