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The tyranny of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”

Craig A. Carter | A dangerous totalitarian ideology is degrading American universities


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The tyranny of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”
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A slow-rolling revolution is happening in American and Canadian universities. A dangerous, totalitarian ideology is pushing out science, freedom, and dissent from the party line. If this is allowed to continue much longer, universities will be degraded to the level they were in the old Soviet Union to the detriment of our entire society. We will be intellectually, spiritually, and materially poorer as a result. As a society, we will also be more susceptible to demagogues and manipulative sociopaths who will exploit the situation to gain power over us. The situation is that dangerous.

The new ideology pushing out science, logic, and debate is known as “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Its real purpose is not what you might think. Its real goal is to decrease diversity of thought, exclude anyone who dissents from the party line, and deny fairness to those who stand in its way. Its effects are the opposite of its language.

Confusion abounds because these slogans are pure propaganda. The words “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “equity” are used for their emotive value, but they are redefined in ways that make them a justification for a less tolerant, less diverse, less critical, and less equal society. You can debate whether this is some form of Marxism, but it makes little difference. Like Marxism, this ideology is incompatible with liberal democracy, and so regardless of whether it is a form of Marxism, it is extremely dangerous. Liberal democracy is under severe and unrelenting attack. The replacement ideology will be illiberal, replaced by fascism, communism, or something else.

Princeton Professor Robert P. George highlighted an example of this destructive ideology at work recently. MIT recently cancelled the Carlson Lecture, scheduled to be given at on Oct. 21, 2021, by Dr. Dorian Abbot, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago.

Why was it cancelled? Student activists demanded that it be cancelled, and the university administration shamefully capitulated to that pressure. The lecture was on the climates of extrasolar planets, and the professor’s expertise in the field was never questioned. He was not even lecturing on politics. Instead, the mob targeted him because of an article he co-authored in Newsweek in which he criticized the ideology of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Apparently, today’s students think that anyone who dares to express a contrary opinion must be shut down by force. And university administrators cannot stand up to the mob, let alone discipline students for bad behavior. On most campuses liberal student activists are now in control.

Note that what was shut down was not political speech but scientific discourse. Science itself was sacrificed by the mob (and by MIT) for the sake of political ideology. Think about that for a moment. The advocates of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” are so fanatical about enforcing their dogma that they would shut down academic discourse itself to silence and cancel their critics. To strike against scientific discourse is to aim a dagger at the heart of the university. Take away free scientific debate, and you undermine reason, research, and progress. It is an attack on the mission of the university.

For MIT to acquiesce in this totalitarian behavior should send shock waves through the academy. Robert P. George is right to raise the alarm, and, to his credit, he has been doing just that along with a few others such as Peter Boghossian, Glenn Loury, Bari Weiss, and others. Princeton, to its credit, hosted the lecture. The MIT administration comes off looking utterly craven, however. The problem is that there simply are too few Robert Georges in academia. Such things are now commonplace, and we are now accustomed to such attacks on science and reason. What is happening?

We must admit that the desire for freedom is slowly eroding. The political order we live in is a compromise between Enlightenment principles and a moral view of the world derived from Christianity. As the influence of Christianity wanes, the procedures we rely on to protect freedom and dissent reveal themselves too weak to stand up to totalitarian ideologues animated by self-righteousness, fueled by hate, and determined to impose their will on cowardly institutions and morally vacuous leaders.

To bow before their illiberal demands is to abandon freedom and dissent. Those bowing to the ideologues imagine retaining freedom even as they adjust their behavior to avoid the chanting mob. But they are only fooling themselves. Don’t be fooled.


Craig A. Carter

Craig A. Carter is Research Professor of Theology at Tyndale University in Toronto, Ontario, and theologian in residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church in Ajax, Ontario.

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greentravelgal

'World Opinions' - can't tell if this content is actually curated or just commissioned based on trending items in the conservative twitterverse. Can we please have fewer polemics and more thoughtful examinations? This is why we subscribe to World. I can read hot takes anywhere.

FIMIKI

"When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat"

"Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly."

"Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander"

What distinguishes as believers is not that we are free from illiberal demands and slanderous accusations, or even that we should try to be, but how we respond to them.

not silent

In response to previous comments: I also took a history class as an undergrad (US history). In my case, the professor insisted that the US was terrible and did everything wrong and the Soviet Union (this was during the Cold War) did everything right. Since many of the events had happened DURING OUR LIFETIMES-and others had happened during our PARENTS' LIFETIMES-we knew what he was telling us was revisionist at best and inaccurate at worst. A classmate complained to the dean but nothing was ever done.

I am not generally in favor of shutting people down, even if I disagree. In fact, I think free discourse of ideas in the public square is essential for democracy and for the gospel. But with great freedom comes great responsibility; and free speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

I can acknowledge someone's right to free speech and to their opinion but STILL call them out if I know they are lying or if what they say might cause harm to me or others. To be fair, I may find certain things offensive that others do not find offensive; and I don't personally expect the entire world to adjust itself to me and my sensitivities. But I was much less able to discern error and lies and to protect myself from abusive or offensive words as a student than I am now. It would be impossible for any human being to avoid all offense or accommodate all needs; but I think teachers and professors, as the "adults," should be aware of their responsibility and hold themselves to a higher standard.

For what it's worth, proponents of "equity" are not claiming it is the same as "equality." It is more about how they feel people should right wrongs and injustice done in the past. My opinion is this: We can be open to listening to others and hearing about their personal experiences and/or the experiences of their ancestors and can acknowledge that harm has been done WITHOUT necessarily agreeing with all remedies that have been proposed.

not silentnot silent

To expand a bit on my last paragraph: I spent several years debating atheists online. It was quite common for the fact that atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity to come up. I was not personally responsible for those atrocities, of course; but I saw no point in denying that they had happened. I usually agreed with the atheist that they were terrible and worthy of outrage and apologized on behalf of the people who did such things in the name of my God. That gave the perfect opportunity to point out that actions and events like that were contrary to the teachings of the Bible and not reflective of God's character.

RSHA8046

I read your opinion and I honestly didn't follow your point. This is why. When I was in undergrad I took Civil War history as an elective. The professor stood up in class of several hundred students and stated that slavery was not that bad and that Blacks were lazy, President Lincoln was a nut, General Grant was a drunk and General Lee was like the "second coming." I was deeply offended about his characterization of slavery and Blacks. That guy was considered an expert in Civil War history and would often appear on the History Channel as an expert. Every time I saw that guy my blood would boil. So my point is, if that professor you are complaining about said something similarly offensive about Diversity and Inclusion then I agree with the students for shutting him down. It doesn't matter that it was a separate subject. It was the character of the person speaking that mattered. You did not state what he said to offend, but if it was similar to my Civil Was professor, I don't think the guy should ever get to speak on anything. He doesn't deserve an audience. There are others I am sure that could speak the science. It doesn't sound like the issue was about the science, but was about the character of the person. However, if the guy was not offensive like my old professor then I would agree with you. You just didn't provide enough detail and character does matter.

Big JimRSHA8046

RSHA8046 - The author provided a link to the Newsweek article that offended the student protestors. You can read it for yourself and decide if you agree with what the students did. I, for one, found the Newsweek article to be well reasoned and non-offensive. This sounds more like a case of a woke student mob shutting down speech they don't like.

By the way, I disagree with your statement " . . . I don't think the guy should ever get to speak on anything. He doesn't deserve an audience." That's the beauty of the 1st Amendment, even people with bad character have a voice. Good thing, too, otherwise it would be pretty quiet in this country.