30.5.06

POSTMODERN PILLORIES. David at Liberty and Power discovers Glenn Singleton, a diversity hustler who appears to be making a good living compelling teachers and professors to contemplate their default privileges. He's been re-enacting the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Chapel Hill.

In an exercise called "The Color Line," they answer 26 questions on a 0 to 5 scale, such as:

"When I am told about our national heritage or 'civilization,' I am shown that people of my race made it what it is."

Or "I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of race."

Teachers who feel situations are "often true" put down fives. Threes are for "sometimes true"
and zeroes are for "seldom true."

After tallying their scores, teachers write the number down, wear them around their necks and line up from highest to lowest.

What else is in this questionnaire? The two example questions suggest more than one interpretation. I'd be tempted, for example, to take the worst-case scenario out of the controversial national history standards of the early 1990s and enter a zero (few white men, no economists, no midwesterners) for that question. And that affirmative-action question says more than the diversity hustler knows about the reality of affirmative action employment, in which there is an unstated but real tradeoff between performance and diversity. (Ward Churchill is an extreme case.)

The fault, however, lies with ... nobody.

How does Singleton believe schools perpetuate white superiority without knowing it?

When white students walk into Advanced Placement classes and see few or no minorities.

When teachers avoid race by saying, "I'm colorblind." To disengage, he says, is racist.

Or when white parents jockey behind the scenes to get their children the best teachers, leaving less-connected minority parents with the luck of the draw.

This, Singleton says, is institutional racism at work.

Left unstated: what precludes any parent from learning who are the better teachers, let alone the better school districts?

Mr Beito summarizes the enterprise.
This is all extremely depressing for those who value education and academic freedom. The worst part of it, however, is the groveling readiness of so many faculty to subject themselves to public degradation under the abusive eyes of Singleton's associates. Meanwhile, the same government schools and colleges that are wasting funds and time on this nonsense continue to dumb down standards and preside over the tyranny of low expectations for all students, black and white.
Quite so.

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