Where there used to be a pinnacle, there’s now a crater. It was created when the social-justice model of higher education, currently centered on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts — and heavily invested in the administrative side of the university — blew up the excellence model, centered on the ideal of intellectual merit and chiefly concerned with knowledge, discovery and the free and vigorous contest of ideas.Claudine Gay and the Limits of Social Engineering at Harvard
I have to laugh at this. Conservatives have long complained about higher education in ways that give away the game. Was there really a time before DEI when people like Bret could be concerned with knowledge, discovery and the free and vigorous contest of ideas? No, that’s fiction. As I wrote a while ago:
I’m the first to admit things have changed. You used to be able to mock people of color by wearing blackface. Women were afraid of reporting harassment due to the consequences on them for reporting it. A white dude could use all kinds of slurs against the LGBT community for cheap laughs. It was totally ok to have an old boys club and hire your fellow white male friends. And all that was all viewed as totally normal. Because campus life was 99% male, 99% white, 99% christian and 99% native born.
It is important to realize that freedom is not being taken away from white men-dignity is no longer being withheld from women, from people of color and from the LGBT community. Freedom was not taken because white men never had any right to harass, belittle and exclude. Those transgressions simply went unpunished. And this is the change that conservatives are calling “woke”Campus moral panic articles never mention William F. Buckley.
This is what DEI changed. Before DEI being a white heterosexual christian dude was the default. And if you weren’t that then you were an outsider. But if Bret is really worried about unqualified students on campus, can I suggest an actual cohort of unqualified Harvard students?
In reality, 43% of Harvard’s white students are either recruited athletes, legacy students, on the dean’s interest list (meaning their parents have donated to the school) or children of faculty and staff (students admitted based on these criteria are referred to as ‘ALDCs’, which stands for ‘athletes’, ‘legacies’, ‘dean’s interest list’ and ‘children’ of Harvard employees). The kicker? Roughly three-quarters of these applicants would have been rejected if it weren’t for having rich or Harvard-connected parents or being an athlete.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/17/harvard-university-students-smart-iq
Now that’s what I call social engineering! Quick math in my head based on data from this site suggests about 12% of Harvard’s student body is made up of white kids that would not qualify for admission if it weren’t for social engineering. This exceeds both the black and latino populations are Harvards. I wonder what Bret thinks of that? I wonder why this isn’t a bigger issue?