The diversity scam works by relying on a fraudulent concept of ethnic identity that submerges the individual into crude stereotypes and cultural clichés. Blacks all have “soul” and a special insight into the life of emotion, the body, and folk wisdom denied to uptight repressed whites. “Hispanics” all put greater value on the family and the collective, contrary to the selfish individualism so prized by American whites. Most of these stereotypes are merely modern variations of the old noble savage myth that for centuries has been used to compensate for the trade-offs and complexities of civilization. The denizens of complex civilizations can make themselves feel good by fantasizing about the simpler, more authentic, more fulfilling lives of the dark-skinned “other” free from inhibition and repression. Thus despite their stale, reductive crudity, these caricatures are constantly recycled, not just in the classrooms of ethnic studies or ethnic literature programs, but in novels, television shows, and the movies, where most black characters function as dispensers of wisdom and insight to inept dopey whites.
Worse yet, this phony ethnic identity is founded on the notion of victimhood and oppression generated by pervasive white racism and prejudice. Skin color and exotic surname thus signify this victim-status and the resulting privileges, institutional benefits, and special treatment that all comprise the reparations owed for those historical sins. No matter if the person has benefitted from education and a comfortable upbringing, he nonetheless deserves special privileges based not on his personal experience but on the accident of his ethnicity. Look no further than Barack Obama, who by any objective criterion has nothing in his life that makes him “black” other than a genetic accident. The only thing that makes him “black” other than our illiberal racialist obsession is the assumption that he has been subjected at some level to racism and prejudice, even though his presumed ethnic identity has in fact been the source of advancement and privilege far beyond his deserts.
Finally, this victim identity promulgates a crude, dishonest version of history in which the West is the arch-villain, the perpetrator of colonialism, imperialism, exploitation, and racism. Thus students hear from their teachers all about Western imperialism, but nothing of the brutal Islamic imperial conquests stretching from Spain to China, nothing of the enslavement, slaughter, plundering, ethnic cleansing, and cultural destruction that accompanied the armies of Allah. Students incessantly hear about American slavery and its horrors, but learn nothing about the role of African kings and rulers in supplying the humans to be sold. They never are told that the Arabs took as many slaves from Africa, around 10 million, as the Europeans did, or that most of the males were castrated to serve in harems, with millions dying in the desert during the long march to the Mediterranean. The massacres of American Indians are obsessively told and retold, yet the brutality of the Sioux against other Indians, the grisly torture of captives practiced by the Iroquois, the slaughter, torture, and mutilation of white settlers are all ignored or rationalized as understandable responses to white treaty-breaking, land-grabbing, and oppression.
This melodramatic history is the antithesis of the only diversity that counts, intellectual diversity, for it reduces a complex, variegated, universally flawed humanity into cardboard villains and victims. But the point of multiculturalism has never been “diversity.” If true diversity were the aim, than the university would promote the diversity of religion, region, socio-economic background, and most import intellect and philosophy. And that’s what “diversity” of the sort that allowed a blue-eyed, blonde Elizabeth Warren to pass as evidence of Harvard’s “commitment to diversity” is really about: imposing a leftist ideological conformity predicated on America’s historical crimes and sins.
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