Must Academic Programs Exhibit (Or At Least Feign) Open-Mindedness?

Should a university accept a proposal for a new program in, say, Jihadi Studies whose sponsor stated that its purpose would be to study the roots and current manifestations of Islamic fundamentalism? What about a Master’s Degree program in Zionist Studies proposed by an academic who has used Protocols of Zion in class, not as an example of a point of view or historical artifact but as a text? Or a program in Human Sexuality to be headed by a man who writes sympathetically of those who believe homosexuality is either deviant or sinful?

Those examples, so far as I know, are hypothetical, but this morning Inside Higher Ed reports, citing Times Higher Education,  on one that is real. University College London has rejected a new masters’s program in black studies proposed by “Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman (who writes his last name with a line through it to symbolize the way the name was selected for him and his family by slave masters in Jamaica).” Coleman‘s approach, he said, “was to teach ‘critical white studies’ and that ‘white hegemony was… to be put under the microscope.'”

Actually, perhaps the most interesting thing in the IHE report is its first sentence: “A faculty member who is considered one of five black philosophers at universities in Britain is alleging that University College London rejected a proposal for a new master’s degree in black studies because it would have promoted research and education that was highly critical of white people.” Is Coleman in fact “one of five black philosophers” at British universities, or is he only “considered” so by some?

Has race become so problematical, so amorphous and indeterminate and “socially constructed,” that it is no longer useful in identifying individuals? Has counting by race now become so controversial that British philosophers — or editors at Inside Higher Ed — are reluctant to do so overtly? If so, when will that reluctance trickle into admissions and diversity/equity/inclusion offices, which are still busy distributing benefits and burdens based on race without a second (or often a first) thought about how it is “considered”?

Dems: Rubio Is The Wrong Kind Of Hispanic

“A Hillary Clinton match-up with Marco Rubio,” the New York Times reports, “is a scary thought for Democrats.”

Having “combed over Mr. Rubio’s voting record in the Senate,” Democratic sleuths have discovered (they dig deep, those Democrats!) that Rubio is … a Republican! Thus, the Times dutifully reports, the Dems’ “subtext” is that Rubio “may be Hispanic, but he is not on the side of Hispanics when it comes to issues they care about.” (If that’s the “subtext,” what’s the text?)

But who exactly are “they”? The Times, like the Democrats whose views it usually reflects, has a conveniently flexible definition of “Hispanic,” for the article professes — without reference to any Democrats (or any other Democrats) — that

“[i]t is also unclear how much Mr. Rubio would appeal to Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and other voters with Latin American ancestry who may not feel much cultural affinity with a Cuban-American.

I try to follow racial and ethnic issues closely, but I must have missed the Times article minimizing the significance of Sonia Sotomayor’s becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice because “it is unclear” whether Mexicans or Cubans — especially Mexican or Cuban men — would “feel much cultural affinity” with a Puerto Rican woman.

Nor do I recall seeing amidst all the clamor for maintaining affirmative action by Democrats, university officials, and Hispanics (perhaps that should be “Hispanics” or “Mexican-Americans”) in Texas and California any concern for the obvious “underrepresentation” of Cuban-Americans, Puerto Rican-Americans, Guatemalan-Americans, etc., among the “Hispanics” for whom they demand preferential treatment in order to provide “diversity” to unpreferred whites and Asians.

Oh, wait. “Asians”?


The Ivies: New Quotas?

[NOTE: The following was cross-posted on the National Association of Scholars site yesterday.] Every year about this time there are a spate of articles about a very small number of remarkable students who were accepted at all eight Ivy League colleges. This year is no different, and I will get to them presently, but there […]

An Outlandish Justification For STEM Diversity

Most calls for more “diversity,” including STEM “diversity,” never provide a justification for the discrimination necessary to produce it. On Minding The Campus I discuss one that does. Read it for a good laugh.

Liberal Hypocrisy? Of Course, But There’s More…

Jonah Goldberg has a terrific column, “Liberal Hypocrisy on Blasphemous Art,” that recounts chapter and verse of the liberal horror at conservative (and some other) criticism of the public funding of “art” — Serrano’s Christ in piss, Ofili’s Virgin Mary in elephant dung, etc. — that many found offensive and Christians found blasphemous. For example: In 1989, […]

Suspicion Confirmed: Affirmative Action Is “Microaggression”

Critics of affirmative action have long argued that it harms its purported beneficiaries, and now two new studies confirm that it is a leading cause of “microaggressions.” I discuss on Minding The Campus, here.

Brown University Doubles Down On “Diversity”

Thanks to George Leef for his generous pointer on National Review Online to my new essay at the Pope Center, “Brown University doubles down on “diversity.”

The Old Clintonian Denial Style Resurfaces, And Spreads

Jessie The IBM Rock Star!

Obamacare Hits Campuses Hard

Historians Lament Their Lost Audience

Obama Hoist On His Own Canard

Is America Becoming More Christian, American Secular Jews More Jewish?

Original Intent, Original Meaning, And Obamacare

Blacks Over-Represented On University Of Oklahoma …

Our Constitutional Lawyer-In-Chief Speaks Out

Don’t Think Of “Elephant”