Heather Mac Donald On How The Delusion of Diversity Destroys Our Common Humanity

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[Music] welcome to uncommon knowledge I'm Peter Robinson Heather McDonald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an editor of city journal she holds a bachelor's degree from Yale a master's degree from Cambridge and a law degree from Stanford Heather is the author of a number of books including the best-selling volume the war on cops her newest book the diversity delusion how race and gender pandering corrupt the university and undermine our culture Heather welcome thank you Peter it's an honor Heather 2015 at your alma mater Yale University here is the sequence of events the administration sends an email suggesting that the students use caution in choosing their Halloween costumes so as not to offend other students one lecturer at Yale a woman called Erica Christakis sends an email saying that maybe students ought to value the importance of free speech and perhaps push back against the idea that administrators tell them what Halloween costumes to wear her husband Nicholas Christakis who by the way is a very accomplished physician and sociologist sends an email supporting his wife's position it happens that he's the master of one of the Yale Colleges silliman College and then this is what happens in the courtyard of silliman College the exception is because other people have rights to your jobs to create a place of comfort and film for the students some prison filaments have not done this but sending out that email goes against your position Heather there we have 19 and 20 year old students defying the master of a Yale College and telling him that it's his job to create a place of comfort and home what are we to make of this it's the Cultural Revolution this is the nadir of American education this sort of insanity the the narcissistic victimology of these students thinking of themselves as oppressed at Yale is the height of delusion and yet they are a product of the Yale bureaucracy they are being encouraged in this sort of complete hysteria another moment in this three-hour tirade that was directed at Nicolas croissant we gave it what was that 30 seconds gets worse than that the cursing the disrespect it is utterly shocking one groups students shouted out were dying allegedly referring to the endangered status of Yale's minority students the kicker is this the president of Yale a little bit after this outrageous episode conferred a racial justice prize on two of the participants and said that he'd never been so proud of his student body and promised and promised if I have this correct and promise to add 50 million dollars to the diversity budget of the university well that was actually a promise made before but he reiterated it just to encourage the notion that Yale was trying to erase discrimination at Yale and Nicholas Christakis resigned as master of Suleman College and his wife resigned as a teacher at Yale can pletely because they were the then target of vandalism there was graffiti on their house the at the graduation that year students refused to shake his hand this is completely out of control Peter and this is Yale is not alone 2017 a little more recent incident Claremont McKenna where you yourself had been invited to speak yes I want to come to the reasons for what on earth is going on first but first I want to establish what is going on how bad it is which you I have to say I thought I had an idea but the book is shocking students you were invited to speak at Claremont McKenna students circulate a statement that reads I am quoting this because I couldn't make it up Heather McDonald is a fascist a white supremacist a war hawk a transphobic we're folk a classicist and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live close quote they're ignorant of grammar but we will leave it aside because colleges are not supposed to teach good writing right there simply supposed to teach victim identity so what happened to you when you attempted to speak at Claremont well the students blockaded the auditorium and didn't let anybody in I had to be brought in under police escort through a back alley through the kitchen a secret passageway but nobody else could get in because about 200 students were outside banging on the plate-glass windows I gave my talk which was on policing and a counter-narrative to the black lives matter nonsense McCallum knees against the cops to an empty room but the students were still outside banging on the plate glass windows and shouting and at some point the police decided they couldn't guarantee my safety any longer and I was escorted out back through the kitchen into a waiting squad car Wow and disciplinary disciplinary measures against the people kids who broke up who made that made it impossible effectively for you to speak to the audience what happened to the kids well this was unusual in that there was some discipline some discipline a suspension of a semester for a hand maybe two or three and a full year suspension for another two or three some of the students were from the neighboring Claremont Colleges Claremont itself claims that these were the only Claremont students that could identify I don't know I'm not gonna second-guess them what I would say though is that the faculty are basically passive they lie down before these things they should be out there they've got the privilege of tenure to protect their freedom of speech not that they use that very much because Peter as you know any any faculty member on a college campus today who is anything other than far left is walking around scared to death the censorship that's going on is extreme self-censorship but the faculty are silent before these outbreaks of thuggish fascist type of behavior that's what's happening how did it happen how did we reach this point let me quote the diversity delusion Heather a charged set of ideas now dominates higher education that human beings are defined by their skin color sex and sexual preference and that discrimination based on those characteristics has been the driving force in Western civilization these ideas have remade the university close quote all right a touch of intellectual history where did these ideas come from and how do they become ascendant it's a very complicated question Peter and I one can observe the trajectory the final cause question has to be speculative I can tell you that when I was in college in the 70s I was susceptible to a totally ridiculous set of ideas that were known as deconstruction and post-structuralism this was a set of theories about how language and literature works unfortunately I was not critical five I bought it hook line and sinker in nineteen years old I was 19 and I was interested in language nevertheless I feel very fortunate in that I was allowed to read when I was a college student at Yale Chaucer Milton Spencer and Wordsworth without anyone thinking to complain about the goat their gonads and melanin feminism and multiculturalism didn't hit it came in the 80s at Stanford where you are now at Hoover you had the awful moment of the assault on Stanford's very minimal core curriculum Jesse Jackson in their leading chance of hey hey ho ho western cities got to go and you had this geyser explosion of the idea that students should only read books that conform to their own identity defined as narrowly and trivially as possible heather distinguished between the student radicalism of the 60s and what's taking place today I find in conversation with friends there's a little too much willingness to shrug the shoulders and say oh well they're just students we've gotten used to that kind of thing the place universities are a place for a certain amount of craziness and that's been going on for half a century but this is different well it's the same in that you know I get I think the problem with the sixties is one can make a facially plausible argument that there was grounds to protest the Vietnam War I'm agnostic on that I'm not going to take his side but but that was an idea that was had some validity so you know a broken clock is Right twice a day every so often student protesters are right usually they're not usually they don't deserve any attention why should I listen to student protesters about capitalism they've never had a job they've never run a business they know nothing about what it's like to try and master a supply chain to try and understand supply and demand and customer demands this is this is an act of entrepreneurial courage that none of these students have nevertheless in the 60s we all thought the students they are Tribunal's of truth and from then on we glorified student protests and so when it rose up again in the 80s around these even these narrow narrow ideas of student victimization which again is delusional there's no more privileged human being in history than a college student because he has a at his fingertips the thing that Foust sold his soul for which is knowledge we still glorify this and say well if students at Yale and Princeton say they're victimized by racism we better do something about it right the diversity delusion takes up topic after topic after topic we don't have time for all of them alas but here's one affirmative action again I'm quoting the diversity delusion a growing this is your argument strong argument here a growing body of empirical evidence is undermining the claim that racial preferences in college benefit their recipients that is to say affirmative action may not do any good at all anyway right explain your argument absolutely and this to me is the most powerful argument against racial preferences I'm frankly fed up with the traditional Supreme Court jurisprudence I think it's incoherent that they should just junk it the real argument against racial preferences as far as I'm concerned is that they harm their alleged beneficiaries when you put a student in an academic environment for which he is not competitively qualified you're putting him at a disadvantage we can take this out of the race realm entirely let's say that MIT decides it needs to boost its gender parity which it is doing all the time when it comes to faculty and admits me with the 650 on my math SATs on an 800 point scale everybody else at MIT however has scored 800 s they've gotten a perfect score on their math SATs what's gonna happen to me my first year when I have not aced advanced G is a pretty good score but you're going to feel strips a standard deviation away and I am going to struggle I am NOT going to be able to keep up in those classes and I faced two choices I can either say I was admitted to a for which I was not prepared or I'm in a rape culture and I'm surrounded by microaggressions and patriarchy and let's move this back into race now there's not a single selective college in the country Peter that is not employing vast racial preferences to admit black students because the skills gap is so great that's what's driving a lot of this victimology is students are being brought in they can't compete and they end up blaming phantom racism for their intellectual and psychological difficulties Heather you discuss again the diversity delusion you discuss a recent study at Duke I'm going to quote this there's a little bit of a setup here but it's fascinating material quote of incoming students who reported a major more than 76 percent of black male freshman at Duke intended to major in the hard sciences or economics hard material but more than half of those would be black science majors switched track they move from the hard sciences to softer disciplines humanities for example so that by senior year only 35 percent of black males graduated with science or economics degrees while more than 63 percent of white males did what is the significance of this well if you believe what is now the reigning mantra in our society which is the only good science is diverse science now I think that's ridiculous but that's now what's going on if our goal is to graduate more black scientists racial preferences work against that goal if those students who'd been admitted to Duke the black students with over a standard deviation of gap in their entering freshman credentials had gone instead to North Carolina University a perfectly respectable school for heaven's sakes where they met the qualifications of their peers they would stand a much greater chance of graduating in good standing with a science degree what I find extraordinary about this entire discourse about racial preferences those who justify it from universities is its rank snobbery and elitism the idea is if you're a black student you can only see if you go to the elite schools that heaven forbid you know in the university of california the voters in their wisdom tried to ban prop 209 right racial preferences the university twisted itself into knots to try and evade them and you would have things like the Chancellor of UC Berkeley saying but where will we get the leaders of tomorrow if we don't have racial preferences implying that anybody who graduates from University of California Riverside say or Santa Cruz isn't very good his life is over if it's so inhibiting and handicapping for a black student to go to UC Riverside why should anybody go why don't we close down all these second and third tier schools so everyone can go to Harvard and UC Berkeley so all right so let me have seen let me is this an accurate summary many students we've been discussing african-americans who are brought in on the basis of racial preferences do have a charge to make against their universities they have been brought into institutions in which they cannot succeed with the ease or aplomb of their white counterparts in order to make the overwhelmingly white liberals who run those universities feel good about themselves material they have actually been put at a material disadvantage for the sake of some liberal idiom is that right or am i if I got it wrong am i overstating the case no you have stay have a reasonably angry they have a reason to be angry well they won't see it but it is a diabolical system it is now a completely self-perpetuating it's a perpetual motion machine of grievance it's it's it's uncanny the way the preference regime interacts with the diversity bureaucracy so that you are generating a steady supply of students you know there was these wave of black lives matter protests in 2015 on college campuses they issued every college issue that demands and these were collected you can still find them on the web what was very odd when I first started reading them until I figured out what's go on school after school these black students are saying we need more mental health resources and you thought really I mean what's going on there but in fact they feel very stressed out because again you hear these complaints about well nobody chooses us for study groups this is attributed of course to the bigotry on the white students the reason is it's very sad is again you have been admitted to a school for which you qualified no one is saying I am NOT saying Peter that black students showed it should go to college I'm saying they should go to college on the same footing as everybody else with a chance to compete against their peers but now we've got this codependency the symbiotic relationship between the racial preference so-called beneficiaries and a diversity bureaucracy set up to try and combat the racism that is making them feel uncomfortable at Duke or at Yale or at UC Berkeley the campus rapist again the diversity delusion quote the campus rape industry central tenet is that one-fifth to one-quarter of all college girls will be raped or become the targets of attempted rape by the end of their college years no crime much less one as serious as rape has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent close quote explain it's a complete fraud Detroit is our most violent city if you combine all four of the violent felonies that the FBI collects in its index crime that's murder rape robbery and aggravated assault you combine all of those together you get an annual violent crime rate of two percent one quarter to one to 20 percent at one quarter even over four years is more than the worst African civil wars experience in terms of sexual violence if this were going on you would have seen a stampede decades ago to get female out of these tsunamis of sexual violence no mother would send her daughter into a situation of that degree of sexual predation instead the Stampede Peter as I'm sure you observe at Stanford every year is the opposite direction it's highly sophisticated educated mothers paying $200 an hour when their daughter is three years old to try and qualify her for the most elite preschool in order to hope that she gets into Harvard 16 years later the the percentage of females on college campuses grows each year the the admissions ratios diminished because so many people want to get in the whole thing is ridiculous either if we're supposed to believe in strong women together and that there's female solidarity why aren't they warning each other off of these scenes of sexual predation instead you can go to University of Virginia every Saturday night on Rugby Road the girls are our walk tripping off to the frat parties that the sexual the campus rape industry tells us our virtual rape factories and yet they go every Saturday night what gives either girls are stupid and they are voluntarily walking into these scenes of predation or it's not going on again the diversity delusion the default for premarital sex in the wider society is now yes rather than no we've had the sexual revolution the policy of mutual consent that these bureaucracies on campus are putting in place maybe laughably out of touch with reality but its agenda is serious to rehabilitate the no as the default position for premarital sex close quote yep so so what so the college what we see on the colleges is a reaction against the sexual revolution not that the bureaucracies would ever dream of putting it anything like that back was that so exactly I mean I think what's going on is sexual liberation is having a nervous breakdown it it turns out that it made a profoundly incorrect assessment about the male and female libidos it thought that the female libido was ready to go mano-a-mano with the male libido you know all normative all normative restraints taken away and that females would celebrate a regime of one-night stand casual sex drunken hookup sex the way the males do who want to have as much no-strings-attached sex as possible they're set up biologically evolutionarily for that and it turns out that's not the case there is not an epidemic of sexual assault and rape on college campuses there is an epidemic of regret of feeling taken advantage of of feeling like well I have some emotional twinge after that one-night stand that females feel they have a different physiological reaction to sexual intercourse the guys off they're joking around with his buds and she's saying well why isn't he noticing me in class and the campus rape bureaucracy then gives you a nice way of repackaging your sense of loss confusion embarrassment regret it was rape and before when before sexual liberation did a number on civilizations eons long hard-won understanding of the differences between males and females the default premarital sex was said at no right that gave females power over the male the male had to bargain the female out of the no default sexual revolution turned that around the default is now yes and it's up to the female to argue her way into a no and that is tough and women are sick of that they're sick of it and they just say oh well it's a lot easier to just say yes than to have to provide reasons why not to have sex but the weird thing is you know the sexual liberation on campuses began with the demand get the bureaucrats out of our bedroom we want to have all the coitus we want unsupervised now these same asking the bureaucracy to write 40-page extremely complicated rules for sex which is the very realm of the cathodic and irrational and Heather writes of her fellow conservatives in the diversity delusion conservatives display exasperation at the sex at sex regulations for taking the fun out of college sex conservatives get this wrong in fact taking the fun out of college sex is the only upside to the whole sordid situation that's true there's no downside you know I I get and I agree that the the campus rape tribunals are kangaroo courts and males are being railroaded nevertheless just as a girl can avoid a hundred percent what has now characterized as campus rape by not drinking herself blotto and getting into bed with the guy she doesn't know and taking off her clothes a guy can also almost a hundred percent avoid being accused falsely of campus rape by acting with chivalry and as a gentleman you walk your girlfriend home at night you kiss her goodnight and you go home to your own room and you write her a love poem at 2:00 a.m. there is no downside if this campus rape hysteria and the crusade against males results in a sudden increase in abstinence it's not as if we're like over regulating production of math you read this because it may be my favorite quotation and then in the entire book which is full of marvelous writing the solution is not more complex procedural protections cobbled over a sordid sexual culture the solution is to reject that culture entirely Society has no interest in preserving the collegiate bacchanal should college fornication become a rare event preceded by signing contracts maybe students would actually do some studying by the way you there must be some special award somewhere for the the most the last unselfconscious use of the word fornication I'm sure that's gonna get me a hate crime accusation somehow Heather last questions affirmative action the Supreme Court's ruling in the 2003 case Grutter versus Bollinger Justice Sandra Day O'Connor now long retired but she wrote for the majority in that case quote the court expects that 25 years from now their use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary now that we're more than halfway through that 25 year period do you see any sign that universities are backing away from the use of racial preferences no they're fighting tooth and nail to preserve this they the the presidents want to feel noblesse oblige that but for their racial preferences you know they wouldn't look out over there marvelously diverse realm it makes them feel superior to redneck America that they believe it's composed exclusively of deplorable bigots and the sad fact is is that the driving force behind all of this which is the academic skills gap between blacks and whites has not closed the average black twelfth grader still reads at the level of the average white 8th grader that is really a problem Peter and but the solution is not preferences in college there's got to be a cultural revolution in the black home that puts a priority on education that we see with Asians there whooping everybody's asked because they are so single-mindedly focused on academic accomplishment actually use that I didn't write it down but you have in the book I'll remind you and then you take us through it the mind experiment the mental it's a thought experiment rather give us that thought expect well you know this is the claim that everything we see today every racial disparity is the result of discrimination that's the lever the left left wing explanation for all things in the world is structural inequalities are result of structural racism the conservative view in my experience it's more likely to say behavioral choices personal responsibilities so I pose this thought experiment if for 10 years blacks acted like Asians in all things relevant to both academic and economic success starting at a young age forward if if black children attended school now the pruin see rate is five times higher for blacks and for whites attended school the same rate of Asians studied at the same rate of Asians did not have children out of wedlock waited until they were married before having children the did not get involved in gangs crimes drugs so they look they acted like Asians in all things if after ten years of that we still saw the racial disparities that we do then it is time to look for a structural inequality to look for a ubiquitous racism explanation but right now when the behavioural disparities are so glaring and so obvious it is woefully premature to say that what's going on here is implicit bias or explicit bias the diversity delusion on faculty the professorial is tongue-tied when it comes to promoting the wonders of its patrimony these privileged cowards privileged cowards these privileged cowards can't even summon the guts to prescribe the coursework that every student must complete in order to be considered educated close quote why not I can iord faculty member at a major university even at a even at a small school is a wonderful way of going through life and should provide the grounds should provide an ironclad guarantee against the kinds of they should be the most courageous people in America I know what's going on Peter maybe you at Dartmouth were wise enough to structure a good curriculum that made sure you were educated in the basics but when I was in college I was at a college that had one of the best history departments in the country they those professors did not have the guts to tell me you're not getting out of here until you study history and so I didn't they the students are the point is college is to cram as much knowledge into the empty noggins of these students as possible we don't know enough to make the proper curricular choices they must be told what matters they know no 18 year old they'll stuff their curriculum with as much film courses as they possibly can if given the discretion but they've let the faculty have lost the career of saying Western civilization is the source of liberty of freedom of extraordinary accomplishment they won't say that okay again the diversity delusion quote the American founders again a longest quotation but it's wonderful the American founders drew on an astonishingly wide range of historical sources they invoke the Greek city-states the Carolingian dynasty and the Ottoman Empire in the defense of the Constitution and they assumed that the new nation's citizens would themselves be versed in history and political philosophy the citizens would know history ignorance of the intellectual trajectory that led to the rule of law and the West's astounding prosperity puts those achievements at risk close quote you are not arguing that the universities have gone mad and that it's a terrible waste you were arguing that the universities have gone mad and it represents a direct threat to the continuation of this Republic it certainly does not only is the ignorance threatening our ability to understand how fragile and how precious is civil peace and a government restrained by rules you can look it's not just something in the past every single day around the world you see abuse of power something the founders understood this has to be checked the this concept of due process of law of individual rights that is unique it's but now been adopted but the other thing that really scares me Peter that we the universities are pumping into the body politic is this hateful identity politics the Democratic primaries you are going to see the university brought into the political realm the intersectionality everybody trying to one-up each other in their victim category I am so sick of sentences that begin as a female XYZ or as a black female XYZ or even better as a trans black female X Y Z these are all trivial categories being female is not an accomplishment and it tells you nothing about what is important about me which is what I know what I've accomplished and what my beliefs are Heather why doesn't the market work we began with an incident at Yale your alma mater as you argue that university is is as affected by the diversity delusion as any what is Yale's acceptance rate five percent five point two points that is to say for every place at Yale twenty students apply Yale's not being made to suffer no alums are still giving huge gifts to Yale and to other institutions I can think of Hillsdale and Grove City two little colleges in their eighteen hundred institutions in this country where's the reaction why isn't the market for higher education providing some correction I think sadly because parents are not so interested in knowledge for its own sake I wish they were I think you know this again this is the greatest privilege they want the prestige of these schools it turns out starting with the baby boomer parents that purport baby boomers purported to be oh we're so anti materialist for flower children we're just going to go to ashrams they were fanatics for prestige they wanted their kids into the most exclusive college they could get them into for bragging rights at the cut at the cocktail party that their kids going to Amherst and right now it's hard to break that monopoly last question two quotations here both of them from the diversity delusion one comes from the great african-american historian and author w eb Du Bois he lived until the 60s but this is wev Du Bois writing in 1903 I sit with Shakespeare and he wins his not Shakespeare doesn't care the color of Dubois skin across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and do MA I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension the other quotation a young student at Columbia University who is talking about a music course why did I have to listen to this Mozart who is this Mozart this heightened these superior white men there are no women no people of color close quote what does Heather McDonald have to say to that young woman at Columbia well my heart is broken by both quotes my heart is broken by the first quote to think of a vet man living in America's darkest period of hate that nevertheless understood that ideas were liberating and and was willing to to claim as his own the Western legacy as was his right and my heart is broken by the ignorance of this girl who has been encouraged in that thinking by the bureaucracy by the faculty she is destroying the greatest opportunity that a human being ever had to lose herself in beauty and greatness in sublimity and and she's going to carry the hatred that she feels towards Mozart and Haydn and woe to her because she is losing an opportunity to come out of herself into a realm of the most noble expression that has ever been granted human beings she but she's going to carry that hatred with her into civil society and I think Peter without sounding apocalyptic or extreme I think we are playing with fire we are we are we are putting civil peace at jeopardy because it is impossible to overstate the degree to which students are being taught to hate not just Western civilization but each other I said that was the last question I told a lie I have one more question for you Heather I read earlier this petition that was put together at when you spoke at Claremont McKenna and said was ungrammatically false every charge was false that your fascist it nevertheless horribly ugly you get their students pound on the window so that you can barely speak and if you look at some of the comments you skim around the web and look at this beautifully researched beautifully written book the diversity delusion there are people who are calling you horrible names what keeps you at it I believe in Western civilization I believe in these books I if we stop reading them they die if we stop reading Trollope and Milton and Shakespeare they die it's on us we have to keep education as the passing on of an inheritance from one generation to another and we have to keep these books alive it's on us Heather McDonald author of the diversity delusion thank you thank you so much Peter for uncommon knowledge and the Hoover Institution and Fox Nation I'm Peter Robinson [Music] you
Channel: Hoover Institution
Views: 626,798
Rating: 4.8960452 out of 5
Keywords: Gender, Race, Diversity, Heather Mac Donald, Free Speech, Universities
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Length: 37min 59sec (2279 seconds)
Published: Mon Apr 22 2019
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