When “Diversity” Means Conformity

I wrote here the other day about how “diversity” has become a latter-day Stalinist concept, when it doesn’t imply downright hate from the left, just as “multiculturalism” is cover for self-loathing of Western civilization rather than a genuine curiosity about what might be learned from other cultures.  (I think it was Allan Bloom who pointed out, for example, how few of the devotees of “multiculturalism” actually bother to learn a foreign language.)  Above all, the “diversity” mongers demand absolute conformity to their creed, making a hash of an otherwise worthy concept.

More evidence of the complete fraud of “diversity” comes this week out of Massachusetts, where Gov. Deval Patrick is being slammed for appointing a white person to be chairman of the trustees for Roxbury Community College in Boston.  The Boston Herald reports:

A community activist is challenging Gov. Deval Patrick’s pick for board chairman at the troubled Roxbury Community College because the new leader is white, but the administration is standing by the appointment.

Sadiki Kambon, who said he represents a group called Friends of Roxbury Community College, sent Patrick a letter Monday demanding that Gerald Chertavian, who was named board chairman last week, be replaced by “another qualified candidate (Black).” . . .

The letter labels the governor’s selection of Chertavian, who is white, “insulting” because the college is a “predominantly Black institution.”

Good to see that the old spirit of segregation is still alive on the left.  By the way, it is not as though Roxbury doesn’t have minorities represented in its management: the president of Roxbury is black.

As it happens, I’ve lately been re-reading, for the first time in almost 30 years, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, which these days can be read as a conservative treatise.  (Indeed, William F. Buckley Jr. did so in Up From Liberalism, to the dismay of the critics.)  The closing passage of chapter 3 (“On Individuality”) is worth recalling in connection with the mania for “diversity” in higher education today:

The demand that all people shall resemble ourselves, grows by what it feeds on.  If resistance waits till life is reduced nearly to one uniform type, all deviations from that type will come to be considered impious, immoral, even monstrous and contrary to nature.  Mankind speedily becomes unable to conceive diversity, when they have been for some time unaccustomed to see it.

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds.)

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