Why is this man smiling?

In a recent post, I wrote about “implicit bias” training. My analysis tracked that of Gregory Mitchell, a professor at the University of Virginia and an expert in the area.

Mitchell has a law degree and a doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. His analysis shows that implicit bias training is a bad idea and that, as I see the matter, it is founded on junk science to a considerable degree.

Nonetheless, the federal government has inflicted implicit bias training or its like on employees in a number of departments and agencies including the Department of Justice According to this report, it has paid around $5 million to a consultant named Howard Ross for such training.

Howard Ross is the founder of Cook Ross, which describes itself as a full-service consulting firm providing systems-level interventions by driving inclusive leadership and culture. According to its website, “Cook Ross partners with clients to co-create solutions that help them advance Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility within their organizations.” (Cook Ross chooses to capitalize its buzz words as if they are, in some sense, a religion. And why not? These words have been very good to Cook Ross.)

According to his bio, Ross is “a lifelong social justice advocate.” He “received his Bachelor of Arts in history and education from the University of Maryland and completed post graduate work in leadership and management at Wheelock College.” I take this to mean that Ross did not get a degree from Wheelock, which is now part of Boston University, but then was an independent college.

Nothing in Ross’ educational background suggests expertise in psychology. Nor does his lifelong advocacy of social justice suggest it. But that’s okay. If there’s any science to what Ross does, it’s junk science. A history major is as well qualified as anyone, except perhaps an ordained minister, to preach the religion of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.

I’ve got nothing against Ross making a buck. However, it’s scandalous that he has made $5 million of them off of U.S. taxpayers — some of them during the Trump administration.

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