Summer of our discontent

City Journal has just posted the lead essay from its Summer issue online. By Heather Mac Donald, the essay is “Conformity to a lie.” Subhead: “Academia’s monolithic belief in systemic racism will further erode American institutions and the principles of our civilization.” The essay opens:

The lethal arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May triggered widespread riots and a torrent of contempt for America from virtually every institution in the country. Businesses large and small, the education establishment, and the press rushed to condemn the country’s purportedly endemic racism, implicitly accusing the majority of Americans of destroying “black lives.” Banks and law firms pledged that hiring and promotions would now be even more race-conscious than before. Hundreds of millions of dollars poured forth from corporate coffers into activist groups; the corporate benefactors hoped to dismantle America’s white supremacy, they announced.

Colleges and universities also promised increased diversity spending, though in amounts dwarfed by those corporate outpourings. Nevertheless, the academic response to Floyd’s death and the ensuing violence will have the greatest impact on the nation’s future. Academia was the ideological seedbed for that violence and for its elite justifications; it will prove just as critical in the accelerated transformation of the country.

Heather brings her wide knowledge and deep expertise to analysis of the issues she has addressed for many years. There is no one whose thoughts on the present discontent are more needed.

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