In recent years in America, the word "Diversity" has come to be treated with the respect and deference once reserved for Motherhood and Apple Pie.
Yet many of the loudest and most celebrated spokespersons for diversity have flagrant financial conflicts of interest. They are clearly promoting affirmative action to line their own pockets. But nobody is supposed to mention it.
Consider the report Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering issued by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. It's a response to former Harvard President Lawrence Summers' politically-incorrect January 2005 remarks on why, at the highest levels of academia, there are more male than female mathematicians, physicists, and engineers.
Summers apologized at least five times and initiated a $50 million program to make the Harvard faculty more diverse.
And still Summers was forced out.
(Besides the notorious sex differences brouhaha, however, there was one little-reported but more legitimate reason for the faculty's anger: a scandal in which Summers cost Harvard tens of millions of dollars in fines and legal fees by trying to shield his best friend, prominent economist Andrei Shleifer, from punishment for financial malfeasance while representing Harvard in Moscow during the 1990s looting of Russia.)
In April 2005, two Harvard psychology professors, Steven Pinker, author of the bestseller The Blank Slate, and Elizabeth Spelke, squared off in a debate over Larry Summers's contentions:
SPELKE: In science, the judgments are subjective, every step of the way. … Who should get promoted to tenure? These decisions are not based on clear and objective criteria…
PINKER: But that makes the wrong prediction: the harder the science, the greater the participation of women! We find exactly the opposite: it's the most subjective fields within academia — the social sciences, the humanities, the helping professions — that have the greatest representation of women. [My February 2005 American Conservative article " The Education of Larry Summers" quantified this.] This follows exactly from the choices that women express in what gives them satisfaction in life. But it goes in the opposite direction to the prediction you made about the role of objective criteria in bringing about gender equity. Surely it's physics, and not, say, sociology, that has the more objective criteria for success.
Unable to come up with a reply, Spelke changed the subject.
So, was Pinker, the knockout victor in the debate, put on the 18 person panel by the National Academy?
No - Ms. Spelke was.
Indeed, 17 of the 18 panelists who wrote the report dismissing Summers' logic, blaming discrimination for disparities, and demanding more hiring preferences for women were … women.
John Tierney wrote in the New York Times:
"But—call me naive—I never thought the Academy was cynical enough to publish a political tract like 'Beyond Bias and Barriers,' the new report on discrimination against female scientists and engineers. This is the kind of science you expect to find in The Onion: 'Academy Forms Committee to Study Gender Discrimination, Bars Men from Participating.'" [Academy of PC Science, September 29, 2006)
And, almost all the participants, led by former Clinton Administration cabinet secretary Donna Shalala, who is now President of the University of Miami and would presumably like to move up to a more prestigious institution, were female academics themselves.
Thus they stand to benefit financially if their own call to action is implemented.
In contrast, the leading female social scientists who have actually researched the relevant sex differences in cognition—such as Camilla P. Benbow, Judith S. Kleinfeld, Leda Cosmides, Patti Hausman, and Linda Gottfredson—were not put on the panel. They know too much and are too honest.
This shameless feminist cabal likely assumed they could get away with it because men would feel it's not gentlemanly to point out ladies' ethical lapses.
But I guess I'm not a gentleman.
The New York Times reported something particularly striking: that the "report was dedicated to another panelist, Denice Denton..."[ Bias Is Hurting Women in Science, Panel Reports , By Cornelia Dean, September 19, 2006]
"Dedicating" a supposedly scientific report to anybody seems a little odd. But, then, there is much that is odd, yet instructively representative, about the life and extraordinary death of Denice Denton.
Denton had won national praise for standing up after Summers gave his talk and (in her own words) daring to "speak truth to power".
It then turned out, however, that Denton wasn't exactly powerless herself. She was UC Santa Cruz's chancellor-designate at $275,000 per annum.
She had just been hired away from the University of Washington, where as dean of engineering she had strongly favored "ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, immigrants, international students and faculty" — in other words, everybody except the single largest group of engineering students under her control: straight white males. Toward their welfare she exhibited a tender regard reminiscent of that of Trotsky and Stalin for Ukrainian peasants.
Denton turned her UC Santa Cruz investiture ceremony into a two-day marathon on the theme of " Achieving Excellence Through Diversity" which featured "inspiration and perspectives from Angela Davis, Professor, History of Consciousness".
Denton's Inaugural Address sounded almost like self-parody:
"What is diversity? I believe that diversity encompasses ethnicity, race, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, culture, religion, academic discipline, class, ability/disability, nation of origin, diversity of perspective, age, socioeconomic status, and any other aspect of difference that characterizes humanity."
(Hey, how about handedness? How come lefthanders, who have to struggle with scissors designed for the uncaring majority, merely get lumped into the miscellaneous forms of diversity at the end? That is so insensitive.)
Yet, being a fiery leftist didn't stop Denton from cashing in. Tanya Schevitz reported in the San Francisco Chronicle (January 20, 2005) on how Denton played the game:
UC hires partner of chancellor: creates $192,000 post for Santa Cruz chief's lesbian lover. ...
"The University of California has quietly created a new $192,000 management position for the longtime partner of the incoming chancellor at UC Santa Cruz.
"Gretchen Kalonji … has been hired as director of international strategy development in the UC Office of the President in Oakland…
"According to UC President Robert Dynes, Kalonji's hiring was part of the recruitment package offered to her partner of seven years, Denice Dee Denton, an engineer who was appointed last December as the new chancellor of UC Santa Cruz. Denton will start in February and will receive a salary of $275,000 and a moving allowance of $68,750.
"In addition to Kalonji's $192,000 annual salary, UC will provide her with the usual faculty housing assistance allowance of up to $50,000 to help with her transition to California and UC and pay her moving expenses. It is a substantial increase from her $134,424 salary at the University of Washington …"
Denton then had the university spend lavishly on the home provided for her. The Chronicle reported:
"Before she moved into her university-provided house on campus in 2005, she asked for dozens of improvements — everything from a new fence for her dogs to new wiring, speakers, amplifier and CD player for a built-in sound system, according to university documents. In all, a $600,000 upgrade was made to the home, though it is not clear how many of the improvements were at Denton's request." [UC Santa Cruz chancellor jumps to her death in S.F., by Cecilia M. Vega and Jaxon VanDerbeken, June 24, 2006]
The dog run for her two border collies cost $30,000.
Denton and Kalonji had a powerful defender in the woman scientist who had previously headed UC Santa Cruz. M.R.C. Greenwood played the gender card in praising the college's two-for-the-price-of-three deal: UCSC "should be commended for attracting and hiring two very qualified female engineers".
A lesbian blogger at UCSC wrote:
"MRC [Greenwood] is also a lesbian, and was out when she was a Dean at UC Davis. But although everyone knew it, no one ever reported in the press that she was a lesbian."
Greenwood herself had just moved up to the number two position in the entire University of California system, provost, at $380,000 per year, almost $100,000 more than the man she replaced.
Moreover, Greenwood had quietly brought with her from Santa Cruz a female scientist friend named Lynda Goff, with whom the new provost secretly owned property, to fill the novel post of " Executive Faculty Associate to the Provost", with a salary of $192,100.
Are you noticing a pattern here - involving female UC honchos and $192k salaries for their close personal friends?
Eventually, Greenwood was forced to resign over the ethical improprieties of the post for Goff and the job that she had procured at UC Merced for her son from a failed marriage.
In November 2005, the managing editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Don Miller, wrote about the scandals surrounding Greenwood and Denton, and concluded:
"It also adds fuel to the fire of complaints by faculty and students of a highly paid 'elite' at UC and to the whisper campaign that what is seen by some as a powerful coterie of lesbians has gained power and influence within the UC system." [Don Miller: Strange days and ancient forebodings, November 5, 2005]
For mentioning the L-word, Miller was of course forced to issue a retraction. Which (of course) still wasn't good enough for the diversicrats, so, according to Metroactive.com, a local alternative paper,
"As a result of the Nov. 14 discussion, the Sentinel agreed to run opinion pieces written by community members to address diversity issues, as well as a full 'Reflections on the Investiture [of Denton]' page. Oh yes, and they also agreed to continue diversity training, even though one Sentinel publisher in attendance tellingly whined that 'we've already sat through diversity training.'"
Ironically, once in office, Denton was repeatedly harassed by student protestors even farther to the left. A UCSC staffer noted: "The radical activist community saw two things about Denton: her skin color, and her title."
Despite Denton's endless harping on diversity and on her lesbianism, to the demonstrators she was just another evil white person.
On June 24, 2006, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton, age 46, depressed by professional and personal woes, climbed to the roof of her lesbian lover's luxury 42-story apartment building and leapt to her death.
It's a sad story - but highly instructive about the type of person that the cult of diversity puts into power over us.
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]