Jul 21 2010

Poor White Christians

Category: diversity,higher education,race,universityharmonicminer @ 7:51 am

Daniel Foster writes to express his disappointment in some responses to a New York Times editorial about the plight of poor, Christian whites when it comes to current diversity policies at many universities and colleges:

I’m disappointed by both Tim Fernholz‘s and Adam Serwer‘s takes on Ross Douthat’s column yesterday. Responding to empirical evidence that poor, white Christians are among the least well-represented “minority” groups at elite colleges, they both more or less default to saying ‘yeah, well, it sucks to be poor.’

Except Douthat’s point is that, when it comes to elite college admissions, it sucks more to be poor and white than it does to be poor and black, and a fortiori, that poor blacks’ chances improve as they get poorer, while just the opposite is the case for whites. Either Serwer and Fernholz are okay with this or they aren’t. But they won’t say, leaving us to assume that they view it as acceptable collateral damage in the battle for diversity.

They also dismiss as so much whining the feelings of alienation from “elite” culture felt by poor, working class whites — at their peril and ours.

Later, Foster points out how often African and Caribbean elites are admitted under “diversity” policies, as if they are those who were harmed by American racism in the past, and should now be favored under affirmative action quotas by another name (“diversity”).

There is much more at the links above, and the Douthat column is worth reading completely.

His final paragraph:

If universities are trying to create an elite as diverse as the nation it inhabits, they should remember that there’s more to diversity than skin color — and that both their school and their country might be better off if they admitted a few more R.O.T.C. cadets, and a few more aspiring farmers.

Well, yes.  But as many have pointed out, and as we’ve linked and written extensively on this blog, “diversity” as a word in the university lexicon has a meaning unrelated to its normal meaning.  It is not about seeing that the university represents a microcosm of all the cultural elements of society represented proportionally in the university’s faculty, policies and student body.  Rather, it is an unvarnished mouthpiece for the Left, a way to do affirmative action quotas by another name (since the public does not like the idea of quotas), a way to slide most of the Leftist agenda into most aspects of campus life under the guise of being “open” and “accepting” of others…..  except, of course, white evangelical Christians, especially poor ones, and conservatives of any stripe.

If “diversity” meant “representation proportional to society,” at least half of university faculty hires would be conservatives.  Of course, it does not mean that, not even in Christian universities.