Enough With the ‘Diversity’

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Enough With the ‘Diversity’

We have way too many faculty committees.

Attracting and retaining a freshman class depends in large part on the reputation of the faculty. One of the measures of the latter is the quality and quantity of their publications.

How sitting for interminable hours in silly and useless committee meetings will help promote that goal is beyond me.

While I’m on the subject of academic committees needing to be disbanded, I vote for the Diversity Task Force.

Late last semester they publicly and unjustifiably savaged me based not on what I had said or written, but rather on the basis of what a journalist said about me.

Here is part of their statement:

“In reference to the Times Picayune article, “A Tough Sell in the Market Place of Ideas” by James Gill dated Nov 26, 2008.

“As Loyola University’s Diversity Committee, we are dedicated to promoting an appreciation for the valuable contributions of all, instilling in every one of our students a desire to pursue excellence and to be women and men in solidarity with others. We also hold to the Jesuit ideal of rigorous intellectual examination in the pursuit of truth and therefore, defend the right of academic freedom. However, it is our responsibility to respond critically to statements made by members of Loyola University that run counter to our commitment to inclusion and that marginalize women and African Americans, a majority of our community.

“Professor Walter Block’s reductionist statements about the productivity of African Americans and women in the marketplace ignore critical factors and structural patterns of inequality. His flawed remarks are dangerous, fueling those with prejudices to confirm their biased views. We must recognize the reality of racism and sexism in our society, whose impact has had long-lasting consequences in the lives of African Americans and women.

Affirmative Action/Diversity Task Force: Ted Quant, Lydia Voigt, Wing Fok, Lisa Martin, Al Alcazar, James Hobbs, Kurt Bindewald, Artemis Preeshl, Karen Reichard, Anthony Decuir”

Note that their charges are buttressed with no evidence at all. That is, they do not directly quote any of my publications or speeches and characterize them as racist or sexist. None of them had attended the lecture James Gill wrote about in the Picayune.

Nevertheless, they in effect accuse me of demeaning or deprecating our female and black students.

I have been gathering letters from such former students of mine, asking in effect for letters of reference in this regard. So far, the result has been overwhelming: these accusations are entirely false.

Wing Fok, one of the signatories to this document and a colleague of mine at the business school, wrote me saying that the burden of proof does not rest with this Task Force to prove racism and sexism on my part; rather, it lies with me to deny such charges.

Nonsense.

But even if true, why did not this Task Force then ask me to address them regarding the remarks I made at the speech I gave at Loyola College of Maryland?

Most unfairly, these charges were brought before the entire Loyola University New Orleans community; I was denied a chance to respond.

I am very grateful to The Maroon for giving me this opportunity to do so.

Some of my replies to these people can be found here and here.

On Wednesday March 25, 2009, at 7 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, Loyola University New Orleans, I will give (roughly) the same speech I gave at Loyola College in Maryland on November 6, 2008; this is the one that was seized upon for criticism by the forces of political correctness. Here, I will address the charges of this Task Force. In addition, I will elaborate upon theories that attempt to explain the pay gap between whites and blacks of some 30%.

It would appear they favor diversity of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc., but not concerning intellectual matters.

This article appeared in the Loyola Maroon.

Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and the newly released Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective.

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