In an outstanding and provocative editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jessum take on the idea that “diversity” efforts always generate a net positive result. This is something I’ve blogged about before but these guys really nailed it.
What did they say?
First, diversity efforts that emphasize race create cleavages that, in turn, hurt minorities.
Second, affirmative action requires wildly different admission standards. On this point, the research evidence is clear. However, they go on to argue that admitting a greater number of unqualified minorities will only confirm negative stereotypes. This, too, has been found in several studies.
Third, university sponsored groups that are racially exclusive actually harm students. This is true for whites, blacks, and everyone else. Again, they cite longitudinal evidence showing this pattern.
Finally, the dreaded and utterly dishonest “diversity training.” Does it work? Short answer: No. In fact, diversity training that focuses on race, privilege, and victim status actually backfires. Yes, it creates in people resentment and distrust. For those in CJ programs, you should know that there is no evidence showing that diversity training or hiring more minorities matters at all in the CJ system. Indeed, Rich Johnson’s work (and others) shows that cops, black and white, resent how diversity training is conducted.
Shouldn’t we worry about doing harm? Seriously, and I mean this is the least partisan way possible, should we not hold ourselves and our universities to a higher standard of evidence? Shouldn’t we respect evidence even if that evidence contradicts our best intentions?
Read their editorial here: _
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology