My alma mater is a fine institution committed to educational excellence. Which makes it all the weirder that Princeton cannot recognize its own deep and debilitating liberal bias, rendering it about as intellectually diverse as North Korea. The latest issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly offers up a self-serving paean to “diversity” followed by a laughably predicable liberal litany. Consider:
Page 4: Article written by President Tighman titled A Renewed Commitment to Diversity
She laments that, while the undergraduate body has finally become “diverse,” “progress has been much slower among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and administrators, due in large part to the decentralized nature of their recruitment.” She implies, without evidence, that this reflects “inequity” rather than the abilities and preferences of potential applicants. In reality the clustering of demographic groups in particular occupations is by no means prima facie evidence of discrimination. The brilliant economist Thomas Sowell – did I mention he is black? – once observed:
During decades of watching both collegiate and professional football, I have seen hundreds of touchdowns scored by black players — but not one extra point kicked by a black player. Is this because blacks are genetically incapable of kicking a football or because racists won’t let blacks kick a football? Most of us would consider either of these explanations ridiculous….
Tilghman opines that “….diversity and excellence are inextricably linked. Creativity and innovation, forged, in part, by vigorous debate, are most likely to occur when the broadest range of perspectives are brought together.” Alas, PAW betrays a remarkably narrow “range of perspectives:”
Pages 5-7: six letters on being gay at Princeton
Page 8: two letters on “Bearing street harassment” [of women]. . . One correspondent claims “There is still a long way to go before women and girls feel safe and empowered in America.”
Page 9: A student remarks, “The Freshman Seminar ‘Race, Class, and the Selective College Experience’ made me aware of how blessed I was to receive an excellent education. Since then, I have been studying educational injustices and ways to rectify them.” (Is domination of urban school systems by teachers unions an “educational injustice?”)
Page 18. Article titled Inequality’s Effect on Children’s Health.
Page 20: Article titled Class Begins to Paint Picture of Princeton’s Ties to Slavery
Page 44: Article titled LGBT conference welcomes ‘every voice’
Page 45: Article titled Panelists: Fight for marriage equality is only a beginning
Page 48: Book Review titled A philosopher defends the nanny state…..She believes that banning cigarettes and 32 ounce sodas might be appropriate in order to “advance people’s well-being through regulation.” (Why not ban sodomy as well? After all, AIDS is a communicable disease while cancer and diabetes are not. Editor’s note: I am being facetious.)
Against these nine liberal items (which actually miss a couple of PAW favorites, such as “climate change” and evil Israel), there is exactly one “conservative” article, on Catholicism. That’s “diversity,” Princeton Style.
If the University actually took diversity seriously, it would stage regular debates between progressive faculty members and reactionary, benighted, unscientific conservatives on such topics as:
- Resolved: Obamanomics has hurt the young, the poor, and the non-white.
- Resolved: Global CO2 Levels Fail to Explain Recent Temperature Trends
- Resolved: Europe Exemplifies the Failure of Socialism
- Resolved: Affirmative Action hurts minorities
- Resolved: The Tea Party is right; big government expunges individual liberty.
- Resolved: Liberal social policy has been a disaster for inner cities
- Resolved: The Community Reinvestment Act caused the housing bubble
- Resolved: Israel treats Palestinians better than Arab nations do
On the day following these debates, the key points of each side should be published in a prominent ad in The Daily Princetonian.
Copyright Thomas Doerflinger 2013. All Rights Reserved.