Not all segregationists are created equal. Some lose their jobs—others get six-figure salaries.
Last week cartoonist Scott Adams became the first type of segregationist, losing his award-winning comic strip for advocating that his fellow whites separate themselves from blacks to avoid racial harm (apparently the Dilbert creator is afraid of black people).
Ironically, just days later I got this email from a disgusted professor lamenting the second kind of segregationist: “My School is running its first ever racially segregated faculty and staff workshop this Friday. See below.”
What followed was a memo from the associate dean of the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education inviting employees to a training called “Engaging in Equity-Based Teaching from Your Positionality.”
Bolded so no one could miss it, the administrator warned, “Please note this workshop will be offered in two sessions, the first for BIPOC faculty beginning at 11:00 am and the second for non-BIPOC faculty beginning at 1:30 pm.”
(For those who can’t keep up with the woke talk, BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.)
As someone old enough to remember racially segregated bathrooms and water fountains, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if a BIPOC person attended the whites-only training, or if a white person came to the BIPOC training. Would the associate dean call the police to arrest agitators who don’t know their (racial) place? I fear that no professor who desegregated would get tenure. A similarly brave student might get expelled for threatening the racial order.
The taxpayer-funded Neag School of Education, which trains Connecticut’s teachers, apparently does not want its BIPOCs contaminated by contact with whites, or maybe it’s the other way around—UConn wants to keep sensitive whites like Scott Adams “safe” from BIPOC-related dangers. Maybe Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke could be UConn’s graduation speaker at a separate-but-equal white ceremony—not the BIPOC one, of course.
This is the new normal in academia. While Scott Adams types get fired, woke segregationists get promoted. College bureaucrats divide students and faculty into victims and oppressors based on ethnicity or sexuality, adhering to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles which have recreated forced segregation as an educational best practice.
That started at the top. In Neo-Segregation at Yale, Dion Pierre and Peter Wood show that, for decades, elite universities have segregated student admissions, orientation, housing, and even graduation ceremonies, creating a new Jim Crow that cements differences rather than commonalities.
Even research is no longer exempt from apartheid. Nobody was surprised when an academic journal editor told me I could not submit a quantitative paper on black school principals because I’m not black. President Biden’s February 16 Executive Order, “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” will create “agency equity teams” which impose such DEI separatism throughout the government.
Ironically, scientific evaluations indicate that DEI practices are unpopular and ineffective. DEI contradicts psychology’s contact hypothesis research, which guided successful integration in the U.S. Army. Integration works best when those from different groups have close contact, earn equal status through common challenges, share common identities, and have leadership that supports integration—unlike that of UConn.
Yet we should not fire segregationists. If we canceled every artist with dumb ideas, little art would remain: America needs Dilbert. Though the UConn bureaucrat probably has far less social value, she should not be harassed. I am shaming but not naming her because I do not want her life destroyed for her errors. Everyone is stupid sometimes. Moreover, as Danish journalist Jacob Mchangama shows in Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media, oppression never stops bad ideas—it just drives them underground and turns their proponents into martyrs.
Instead of banishing segregationists, disprove their ideas. My collaborator Wilfred Reilly did that when he debated white supremacist Jared Taylor about whether ethnic diversity makes America stronger or weaker. The debate took place at Kentucky State University (KSU), the historically black institution where Professor Reilly teaches. Clearly, KSU students are no snowflakes.
Emulating Reilly, I challenge Scott Adams to a debate about whether segregation makes us stronger or weaker, to be held at the University of Connecticut.
Bring it on, Dilbert!
Image: Adobe Stock