Not Just a Diversity Number

Inside Higher Education, June 13, 2012

There are days I feel like I have an invisible number, a percentage, following me around everywhere I go. {snip}

So what’s the number following me around? It’s the diversity statistic on my campus. The percentage of faculty at my institution who are faculty of color (we say “diversity,” but then when it comes to counting, we seem to be only keeping track of the color of our skin). I am one of “them,” you see, and there are days when I wonder if when I was hired a little meter turned in the provost’s mind (like a calendar flipping to the next date) with a little ca-ching sound that signaled I was the nth faculty of color at my institution. {snip}

Let me put humility aside for a second. When I was hired at my current position, I knew I was good at what I do. I had published more than many people at my stage in their careers, I had presented at conferences regularly, I had won a couple of awards, and I was a good teacher. However, once I joined my institution, it seemed that all of that was forgotten. All that was ever talked about was the “diversity statistic”: how the institution had hired x number of faculty of color, y number of women in science and so on.

To stand up and be introduced at the new faculty orientation and the first faculty senate meeting, was for most of us an uncomfortable experience, to put it mildly. Are we the sideshow at the circus? Step right up, step right up! Here before you is the black lesbian academic, over to the left is your woman in science, and to the right you will find a brown woman of indistinguishable background, and on your way out please stop and say hello to the dark-skinned man with a thick foreign accent of some kind who may or may not be gay.

To some extent faculty of color feel like we are on display for the college (take a quick look at college websites, pamphlets or look books and you’ll see what I mean). It is as if our presence is proof of the college’s benevolence and progressiveness, and not of our abilities and accomplishments and what we add to the college. {snip}

For the rest of the college community we are the people who breed resentment. Instead of seeing us for everything that we bring to the job, we are seen simply as “diversity candidates.” So while the presidents, provosts, and deans pad their C.V.s with the successful “diversity initiatives” they have launched on their campuses to propel themselves to the next rung on the administrative ladder, we, the supposed benefactors of the “diversity initiative,” are left trying to survive in an environment where our colleagues see us as less worthy and less able. Has anybody stopped to consider what the constant and overwhelming emphasis on our “diversity” does to and for us? We constantly have to “come out” about our academic achievements, constantly have to prove to our colleagues that we do in fact deserve to be here.

It is not that I am opposed to colleges diversifying. Quite the contrary! Faculty of color wouldn’t be seen as rare and exotic species if college campuses were more diversified and more integrated. It would also help minimize the circus sideshow during faculty orientation. What I am opposed to, however, is all the talk and emphasis that administrators put on our diversity to the detriment and outright neglect of everything else we bring to the table.


[Editor’s Note: The original article indicates that the anonymous author is an assistant professor at a liberal arts college.]

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  • David McCullough, son of the famous historian of the same name, recently delivered a commencement address at the high school where he teaches English.  It went viral around the ‘web, mainly for its “you’re not special, 18-year olds” theme.  But one part caught me, where he implied that we build clinics in Guatemala not to do good for Guatemalans, but to feel better about ourselves.

    This writer seems to imply that that’s the impetus behind “diversity” in colleges:  Administrators feeling better about themselves for having hired “diversity.”

    So what do you have?  The ravages of self-esteem and affirmative action, which are even worse combined than they are alone.

    • QD, it works the SAME WAY with every one of the 22,000 gun laws on the books at the federal, state and local levels. Pols who pass “gun-control” legislation know full well that it isn’t going to make one iota’s difference in the crime rate. But, they can always thump their chests and say they did “something” about crime rates. Gun-control legislation is nothing more than feel-good legislation at its most useless.

      You mention building clinics in Guatemala – is that the same thing as white college students going to Papua New Guinea to teach the aborigines how to dig for water wells? So that they can “feel good” about themselves? Jeez, what a waste of taxpayer dollars.

  • MekongDelta69

    Hey pal. You wanted it – you got it – now live with it.

    We look at EVERY non-straight, white male with suspicion b/c there’s a good chance they didn’t get there on merit.

  • These people are just inventing new ways to sound completely stupid.  The left has come so unhinged (not that they were particularly hinged to begin with) that any sane person is starting to question their affiliation with their ideologies.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

      witnesses alleged that a group of five to 10 African American teens
    were deliberately seeking out and attacking white teens, and also
    assaulted a transient.
    He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
    about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, officers again responded to the park, where
    they found three men who claimed they had been attacked by a group of 20
    to 30 African American teens. The men, ages 22, 23, and 26, said they
    were at the tennis courts when a group nearby began throwing bottles
    onto the courts, and then approached them

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

     “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist Professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”… Ovomit

    “When classmates in college asked me just what a community organizer did, I couldn’t answer them directly. Instead ,I’d pronounce the need for change.”…Ovomit

    “I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped,and booze;maybe a little blow when you could afford it.”…Ovomit

  • JackKrak

    Demand quotas at all positions at all levels.

    Threaten to sue – and actually sue – if you don’t get them.

    Act insulted if anyone suggests you got your job/promotion/whatever just because you are black/female/whatever.

    Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

  • ShoutsAtTV

     [Editor’s Note: The original article indicates that the anonymous author is an assistant professor at a liberal arts college.]

    Well, there’s your problem right there.

    • IstvanIN

      Do you know what a liberal arts college is?

      •  Courses on basket weaving and the social deconstruction of Pokemon?

  • Southern__Hoosier

    “I had published more than many people at my stage in their careers, I
    had presented at conferences regularly, I had won a couple of awards, …..”

    Have you considered how much of that had to do with your skin color? Maybe for the first time in your life you were given a reality check. Maybe for the first time an institute was honest enough to say that you and other like you were there because of the color of your skin and some government mandate.

    I work with several Blacks in a predominant white telecom field. They “proved” themselves by doing the job the same way as the rest of us. There is no doubt that they were hired for their ability and not for the color of there skins. If Blacks would quit yelling racist every time they failed to pass a test or to get a position, the rest of us would see them as just another worker and not just a quota.

  • chickensandkittens

    The answer to this professor’s concerns is to get rid of ALL affirmative action policies.

    Then, everyone will know that anyone who achieved anything did it by their own merits.

  • Has anybody stopped to consider what the constant and overwhelming emphasis on our “diversity” does to and for us?

    The question should be, has anyone stopped to consider what the constant and overwhelming emphasis on “diversity” has done to White Americans. Of course, I suspect this militant member of diversity is not too concerned about that….

  • Esmithton91

     or not getting their 5 prayer times during work hours, with a seperate, special place to pray…..

  • joewest666

    I’m not playing diversity anymore.

    That word has been stricken from my vocabulary and life as a fraudulent tool used by others to steal from qualified people.


  • JohnEngelman

    Colleges can get all the diversity they need by admitting and hiring more Jews and Orientals. With Jews and Orientals there is no need to lower standards. 

    • Pandemonium

      I don’t think Jews are one of the officially “protected” minorities. 

  • anarchyst

    I am PROUD to be called a “racist” AND an “anti-semite”.  My pursuit of TRUTH is all that matters.  Let the chips fall where they may . . .
    I may be “disqualified” for many jobs, membership in so-called elite “organizations” and the like, based on my quest for TRUTH (as well as being a white male), but I have one thing that matters more than anything else- -my SELF RESPECT.

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    “American” colleges are just waypoints for our new Oriental professional class. By accident or design, the System displaces Whites at every class level. Mestizos and Jamaicans (yes, those funny kaffirs) at the construction and farm level. Orientals? H1-Bs for eddy-one!

    Throw in the multitude of “minority” scholarship, grant, and placement organizations and presto…White genocide through soft control. Resist soft control.

  • BobWhitakerisokay

    No one is saying Asian countries need diversity.

    No one is saying African countries need diversity.

    They are already 100% diverse.

    White people and ONLY White people are being told that their countries and ONLY their countries need diversity.

    When White countries are 100% diverse there will be NO MORE White people.

    Diversity is a code word for White genocide.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

  • The author just wants the college to turn completely non-white.  It’s what they always do.  They’re uncomfortable because there’s too few of them so now the college/business/neighborhood must now import many more of them so the few will feel better.  Baloney.  It’s all about taking over.

  • anarchyst

    It’s time to “go Galt” . . . WE whites are the PRODUCERS . . . REFUSE to use national banks, pull your money out and use credit unions and local state chartered banks instead.
    If you own a business, offer a substantial discount for CASH, preferably in gold and silver. Barter goods for services and vice-versa. . .
    REFUSE to deal with companies that support the “diversity” and “multiculturalism” crowd. . . AND LET THEM KNOW WHY . . . they are insulting their very best customers . . .
    Refuse to deal with minorities . . . and let them know why . . . I am PROUD to be called “racist”. I consider being called “anti-semitic” for putting AMERICA FIRST as a badge of honor . . . I don’t care what the “tribe” thinks . . . our esteemed (racist) “attorney general” eric holder has declared that whites are not covered by “civil rights (for some) laws . . . it appears that “equal justice under law” is a fiction in today’s world . . .
    SCREW THE GOVERNMENT ON TAXES . . . you might lose some “tax breaks” but will be better off in the long run . . . if “turbotax timmy geithner” can cheat on his taxes and get away with it . . . so can we.
    Obtain alternate IDs and a foreign passport . . . you may need it in the near future . . . It seems that with all the pandering to illegal aliens, we are “foreigners” and “third-class citizens” in our own country . . .
    We have to starve the beast . . . 20% of like-minded whites will be enough to bring the system down. . .