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E-Pluribus | May 5, 2023
Diversity-loving NIMBYs; illiberalism to the left of us, illiberalism to the right of us; physician, heal thyself - of DEI.
A round-up of the latest and best writing and musings on the rise of illiberalism in the public discourse:
Eric Kaufmann: Diversity for Thee—But Not for Me
Do as they say, not as they do. Eric Kaufmann writes at City Journal that white progressives are all in favor of diversity in principle, but demographics surveys seem to indicate literal not-in-my-back-yard (or at least neighborhood) behavior in practice.
Diversity is a core value for white progressives in America and other Western countries. Over 60 percent of them support increasing immigration. As the Manhattan Institute’s Zach Goldberg shows, they are the only major part of the population to feel warmer toward other racial groups than toward their own: they rate whites as more lazy and violent, and less intelligent, than blacks. Among white progressives, 87 percent say that having an “increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities” makes the U.S. a better place to live, while virtually none says that it makes the country worse.
You would think that aversion to one’s racial group would prompt white progressives to flee disproportionately white areas for more diverse ones. Surveys do show that white progressives are more likely than white conservatives to indicate that they want to live in diverse places. Studies that present Americans with showcards of stylized houses as a proxy for race —some colored white, some black, with the proportion of the latter varied—find that those with progressive racial attitudes say that they prefer more diverse places than conservatives. These findings have been replicated in Britain and the Netherlands.
But when the rubber hits the road, white liberal attitudes don’t translate into behavior.
[ . . . ]
Thus far, the evidence shows that white liberals and conservatives have the same domestic migration patterns when controlling for education, age, income, marital status, urbanity, and other factors. Yet I’ve only been comparing movers, assessing white avoidance rather than white “flight.” That is, looking only at whether new white residents avoid diverse areas, rather than considering all people, comparing movers with stayers, to assess if certain kinds of whites are more likely to leave diverse places than others.
Read it all.
Theodore R. Johnson: Illiberalism is a threat to democracy — on the right and left
The Left and Right like to point fingers at each other when it comes to illiberal behavior, but the Washington Post’s Theodore Johnson says both are guilty. While Johnson is harder on the R ight’s excesses, he accuses each side of hypocrisy when it comes to limits each would like to place on the other.
How democracy is exercised — how the game is played — is more important than who wins.
We’re either forgetting this or deciding that we no longer care. Partisans increasingly see the other side as immoral, stupid, unworthy or incapable of good-faith debates. Americans have lost confidence in government’s ability to manage the country, much less address its intractable problems. This erosion of respect feeds an anti-democratic backlash: More than a third of us support violations of democratic norms by the political leaders we favor.
The right has embraced antidemocratic tactics more readily and with more fervor. But the left is not immune to the pull of illiberalism, a word that essentially means the infringing of the political minority’s rights, and a disregard for constitutional order. Whereas democracy requires parties to accept losses, illiberalism is obsessed with winning elections, prevailing in policy disputes and hoarding power — to hell with democratic norms, rules and fairness.
Illiberal impulses arise from different origins on the right and the left. Right-wing illiberalism has roots in the idea that the nation has always been exceptional, but that its destiny is now threatened by faithless or incompatible groups of others: progressives, racial and ethnic minorities, internationalists and so on. Former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions put the impulse front and center. Running on the motto “Make American Great Again,” he repeatedly professed his obsession with winning, attacked the free press and made too many disparaging remarks about people of color to list. The impulse is visible in right-wing support for the “independent state legislature” theory, which empowers state-level majorities to ignore the courts and the public will; in book bans and whitewashed history classes; and in the violence of Jan. 6, 2021.
In the far reaches of the left wing, illiberalism springs from an unwillingness to recognize and praise those aspects of the United States that should be conserved, preferring instead to portray a nation corrupt from the start, beyond repair and in need of a teardown. The illiberal left chills the speech of ideological opponents, hijacks legitimate protest movements to serve undemocratic ends and supports coercive means to achieve policy goals. Although not equivalent to the excesses of right-wing illiberalism, the left repudiates democracy nonetheless.
Read the whole thing.
Stanley Goldfarb: How America’s Obsession with DEI Is Sabotaging Our Medical Schools
Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine has been in his field for half a century. At the Free Press, Goldfarb warns that the medical profession is experiencing a “meltdown” from prioritizing political and social concerns over actual healthcare outcomes.
Our [organization’s (Do No Harm)] argument is that medical schools are engaging in racial discrimination in service to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have filed more than seventy complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which exists in large part to investigate schools that discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, age, and disability. Surely the radical activists never expected anyone to turn the administrative state against them, but that’s what we did. And it worked—even under the Biden administration. Do No Harm has filed complaints through OCR over scholarships, fellowships, and programs with eligibility criteria that discriminate based on race/ethnicity (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and/or sex/gender identity (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972). Many of these are described as programs for students who are “underrepresented in medicine” (UIM).
[ . . . ]
Racially discriminatory scholarships are not the only sign of the decline of American medical schools. A colleague at Do No Harm and I examined the trend of resegregating medicine, including the idea that black physicians provide better healthcare to black patients than physicians of other races. There is no question disparities exist in health outcomes for minority communities. But no valid studies support the rationale of creating a corps of minority physicians, and last month Do No Harm filed a complaint with the OCR against Duke University’s School of Medicine’s Black Men in Medicine program for race- and sex-based discrimination.
[ . . . ]
Do No Harm is also pushing back against the tide of race-based programs in the corporate world. In February, in the wake of a lawsuit we filed against Pfizer last September claiming a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the pharmaceutical company ended a requirement that college junior applicants to its Breakthrough Fellowship program—which offers guaranteed employment—be black, Hispanic, or Native American.
Read it all here.
Jonathan Turley weighs in on the continued suppression of the Nashville shooter’s “manifesto”: