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E-Pluribus | November 23, 2022
Quantifying how the DEI complex has infiltrated medical schools, how the "Stop WOKE Act" could be used to promote wokeness, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weighs in on Kanye and Kyrie.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: E-Pluribus will be on hiatus until Monday, November 28 for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
A round-up of the latest and best writing and musings on the rise of illiberalism in the public discourse:
Aaron Sibarium: Report Reveals Just How Much the DEI Complex Has Infiltrated Medical Education
At Pluribus, we have included a number of disparate examples of how the medical field is succumbing to DEI pressures, see here, here, and here. But now a new report, summarized by Aaron Sibarium at the Washington Free Beacon, attempts to quantify just how much of an influence diversity policies are having at medical schools across the country.
Forty-four percent of medical schools have tenure and promotion policies that reward scholarship on "diversity, inclusion, and equity." Seventy percent make students take a course on "diversity, inclusion, or cultural competence." And 79 percent require that all hiring committees receive "unconscious bias" training or include "equity advisors"—people whose job it is to ensure diversity among the faculty.
Those are just some of the findings from a new report by the Association of American Medical Colleges, which together with the American Medical Association accredits every medical school in the United States. The report, "The Power of Collective Action: Assessing and Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at AAMC Medical Schools," is based on a survey of 101 medical school deans—representing nearly two thirds of American medical schools—who were given a list of diversity policies and asked to indicate which ones they had implemented.
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The report indicates that more than a third of medical schools offer extra funding to departments that hit diversity targets, half require job applicants to submit diversity statements, and over two thirds "require departments/units to assemble a diverse pool of candidates for faculty positions."
Read it all.
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Conor Friedersdorf: Ron Desantis’s Speech Policing Could Hurt the Right Too
A common test for any law that grants the government more power is to ask, “how will the other side use this law once they control the reigns of government?” At The Atlantic, that is the analysis Conor Friedersdorf applies to Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” which was recently struck down by a federal judge. Essentially, arguments put forth by Florida’s lawyers could be used by future progressives to increase diversity-focused teachings in schools.
In fact, a striking passage in Florida’s legal brief opposing the preliminary injunction states, “Even if the First Amendment did apply here, Florida’s compelling interest in stamping out discrimination based on race and other immutable characteristics amply justifies any burden on speech the Act may impose.” The explicit defense of the bill is that fighting whatever politicians dub racism on campus is more important than the First Amendment.
If the DeSantis administration manages to set that precedent, we should rename the law the Enabling Wokeness Act. When David Bernstein lamented in his 2003 book, You Can’t Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties From Antidiscrimination Laws, that some professors would use the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equality under the law as a pretext to supersede the First Amendment, he was objecting to a prominent strand of critical race theory. How striking that people who claim to revile CRT are advancing the same logic.
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If the populist right succeeds in stripping faculty of most First Amendment protections in the classroom, where will it turn when progressive legislatures ban its ideas on campus? Meanwhile, DeSantis and his allies are now the ones who have ceded the moral high ground to their culture-war foes by framing a debate as if free speech were in conflict with the elimination of “woke” racism. Was it worth it? As a court dubs this law unconstitutional, I feel vindicated in saying that the answer is no.
Read the full piece.
Bari Weiss: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Kanye, Kyrie, and Antisemitism
The recent controversies involving remarks and social media posts from Kanye West and Kyrie Irving have sparked a discussion about the conflicts and conspiracy mongering about Jews. At her Common Sense Substack, Bari Weiss, who is Jewish, has a fascinating discussion with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who is Black and Muslim, about the underlying dynamics at play.
BW: I want to focus on Farrakhan’s influence. He believes that Jews are parasitic, that Jews are behind a plot to exploit black Americans, and that blacks are the real Jews from the Bible. We’re hearing these ideas come out of the mouths of musicians like Kanye West (“Jewish people have owned the black voice”) and athletes like Kyrie Irving (“I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from”). For many Jews, hearing this kind of rhetoric is shocking, but many black Americans have noted that these views are more commonplace than we’d like to admit. So what I think a lot of people are afraid to ask is: How mainstream are these beliefs among black Americans? Are Kanye and Kyrie unique? Or has the influence of people like Farrakhan made this strain of antisemitism somehow more normal than many want to believe?
KAJ: Certain black leaders do exactly what certain white leaders do who want to gather followers, money, and power: They find a scapegoat they can blame. They can’t blame others who are marginalized because of the color of their skin, like Latinx or Asian-Americans, so they go for the default villain of fascists and racists: Jews.
What astounds me is not just the irrationality of it, but how self-destructive it is. Black people have to know that when they mouth antisemitism, they are using the exact same kind of reasoning that white supremacists use against blacks. They are enabling racism. Now they’ve aligned themselves with the very people who would choke out black people, drag them behind a truck, keep them from voting, and maintain systemic racism for another hundred years. They are literally making not only their lives worse, but their children’s lives. The fact that they can’t see that means the racists have won.
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BW: For black Americans who do get caught up in Jew-hatred and conspiracy theories about Jews, where does that come from? Is it just Farrakhan’s legacy? Or is there something else going on here?
KAJ: It’s human nature for those who are abused to find someone else to abuse in order to make themselves feel better. Conspiracy theories allow people to justify their irrational biases with the superficial appearance of intellect. Unfortunately, it reveals just the opposite: lack of ability to think logically.
Read it all.
An important question for anti-CRT activists from Conor Friedersdorf about his Atlantic piece cited above.
Shadi Hamid on democracy in the Middle East:
In honor of Thanksgiving, a quote from Noah Rothman on puritanism: