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From Real Engineering to Social Justice Engineering

Universities are becoming ideological safe spaces that hope to further humanity’s progress by focusing on the evils of race, gender, and class.




Originally published to The Unz Review by Robert Weissberg

American higher education evolves slowly but, every so often it becomes convulsed, enters the crisis mode and hundreds of millions are spent on newly created projects. Since WW II at least two such crises some six decades apart have occurred, and it is hard to imagine two more unlike events. The first was America’s response to the “backward” Soviet Union unexpectedly launching the world’s first orbiting satellite, Sputnik I on October 4, 1957.

Not only did this technological feat come as a shock given our past technological leadership, but we believed (erroneously) that the USSR now possessed nuclear-tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could hit a defenseless America. The second upheaval is more recent, namely countless colleges and universities, including the most prestigious, spending tens of millions to promote diversity and inclusion which, in practice means recruiting and graduating more academically marginal minority students.

Begin with Sputnik. Though American intelligence agencies were aware of the Soviet rocket program, its sudden success pressed the national panic button with higher education being singled out for the harshest blame and it was now all hands-on-deck to catch up. The prospect of atomic annihilation did concentrate the mind.

Military notables, including Admiral Hyman Rickover (who developed the nuclear- powered submarine) and a worried Congress demanded quick action and a committee of distinguished scientists were soon assembled. Panicky newspapers and magazines condemned America’s inability to match Russians brainpower.

According to a Gallup Poll, 70 percent of Americans thought that American high-schoolers should work harder. Polls also reported a new-found infatuation with tough standards while the news media also relentlessly condemned the push for equality and making learning fun.

Congress quickly overcame historic resistance to meddling in education and in 1958 enacted the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) that allocated money to states to identify the intellectually gifted and counsel them to study science and mathematics. Student loan programs were established in some 1,200 colleges; 1,000 fellowships were awarded at 23 universities and 12 foreign language institutes were created.

Some $33 million was spent on new scientific equipment. But, the centerpiece of this reaction was a heightened focus on brainpower as a national resource, not the pastime of a few oddball geeks. Absolutely nobody worried that super-charged science programs would “not look like America” or ignored the talents hidden in America’s under-privileged.

Tellingly, the mobilization of American science education top-to-bottom was assigned to scientists, not professors of education. Brainpower was even celebrated in the mass media—the popular TV program “the College Bowl” ran from 1959 to 1970 where predominantly white males, from top universities competed to be the smartest of the smart. To be sure, not every catch-the-Russians proposal succeeded (remember the “New Math” fiasco?), but the focus on the very best was indisputable.

Nobody worried too much about Wernher von Braun’ s tainted Nazi past. A candidate who campaigned on the platform of saving America from the Commies by “investing” millions in students who could barely read would have been judged a dangerous pinko. Public discussions spoke of enlisting the “best minds,” “eminent men” or “best people” so as to restore the glories of American science.

Some six decades later American Universities are once more mobilizing to combat perceived threats, but it is hard to imagine two more dissimilar perils. We have moved from dreading nuclear-armed ICBM’s to obsessing over our lack of campus diversity.

It is again all hands-on deck. As an old folk saying would put it, the diversity mania is spreading faster than head lice at a daycare center. Columbia University has recently pledged to spend $100 million to enhance its diversity (its Medical School has committed $50 million to the quest). Not to be outdone, American University in Washington D.C. intends to spend $120 million for its diversification while  similar multi-million-dollar commitments have also been made at Yale, Brown University, Harvard, New York University, Princeton, Amherst, Occidental and many, many more. Even the smallest financially troubled schools, including those with a sectarian mission, now find the money to fund a diversity bureaucracy.

This enterprise is obviously foolish, a form of mass hysteria though nobody seems inclined to challenge it, at least openly. Put it this way, if diversification is the cure, what is the disease? No doubt, every single American, regardless of ideology at the end of the 1950s understood what atomic bombs did and how they could be delivered by an unstoppable ICBM.

Now imagine a 2017 poll asking respondents to complete the following sentence: “We need diversity in education because….” Picture a university president who insisted that a diverse student body would more quickly help find a cure for cancer? Are universities so flush with tuition and government handouts that they can afford the luxury of spending tens of millions to enroll students who require multiple remedial classes? What is to be accomplished by enrolling students in “Defining Whiteness” (an actual American University course) or teaching them “cultural competence” when American undergraduates often struggle with basics literacy and numeracy?

Most important, past failures are indisputable and surely known to every campus apparatchik over the age of forty. Since the late 1960s universities have struggled and failed to hire academically qualified minority professors and there is no reason to suppose that spending a few million more to the budget will, at long last, hit pay dirt.

At most, the usual suspects will be rounded up and offered financially lucrative professorships in Department of Black Studies or the social sciences to teach race-related courses. Will coercing students to master the nuances of white privilege and identity, implicit racism, classism and ableism and all the rest help future citizens to function in an increasingly brown America?

Particularly bizarre is the pedagogical “philosophy” that assumes that the academic performance of struggling minority students can be boosted by focusing on the allegedly toxic traits of whites and the university’s traditional “too white” curriculum. Is there any scientific evidence that minority students with dismal SAT scores will master Organic Chemistry if white freshman are detoxified of racist stereotypes, trained to spot hostile microaggressions while their white or Asian instructors learn to suppress unconscious biases?

The catch-the-Russians effort that began in the late 50’s clearly succeeded. Millions of federal funds poured into universities and thanks to the creation of NASA, DARPA and all the rest, we quickly caught up and passed the Russians. Any visitor to a decent American university can see the triumph of Big Science: rows of government-financed building and laboratories, thriving programs in the STEM fields all dedicated to keeping America’s technological edge. Out of this little Sputnik panic has grown a mighty colossus.

Now, what about the diversity/inclusion upheaval? Will it, too, succeed, and create world-class higher education that “looks like America”? Yes and no. As we noted, if past efforts (and this would include similar Silicon Valley failures) are any guide, the odds of academic success are zero. Exorcizing white racism and white privilege while imposing draconian anti-hate speech codes, building safe spaces everywhere while adding trigger warnings to everything, all supervised by multicultural ideologues cannot possibly equalize academic outcomes. If diversification could be accomplished, it would have occurred decades ago. Nor will this urge subside since even cash-strapped schools will not pull the plug on this nonsense given the likelihood of violent reaction.

Nevertheless, there will be successes but me predict that diversity will arrive entirely in the form of  academic departments whose sole function is to provide ersatz diplomas and academic sinecures to those who cannot master the real thing.

Ironically, a policy not all that different from long-standing programs targeting academically marginal athletes and the not too smart children of major donors. These diversity homelands will be administratively top-heavy departments where the giveaway is the designation “Studies.” Current examples include Black Studies, Political Studies, Women’s Studies, Disability StudiesPostcolonial StudiesQueer Studies and on and on. I’m sure additional ones are on the drawing boards.

These are ideological orthodox safe spaces for those who reject discovering knowledge in favor of exposing bias and malevolence associated with race, gender and class. Undergraduates will earn degrees in “Oppression Studies” while “Science Studies” scholars will author a paper on how Principles of Continuum Applied Mathematics (MIT 18.300) acts as a barrier to exclude people of color from STEM careers. Meanwhile undergraduates in Medical Studies might scrutinize the gender imbalance of cadavers used to teach anatomy.

Both upheavals will have benefited American higher education albeit in dramatically different ways. While thousands of university-based disproportionately white, male and Asian scientists currently flourish, their more heterogeneous colleagues in Schools of Social Justice will be safely off to the side going to and fro deconstructing Michelangelo or otherwise making America better. Peace will prevail.

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Pat Buchanan: “The Late Hit” On Judge Kavanaugh

Wha exactly is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

Patrick J. Buchanan



Authored by Patrick Buchanan via

Upon the memory and truthfulness of Christine Blasey Ford hangs the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his reputation and possibly his career on the nation’s second-highest court.

And much more. If Kavanaugh is voted down or forced to withdraw, the Republican Party and conservative movement could lose their last best hope for recapturing the high court for constitutionalism.

No new nominee could be vetted and approved in six weeks. And the November election could bring in a Democratic Senate, an insuperable obstacle to the elevation of a new strict constructionist like Kavanaugh.

The stakes are thus historic and huge.

And what is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

When she was 15 in the summer of ’82, she went to a beer party with four boys in Montgomery County, Maryland, in a home where the parents were away.

She says she was dragged into a bedroom by Brett Kavanaugh, a 17-year-old at Georgetown Prep, who jumped her, groped her, tried to tear off her clothes and cupped her mouth with his hand to stop her screams.

Only when Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, laughing “maniacally,” piled on and they all tumbled off the bed, did she escape and lock herself in a bathroom as the “stumbling drunks” went downstairs. She fled the house and told no one of the alleged rape attempt.

Not until 30 years later in 2012 did Ford, now a clinical psychologist in California, relate, in a couples therapy session with her husband, what happened. She says she named Kavanaugh as her assailant, but the therapist’s notes of the session make no mention of Kavanaugh.

During the assault, says Ford, she was traumatized. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me.”

Here the story grows vague. She does not remember who drove her to the party. She does not say how much she drank. She does not remember whose house it was. She does not recall who, if anyone, drove her home. She does not recall what day it was.

She did not tell her parents, Ford says, as she did not want them to know she had been drinking. She did not tell any friend or family member of this traumatic event that has so adversely affected her life.

Said Kavanaugh in response, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Mark Judge says it never happened.

Given the seriousness of the charges, Ford must be heard out. But she also needs to be cross-examined and have her story and character probed as Kavanaugh’s has been by FBI investigators as an attorney for the Ken Starr impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton, a White House aide to George Bush, a U.S. appellate judge and a Supreme Court nominee.

During the many investigations of Kavanaugh’s background, nothing was unearthed to suggest something like this was in character.

Some 65 women who grew up in the Chevy Chase and Bethesda area and knew Kavanaugh in his high school days have come out and spoken highly of his treatment of girls and women.

Moreover, the way in which all of this arose, at five minutes to midnight in the long confirmation process, suggests that this is political hardball, if not dirt ball.

When Ford, a Democrat, sent a letter detailing her accusations against Kavanaugh to her California congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, Ford insisted that her name not be revealed as the accuser.

She seemingly sought to damage or destroy the judge’s career behind a cloak of anonymity. Eshoo sent the letter on to Sen. Diane Feinstein, who held it for two months.

Excising Ford’s name, Feinstein then sent it to the FBI, who sent it to the White House, who sent it on to the Senate to be included in the background material on the judge.

Thus, Ford’s explosive charge, along with her name, did not surface until this weekend.

What is being done here stinks. It is a transparently late hit, a kill shot to assassinate a nominee who, before the weekend, was all but certain to be confirmed and whose elevation to the Supreme Court is a result of victories in free elections by President Trump and the Republican Party.

Palpable here is the desperation of the left to derail Kavanaugh, lest his elevation to the high court imperil their agenda and the social revolution that the Warren Court and its progeny have been able to impose upon the nation.

If Kavanaugh is elevated, the judicial dictatorship of decades past, going back to the salad days of Earl Warren, William Brennan, Hugo Black and “Wild Bill” Douglas, will have reached its end. A new era will have begun.

That is what is at stake.

The Republican Senate should continue with its calendar to confirm Kavanaugh before Oct. 1, while giving Ford some way to be heard, and then Kavanaugh the right to refute. Then let the senators decide.

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Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Opposes Vote on Kavanaugh Until Leftist Accuser Has Her Say

The end of the Republic inches closer as Identity Politics knows no bounds: Republicans join the fight to delay Brett Kavanaugh confirmation vote.

Alex Christoforou



Via The Gateway Pundit


Anti-Trump Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an interview Sunday evening that until he learns more about the sexual assault allegation regarding Brett Kavanaugh, he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Kavanaugh.

It’s Flakes last chance to poke President Trump and the country in the eye before he rides retires and likely finds a job in the liberal media.

Via Mike Cernovich:

Kavanaugh’s accuser is a far left anti-Trump activist.

Via Zerohedge

Over the past few days, what appeared at first to be a merely token resistance to the nomination of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh has morphed into something entirely more menacing. And for the first time since Kavanaugh’s name was first floated in June, his nomination may be in jeopardy.

After allegations of decades-old sexual improprieties first surfaced last week, it looked as if Kavanaugh would easily surmount this obstacle. But we have to give the Democrats credit: They have lined up their dominoes perfectly. And on Sunday, they set their plan in motion when the Washington Post published an in-depth interview with Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. The story detailed a blow-by-blow accounting of Ford’s allegations, as well as her explanation for why she neglected to share her experience until decades later. Tellingly, the story also noted that Democrats have been sitting on the story since July, and that Ford only decided to out herself after some unscrupulous members of the Judiciary Committee shared her identity with the press – or at least that’s what California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office alleges.

While the allegations are relatively tame by #MeToo era standards (the incident allegedly unfolded when Kavanaugh was 17), it has apparently been enough for Democrats and a handful of turncoat moderate Republicans to successfully shut down a planned Thursday vote of the Judiciary Committee. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake effectively shut down the vote last night when he revealed that he wanted to hear more from Ford before voting. Without Flake, the Republicans’ 11-10 majority on the Judiciary Committee shifts to a 10-11 vote in favor of the Democrats. While Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has said he’d like the vote to proceed as scheduled, media reports say he is quietly working to organize a private call involving Ford and curious Senators in an effort to help mitigate their concerns.

But looking further ahead, Republican leaders might have more difficulty as Tennessee Republican Bob Corker – who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee but could still hold up the final confirmation vote – said Sunday that he’d also like to see Thursday’s committee vote delayed.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

“I’ve made it clear that I’m not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further,” said Flake, who has the power to stall consideration if all Democrats on the panel join him since Republicans only hold an 11-10 majority on the committee. Flake’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Corker of Tennessee, who isn’t a member of the panel but whose vote is critical to confirmation, also doesn’t want the committee to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until Ford’s allegations can be heard, said his spokeswoman, Micah Johnson. The senator wants the allegations to be heard promptly, she said.

The backlash intensified late Sunday when Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told CNN that Thursday’s hearing should be delayed.

“Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion,” Murkowski.


“This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over. And if there is real substance to this it demands a response.”

However, at least one of the Senate’s reputed moderates has stood up to the Democrats in an interview with the New York Times, castigating them for withholding this information until so late in the process (remember: Feinstein justified this decision by saying she had referred Ford’s allegations to the FBI, who reportedly added them to his background check file).

“What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” Collins told The New York Times.

Collins asked if Democrats believed Ford, “why didn’t they surface this information earlier,” and if they didn’t believe Ford, “why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it?”

“It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled,” Collins said.

Collins comments come after Ford spoke publicly about the alleged incident for the first time during an interview with The Washington Post that was published on Sunday.

On Monday, in the latest sign that Ford could appear at an embarrassing public hearing, Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, told “Today” that her client would be willing to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “She’s a credible person. These are serious allegations. And they should be addressed.”

The White House, for its part, is standing by Kavanaugh, and allowing the Senate to sort things out. According to Bloomberg, Kellyanne Conway said Ford should not be “insulted and ignored” in what appears to be an attempt to beat the Democrats at their own virtue-signaling game.

Still, according to a White House spokesperson, Trump isn’t giving an inch. Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim, citing WH spokesperson Kerri Kupec, reported that Judge Kavanaugh “categorically and unequivocally” denied this allegation: “This has not changed. Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement,”she said.

In fact, as Axios reports, Senate Republicans could “play hardball” by calling on Ford to testify before Thursday’s scheduled vote. Though Republicans wouldn’t surprised if Ford holds a press conference or gives a TV interview, which Axios says “would raise the stakes considerably.” Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, has repeatedly called for an FBI investigation and a postponement of the vote

To be sure, the Democrats’ goals here are obvious. After Sen. Corey Booker’s “selfless” decision to release unauthorized documents about Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush Administration failed to even delay the process, Democrats have now played their Trump card – no pun intended. Their goal: Delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation at least until the Oct. 1 mark – the beginning of SCOTUS’s next term – to put a halt to any controversial decisions that could reverse important precedents. Of course, their ultimate goal is to stonewall the White House until after Nov. 6, when a few victories in the midterms might allow them to sink Kavanaugh’s nomination once and for all.

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University announces “White Awake” safe space for white students

The University of Maryland at College Park has set up a new diversity support group to create a “safe space” for white students to discuss their feelings.

Campus Reform



Via Campus Reform:

Update: After publication of this article, University of Maryland-College Park changed the name of the group to “Anti-Racism and Ally Building Group,” along with a shorter description, which reads,  “Do you want to improve your ability to relate to and connect with people different from yourself? Do you want to become a better ally? Members will support and share feedback with each other as they learn more about themselves and how they can fit into a diverse world.”

In a statement provided to Campus Reform on Friday, the university explained the name change: “Our Counseling Center acknowledges that we did not choose the right words in raising awareness about this research-based initiative, and how this group has been perceived is counter to the values of inclusiveness and diversity that we embody. Therefore, we are renaming the group to better reflect our intention and values.”

The University of Maryland at College Park announced Friday a new diversity support group to create a “safe space” for white students to discuss their feelings about “interactions with racial and ethnic minorities.”

The support group, called “White Awake,” will help white students who may “sometimes feel uncomfortable and confused before, during, or after interactions with racial and ethnic minorities.”

“This group offers a safe space for White students to explore their experiences, questions, reactions, and feelings,” the description explains. “Members will support and share feedback with each other as they learn more about themselves and how they can fit into a diverse world.” The description asks students if they want to “improve [their] ability to relate to and connect with people different from [themselves]” or if they want to become a better “ally.” The new group is now one of four in the university’s “Diversity Issues” program series.The group is being led by Noah Collins, who works for the UMD Counseling Center, and will be held once a week. Collins specializes in group therapy and is interested “especially in the areas of racial and cultural awareness,” according to his faculty bio.The safe space has been met with harsh criticism from students on social media.

“I am ashamed over the execution of white awake nor do I fully understand its clause. ‘How they can fit into a diverse world’? Why do they need to attend therapy sessions on how to be a decent human being in society?” a UMD student wrote on Twitter. “Why do they need to have these sessions to learn how to coexist?”

“Just like classes. You can’t take one class and feel like you have all understanding over a certain subject,” the student added. “It takes practice, it takes problems, it takes more than one course, so ‘White Awake’ has good intention but I am skeptical over the fairytale result.”

Campus Reform reached out to Collins and UMD for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication. If and when a comment is received, the article will be updated.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha

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