Diversity and Multiculturalism: The New Racism
By Michael S. Berliner, Ph.D., and Gary Hull, Ph.D.
Is ethnic diversity an ?absolute essential? of a college education?
UCLA?s Chancellor Charles Young thinks so. Ethnic diversity is clearly the
purpose of affirmative action, which Young is defending against a
long-overdue assault. But far from being essential to a college
education, such diversity is a sure road to its destruction. ?Ethnic
diversity? is merely racism in a politically correct disguise.
Many people have a very superficial view of racism. They see it as
merely the belief that one race is superior to another. It is much more
than that. It is a fundamental (and fundamentally wrong) view of human
nature. Racism is the notion that one?s race determines one?s identity.
It is the belief that one?s convictions, values and character are
determined not by the judgment of one?s mind but by one?s anatomy or
This view causes people to be condemned (or praised) based on their
racial membership. In turn, it leads them to condemn or praise others on
the same basis. In fact, one can gain an authentic sense of pride only
from one?s own achievements, not from inherited characteristics.
The spread of racism requires the destruction of an individual?s
confidence in his own mind. Such an individual then anxiously seeks a
sense of identity by clinging to some group, abandoning his autonomy
and his rights, allowing his ethnic group to tell him what to believe.
Because he thinks of himself as a racial entity, he feels ?himself? only
among others of the same race. He becomes a separatist, choosing his
friends - and enemies - based on ethnicity. This separatism has
resulted in the spectacle of student-segregated dormitories and
The diversity movement claims that its goal is to extinguish racism and
build tolerance of differences. This is a complete sham. One cannot
teach students that their identity is determined by skin color and
expect them to become colorblind. One cannot espouse multiculturalism
and expect students to see each other as individual human beings. One
cannot preach the need for self-esteem while destroying the faculty
which makes it possible: reason. One cannot teach collective identity
and expect students to have self-esteem.
Advocates of ?diversity? are true racists in the basic meaning of that
term: they see the world through colored lenses, colored by race and
gender. To the multiculturalist, race is what counts - for values, for
thinking, for human identity in general. No wonder racism is increasing:
colorblindness is now considered evil, if not impossible. No wonder
people don?t treat each other as individuals: to the multiculturalist, they
Advocates of ?diversity? claim it will teach students to tolerate and
celebrate their differences. But the ?differences? they have in mind are
racial differences, which means we?re being urged to glorify race, which
means we?re being asked to institutionalize separatism. ?Racial identity?
erects an unbridgeable gulf between people, as though they were
different species, with nothing fundamental in common. If that were
true - if ?racial identity? determined one?s values and thinking methods
- there would be no possibility for understanding or cooperation among
people of different races.
Advocates of ?diversity? claim that because the real world is diverse,
the campus should reflect that fact. But why should a campus
population ?reflect? the general population (particularly the ethnic
population)? No answer. In fact, the purpose of a university is to impart
knowledge and develop reasoning, not to be a demographic mirror of
Racism, not any meaningful sense of diversity, guides today?s
intellectuals. The educationally significant diversity that exists in ?the
real world? is intellectual diversity, i.e., the diversity of ideas. But such
diversity - far from being sought after - is virtually forbidden on
campus. The existence of ?political correctness? blasts the academics?
pretense at valuing real diversity. What they want is abject conformity.
The only way to eradicate racism on campus is to scrap racist programs
and the philosophic ideas that feed racism. Racism will become an ugly
memory only when universities teach a valid concept of human nature:
one based on the tenets that the individual?s mind is competent, that
the human intellect is efficacious, that we possess free will, that
individuals are to be judged as individuals - and that deriving one?s
identity from one?s race is a corruption - a corruption appropriate to
N@zi Germany, not to a nation based on freedom and independence.