To the Editor:
Let this old sociologist, professor emeritus, straighten out your quizzical floundering about the recent affirmative-action ruling (“‘Fisher’ Ruling May Open a ‘Wave of Litigation Against Colleges,’” The Chronicle, June 26).
I know affirmative action well via three avenues. Soon after getting my first full-time university position, I was fired because we had to hire a black chairman; he then fired, let go, forced out, or encouraged seven of us white men to find jobs elsewhere. It was all distinct and unapologetic. Second, I studied affirmative action intently as I taught race and ethnic relations for another 35 years. During this time universities became solidly leftist with hardly a chink in the cold steel armor. Blacks of all levels entered by means of affirmative action, adding to the implacable leftist agenda. Third, going to national and regional meeting of sociologists and reading (and writing politically correct articles and books) in the field showed progressively that the scholars of race can say and do nothing about advancing blacks without inflicting mass collateral damage.
Diversity is not an inherently noble or useful goal; moreover it is obvious that nobody on the inside wants any relevant variety of it. The academy’s impenetrable plating is inflexible, preventing all incorrect attitudes, writings, scholars, or any other disturbing specters.
At one American Sociological Association meeting, a woman scholar said from her podium, “When white men are fired for affirmative action, they just go away, nobody seems to know where”—with an oh-well shrug. Nobody has looked because “academic diversity” stymies searches for truth, especially about itself.