Sowell: Diversity fraud at universities goes back generations

Thomas Sowell Nothing so epitomizes the politically correct gullibility of our times as the magic word “diversity.” The wonders of diversity are proclaimed from the media, extolled in the academy and confirmed in the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States. But have you ever seen one speck of hard evidence to support the lofty claims? Although diversity has become one of the leading buzzwords of our time, it has a history that goes back several generations. In the early twentieth century, the principle of geographic diversity was used to conceal bias against Jews in the admission of students to Harvard and other leading academic institutions. Because the Jewish population was concentrated in New York and other east coast communities at that time, quota limits on how many Jewish students would be admitted were concealed by saying that Harvard wanted a diverse student body, consisting of students from around the country. Therefore some highly qualified Jewish applicants could be passed over, in favor of less qualified applicants from the Midwest or other regions of the country. My own first encounter with the idea of geographic diversity occurred more than half a century ago, when I was an undergraduate at Harvard, and worked as a photographer for the university news office to help pay the bills. The...

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