The first requirement on the road to wokeness is the refusal to acknowledge the real world, as it exists. Francis Menton, aka the Manhattan Contrarian, explains, “You must pretend that the world is something else, something immediately transformable into a fantasy of perfection through coercive collective action.”
You also must firmly close your eyes to any facts or evidence that might contradict such progressive fantasy, and indeed you must demand that any such facts or evidence be suppressed and never mentioned.
Among numerous illustrations of this point, perhaps the most striking is the current hysteria sometimes going by the name “anti-racism.” Here, the official progressive fantasy is that any under-representation of blacks (or other minority group of your choice) at designated heights of society can only be the result of “systemic racism.” Therefore all must commit to the coerced program of “anti-racism,” whereupon, I presume, perfection will promptly be achieved.
In the current City Journal, Heather Mac Donald writes about The Bias Fallacy, in which she makes the case that “bias against minorities explains little if any of their under-representation in certain positions and professions,” reports the Manhattan Contrarian:
To her credit, Ms. Mac Donald has managed to find considerable data illustrative of the limitations of the minority talent pool relative to some of the top positions at major corporations and law firms. I give a good deal of credit to Ms. Mac Donald for finding these data, which exist only for certain categories and certain years.
Heather MacDonald in City Journal:
As long as data on the skills and behavior gap remain available, it is possible to challenge the myth of bias, at least in theory. So those facts must themselves be canceled, as well as anyone who publicizes them. That is the ultimate motivation for the movement to end the use of standardized tests in admissions. . . . The reason to eliminate standardized assessments is rather to put the College Board and the Educational Testing Service out of business entirely—and with them, any possibility of an objective measure of intellectual skills.
There simply are not enough competitively qualified black candidates to go around. Moreover, one-third of all black males have a felony conviction.
It would be almost impossible to miss the parade of major societal institutions — large corporations, banks, law firms, universities, and so on — caught with insufficient numbers of minorities in their ranks and pledging to rectify the situation immediately if not sooner, continues Mr. Menton.
Which leads us to the NASDAQ, looking to be the new diversity consultant. Companies on the NASDAQ stock exchange would be required to have at least two “Diverse” directors, “one director who self-identifies as female,” and “one who self-identifies as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, two or more races or ethnicities, or as LGBTQ+.”
NASDAQ and Social Policy
The NASDAQ is proposing a requirement that its listed companies meet NASDAQ CEO Adena Friedman’s goals for diversity on their boards, writes the WSJ’s Holman Jenkins.
Let’s count the absurdities. Shareholders of listed companies elect their boards and are already free if they choose (and some do) to promote diversity goals. Voters elect legislators at the state and federal level who, if they think the public favors it, can pass affirmative-action mandates.
Nobody elected Nasdaq, as even Ms. Friedman seems mutely to concede. Though noncompliant companies in theory could be kicked off the exchange, they won’t be, she says. They will be required to explain publicly why they aren’t complying. (Here’s hoping many will say it’s because their self-respecting board members refuse to honor Ms. Friedman’s demand that they “self-identify” by race, gender and sexual orientation.)
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with diversity. That’s why so many con men, fraudsters and cynical self-promoters are attracted to it. No sensible person doesn’t think America has been missing out on the untapped gifts of large sections of its population, in some cases because of bigotry and in some cases because of what somebody once called the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Loading everyday life with even more identity-politics paranoia is the last thing America needs. Or turning its most accomplished business leaders into beneficiaries of social promotion. Or metastasizing more examples of elite favoritism for the public to be repulsed by. Never mind papering America with yet more rules of the sort that require a 271-page Nasdaq proposal to explain. Even California’s liberal electorate signaled last month that crude and invidious affirmative action should remain a thing of the past.