Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Report: Neo-Segregation at Yale

NAS

NAS launches its latest report studying the history and growth of neo-segregation in American higher education.

Episode #22: The Legacy of Reconstruction

NAS

Peter W. Wood is joined by Gene Dattel and author and scholar on race in America. We discuss the history of reconstruction, reparations, civil rights, and Black separatist movements. 

Episode 6: Race, Crime, and Culture with Barry Latzer

NAS

On this episode of Curriculum Vitae, Peter Wood and Barry Latzer discuss race, crime, and Barry’s battles with the progressive guardians of the publishing world.

Opposing Communist Chinese Spies Isn’t Racist

Rachelle Peterson

Is it racist to protect American colleges from foreign meddling? 

Do The Oppressed Really Know Best?

Spencer Case

What weight difference should be placed on "lived experience?"

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Howard S. Schwartz

Howard Schwartz explores the psychological roots of accusations of racism.

Professor's Racial Harassment of White Student was 'Personal'

Dion J. Pierre

A Native American professor at San Diego State University racially harassed a white student, the California State Department of Justice concluded last week.

Dreaming of a Black Christmas

Dion J. Pierre

UCLA Prof. Melina Abdullah recently called for a "Black Christmas" as a protest against capitalism. This idea is nothing new. 

Clemson’s Colin Kaepernick Moment

Dion J. Pierre

Clemson University deals with issues of race and sexual-assualt. 

Black Liberals and White Rednecks

Dion J. Pierre

Impoverished Whites and underprivileged African-Americans have more in common than meets the eye. 

Words Mean What I Say They Mean

Carol Iannone

Vanity Fair insists that "assimilation" means "white supremacy."

What Damore's Memo Taught Google

Peter Wood

The recent attempts to include more women and racial minorities in STEM fields could have drawbacks. 

Charlottesville—One Poison, Two Bottles

Peter Wood

UVA didn’t invite racial violence, but it wasn’t entirely an innocent on-looker either.

A Monumental Mistake

Dion J. Pierre

When it comes to de-commemoration, lines must be drawn.

Boulevard of Woken Dreams

Dion J. Pierre

NAS's Dion Pierre comments on a recent column from David Brooks on "wokeness."

Five Telling Campus Outbreaks of the 2016-17 Academic Year

NAS

Peter Wood comments on troubling stories from American higher education this past academic year.

Evergreen No More

Peter Wood

An experimental college loses its needles.

Blackalaureate 2017 at Brown University: A Photo Essay

NAS

Brown University graduates held a black-only "Blackalaureate" the day before commencement.

Harvard Prepares to Host All Black Graduation

Dion J. Pierre

Is Harvard's all black graduation a benign trend or a step backwards? 

BLM at the New School

Dion J. Pierre

Dion J. Pierre begins his exploration of race on the modern American campus.

NAS Urges Office of Management and Budget to Reject New Racial Categories

Peter Wood

The U.S. Census should not be a tool for advancing the interests of any political party and should be above the fray.

“Blackness” Matters

Rachelle Peterson

A panel at The New School shows the racial essentialism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Race Relations, Liberal Bias, and Safe Spaces on Campus

Ashley Thorne

Three stories from the last week all have one thing in common; can you guess what it is?

On Woodrow Wilson: Princeton Students Hold Civil Debate

Russell K. Nieli

A recent campus event was an encouraging sign that respectful dialogue is still possible among Princeton students who disagree. 

The Guilted Age

Thomas Dineen

Thomas Dineen tells how Debby Irving educated him on his whiteness.

Black No More

Jonathan Bean

The case of Rachel Dolezal highlights the relevance of the satirical novel Black No More.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

Peter Wood

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter.

“Whiteness Studies” and Campus Activism

Dan Kemp

Emerging “whiteness” courses are often connected to political purposes. 

"Teaching" Ferguson

Ashley Thorne

Faculty members and teachers use the grand jury's decision in the Ferguson case as an opportunity to advance the view that America is plagued by racism.

Campus Energy Divestment: A Mistaken Legacy of the Anti-Apartheid Movement

Caleb Rossiter

"Divestment will again harm Africans, but this time to no good end." Dr. Caleb Rossiter, an adjunct professor at American University, weighs in.

Prager U: What Every Graduate Should Know

Jason Fertig

Dennis Prager offers five key ideas that every college graduate should understand.

Sonia, What Happened?

George W. Dent

Sonia Sotomayor's impassioned dissent in Schuette v. BAMN seems to contradict views she expressed in her memoir, My Beloved Land.

Report: US Higher Education System Reinforces “White Privilege”

Glenn Ricketts

A new study concludes that "White Privilege" is actually being worsened by elite colleges and universites.

How Academe Turned Zimmerman into a Racist

Peter Wood

Intense outrage over the George Zimmerman verdict does little actual good toward easing racial tension and saving future lives.

RES Revs 'Em Up

Glenn Ricketts

Race & Ethnicity Studies needn't lead to political activism—it just always seems to.

What's Wrong with English?

Glenn Ricketts

Mark Bauerlein thinks there isn't really anything left that resembles an academic discipline. No wonder there are fewer majors.

How to Manage Race Relations and Succeed

Glenn Ricketts

Is there an alternative to affirmative action?  Jonathan Bean thinks so.

Ask a Scholar – U.S. v. Cruikshank

Robert Heidt

Did a Reconstruction-era Supreme Court decision restrict legal remedies for African Americans?

Why “Comprehensive” History is Controversial

Ashley Thorne

Two new bills that would require general education requirements for U.S. history to be met by courses providing "a comprehensive survey" are seen as a threat by proponents of Mexican American studies.

Playing Games with Racism at Oberlin

Peter Wood

After a girl wrapped in a blanket on the Oberlin College campus was mistakenly perceived as wearing a KKK hood, the college cancelled classes and went into hysteria over "hate."

 

Taking Back the University: Better to be Feared Than Loved

Robert Weissberg

Weissberg explains how the political correctness gang is responsible for the attack on Emory University President. 

Emory University's Outcry Against Its President

George W. Dent

Emory University President John Wagner has been vilified by faculty and students for praising the three-fifths compromise in the original Constitution.

"Fixing" UNC's African American Studies Department

George Leef

Jay Schalin writes for the Pope Center on UNC's new hire.

Don’t Know Much About History: Colleges Teach History with Politics Left Out

Jonathan Bean

Jonathan Bean responds to NAS's recent report on Two Texas Universities' U.S. History Courses. He's not optimistic about history education.

In History—the Obsession with Race, Class and Gender

KC Johnson

The University of Michigan is an extreme example of the tendancy of college history departments to focus almost exclusively on race, class, and gender.

Counting Jews: CUNY Diversity Report Includes "White/Jewish" Label

Peter Wood

Peter Wood criticizes CUNY’s use of “White/Jewish” as a separate minority group for diversity planning.

CUNY Adds Category "White/Jewish" to Diversity Action Plan

Ashley Thorne

Our New York affiliate weighs in on a controversy of racial and religious labels at the City University of New York.

Riley's Arrow

Peter Wood

Naomi Riley's opinion about the value of Black Studies aroused fury because it fell within the category of unspeakable observations in higher education, writes Peter Wood.

Bell Epoque

Peter Wood

Peter Wood evaluates the reactions to the release of a video evincing Barack Obama's friendship with Dr. Derrick Bell, and he considers whether it matters that the U.S. President was influenced by a scholar who championed critical race theory.

A Famous University Where the Faculty is Split Between Adults and Spoiled Children

George Leef

Economic professor William Anderson is writing about Duke, but his observation applies to most universities — some professors take scholarly work seriously and others use their positions to beat the drums for their ideological causes. He goes back to the ugly lacrosse case and concludes with the recent uproar over a study showing that black students are apt to gravitate away from hard majors and into soft ones. Whether that’s true or not doesn’t matter. Feelings have been hurt and that trumps everything else.

US Education Dept. Flunks Statisitics 101

Glenn Ricketts

Preparing a report for possible use in analyzing eligibility for student loans by race, the Department of Education forgot to include African American default data. Mr. Ricketts wonders why.

Ask a Scholar: Current Racial Score Gap Stats

Stephan Thernstrom

Is the data about racial achievement gaps in the book No Excuses still true today?

Far Worse Than Mere Dumbing-Down

George Leef

Robert Weissberg questions APSA's assertion that all knowledge is race based.

Eating Together

John Rosenberg

Can students improve race relations on campus by eating at mixed-race tables?

AQ Editor Carol Iannone Quoted on White Privilege

Ashley Thorne

The Omaha World-Herald quotes Academic Questions editor-at-large Carol Iannone on whether emphasizing "white privilege" has educational benefits.

Widener Law Professor Exonerated

John Irving

A Widener University faculty and administrative commmittee unanimously cleared law professor Lawrence Connell of racism, sexism, and charges that he was a danger to students.

"Glorious Liberty": How to Discuss Race without Tears

Jonathan Bean

NAS Illinois affiliate president Jonathan Bean discusses classical liberalism and race relations with interviewer La Tasha R. Jones.

How Campus Ethnic Groups Drive Political Conformity: An Interview with Brittney Morrett

Ashley Thorne

A recent college graduate reflects on a Latino fraternity's decision to officially denounce laws restricting illegal immigration.

Abigail Thernstrom on Room for Debate

Ashley Thorne

NAS member Abigail Thernstrom weighs in on the question, "Is anti-white bias a problem?"

Ask a Scholar: Is "White Privilege" a Good Way to Teach about Race?

Carol Iannone

Should children in elementary school attend the White Privilege Conference to learn about diversity? Isn't this a divisive approach that teaches victimization?

What Happened? Biased Course Rejection, Mann Investigation, La Raza Studies

Ashley Thorne

We revisited some of our articles to find out what happened after we wrote them. Here's what we learned.

NAS Affiliate Head Appointed to Civil Rights Commission's Illinois Committee

Ashley Thorne

Jonathan Bean, an NAS leader and history professor at Southern Illinois University, has been appointed to the state's advisory committee for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

Ask a Scholar: Is There a Connection Between Foreign Aid and Civil Rights?

William C. Widenor

Is American humanitarianism related to a felt need to project an image of the US as compassionate, in contrast to its history of racial discrimination?

Arizona Embraces K-12 "Ignorance"

Glenn Ricketts

We thought it was reason to celebrate when Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2281 into law, mercifully eliminating a Chicano Studies curriculum - La Raza Studies, as it was also called. Today however, one of the regular "brainstormers" at the Chronicle of Higher Education writes that a very good thing has been destroyed.

It's OK to Offend: The Wesleyan Bake Sale and the Word "Racist"

Ashley Thorne

Peter Wood has published a new article at the Chronicle of Higher Education's Innovations Blog, "Racism at Wesleyan?" In it he reviews the recent controversy over an affirmative action bake sale at Wesleyan University, where Ward Connerly will be speaking today at 4:00. Peter argues against censoring the term “racist” but points out that the word can be abused as a label “to intimidate and to polarize,” as was the case at Wesleyan University. He writes that eliminating racial preferences in college admissions will help diminish racism:

We would as a society be better off if we jettisoned race from our consideration of how public goods such as college admissions are distributed.  Getting rid of race, like getting rid of racism, is far from easy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take the preliminary steps. One of those is de-institutionalizing racial categories.

His essay comes at a timely moment, when some politicians are making an effort to erase the words "racist" and "socialist" from our vocabulary.

NAS Scoops NY Post

Ashley Thorne

Thanks to a tip from our CUNY affiliate, NAS published an article exposing the gaffe of a Brooklyn College faculty member, Jocelyn Wills, who wrote in an email, "Please spread the word among your colleagues and friends on Faculty Council, that we need to correct the lily-white imbalances of the Dean's Search Committees, all four of them." NAS pointed out 4 problems with such a statement: 1. It is blatantly racist against white faculty members. 2. It assumes that racial balance should be the norm. 3. It calls on colleagues to discriminate based on race. 4. It disrespects the non-racial merits of the people Wills wants to help. The day after this article was published, the New York Post covered the story in "Lily-White Prof-Panel Slam," which notes that Wills resigned after she was elected to the search committee.

Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

Dario Fernandez-Morera

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?

Race-Based Graduation Celebrations...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

Universities such as Chico State are planning Asian, Latino, and Black graduation ceremonies.

Book Review: Voting Rights - And Wrongs, The Quest for Racially Fair Elections

Ed Cutting

A review of a new book about the Voting Rights Act by NAS Board of Advisors member Abigail Thernstrom.

Fear of Profiling Trumps Fear of Assault on Campus

Ashley Thorne

An anonymous reader commenting on the NAS.org article "National Security Threatened by Devotion to Diversity" recently reported:

The diversity doctrine not only harms the quality of higher education and, quite possibly, national security; it can also get in the way of campus crime prevention. The following incident illustrates just that. On Tuesday, November 10, a woman employee at my college answered a knock on her office door. Upon opening the door, she was immediately sexually assaulted. A violent struggle ensued between her and her attacker. Due to her screams, the assailant eventually fled the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries. She was able to give a competent description of the man who assaulted her. The crime, committed in broad daylight, was scary enough. However, what followed was even scarier. In the aftermath of the crime, campus police posted a sketch and a description of the suspect. The perpetrator was described as a "stocky, five-foot-five Hispanic male" who wore a white sleeveless T-shirt and black gloves. Students and employees were urged to be aware of their surroundings and to alert campus police of any suspicious individuals fitting the description. So far, so good. Then, within 24 hours of the incident, the campus police chief sent a warning via college e-mail, asking that everyone "refrain from engaging in profiling." According to the chief, the sketch had resulted in a number of calls that had "inordinately focused on race, rather than suspicious behavior." The college president also chimed in, cautioning the campus community to not "stereotype anyone on a visual basis," and a couple of well-known PC devotees on the faculty seconded the president's motion. It was truly laughable -- if it had not been so serious. Considering the possibility that descriptions of criminals by race, gender, color or ethnicity will soon be taboo -- and that estimates of a perpetrator's age, height and weight might also be viewed as politically incorrect -- I can easily envision the PC version of the crime that recently happened on my campus. It would sound something like this: "The victim was a person employed by the college. He/she described his/her attacker as another person. In an effort to avoid profiling, a sketch of the assailant will not be made public. What we can tell you is that the person wore a white sleeveless T-shirt and black gloves. However, we caution against any visual stereotyping, particularly of persons wearing white T-shirts and black gloves. We also urge everyone to focus on suspicious behavior, not on the person him/herself." Unfortunately, Army Chief of Staff George Casey does not have to worry about diversity becoming "a casualty." It looks like it is here to stay.

ALERT: Pelosi's Health Bill Would Mandate Race-Based Educational Preferences

Candace de Russy

The NAS has long and wisely opposed the use of racial, ethnic, or other criteria unrelated to merit in (among other aspects of campus life) student recruitment and admissions. Those who support this view will find troubling the following requirement embedded in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 1,990-page health-care bill, which as I write she is trying to bring to a vote, and which fomer Lt. Governor of New York Betsy McCaughey, writing in The Wall Street Journal,  has unearthed:

Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs. For example, grants for nursing schools should "give preference to programs that provide for improving the diversity of new nurse graduates to reflect changes in the demographics of the patient population." And secondary-school grants should go to schools "graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds including racial and ethnic minorities."

The academic community en masse should, but of course won't, reject such heavy-handed and unfair federal manipulation of student admissions in the name of diversity. This bill - among its other ill effects - will only add to division and lowered academic standards throughout our educational institutions.

Fight Over Racial Preferences at IHE

George Leef

Today's Inside Higher Ed has a piece on a new book lauding "affirmative action" (that is to say, selective racial preferences). My good friend Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a strong opponent of preferences posted a comment and all hell has since broken loose. My thoughts: I haven't yet read the new book, but what I wish the people who keep demanding racial preferences at elite schools would explain is what is so darned important about going to one of those "elite" schools. The courses aren't taught any better just because the faculty is loaded with "academic stars." If anything, it goes the other way. Students at schools where the professors actually handle most of the teaching are likely to get more out of a course than at schools where the profs are mainly preoccupied with their publications. I don't think the mania for admissions preferences is really about the students. Rather, it's about the academic administrators. It makes them feel good about themselves to believe that their little social engineering efforts matter a lot. When mean people like Roger Clegg say that they should drop racial preferences, that's like telling them to stop playing make believe and grow up.

Playing Offense and Defense: What Rush Limbaugh (and the Rest of Us) Can Learn from History

Jonathan Bean

In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh defends his record (“I am not a racist”) and further points out the double standard allowing left-liberals off the hook for statements that are clearly racist. Mr. Limbaugh, be glad you didn't go into academe! Limbaugh's defense highlights several problems for any one who dissents from the Leftist party line, particularly on race: First, playing defense 24/7 is no way to move forward. It places dissenters in the untenable position of answering "when did you stop being a racist?" Repeated denials inspire the race hustlers to keep asking the same question. To Rush Limbaugh: You wanted to purchase a football team that played both offense and defense. There is a lesson here. Second, the Left dominance of higher education really does matter. Many individuals are in a state of denial about the insidious influence K-16 education has on the professions that shape public opinion: schools of journalism, education, law, social work are monoliths of the Left. Add the power of left-wing accreditation bodies and you have "the sound of one hand clapping"--the left hand, of course. Above all, there is the problem of ignorance and miseducation of our youth. Yes, surveys may show that graduates retain some of the values they had prior to entering college. Yet they are not educated well enough to refute left-wing attacks. Let me give you an example: Since 1995, I have advised College Republicans and Campus Libertarians. The knowledge base of libertarian and conservative students has seriously eroded. If I ask "why are you a libertarian? Why are you a conservative?" The answer is superficial: "because I am not a liberal." Oy vey! These students may retain a vague belief in individual freedom, nondiscrimination, and meritocracy but they fail to argue effectively against the Left. Why? Because they have never been exposed to information subverting the smug assumption that Leftists have always have been "the angels of history." Conservatives and libertarians are (and always have been) the villains, according to this fairy tale. That brings me to my book Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader (University Press of Kentucky, in association with the Independent Institute, 2009). This reader debunks the crazy notion that belief in individual freedom, capitalism, and colorblind law = racism. The book highlights how Frederick Douglass, Branch Rickey, Zora Neale Hurston, Clarence Thomas and others consistently championed the bedrock belief that all discrimination is wrong--and they embraced a philosophy of limited government. They experienced first-hand how the State acts as sponsor of discrimination. Back to the football analogy. Here is the offense: those "angels of history" on the Left--labor unions, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and LBJ--committed some of the worst racist actions in our history. Labor unions demanded a ban on Chinese immigration--the first race-based exclusion of an entire race. Wilson segregated the federal government. LBJ declared that an anti-lynching bill was worse than lynching itself. FDR defended quotas to keep Jews from overwhelming Harvard (where he sat on the Board of Trustees). Roosevelt also wrote that interracial "mingling" (marriage) produced "horrific results." As president, FDR blocked Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and interned Japanese Americans during World War II. Not surprising. In each of these cases, the classic liberals in my book fought against those typically portrayed as "angels" in history. It is time for so-called liberals to give up the race hustle and learn their history. In so doing, they may discover some heroes of the classic liberal sort--neither Left nor Right--but committed to racial freedom and equality.

Any Racists Here?...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

A psychology professor declares, "I make it a point to ask my students, 'So, are there any students in here who see themselves as racist?'"

Inadequate and Superfluous

Ashley Thorne

A Princeton professor feels too white to talk about diversity.

U Arizona Celebrates Chicano Walk-Out Day with a Teach-In

Ashley Thorne

La Raza studies, teaching students that white America is the enemy, lives on in American public education.

Quorsum Haec?

Glenn Ricketts

The College Board strives for a Latinless America.

Cold Brine: The College Board Loses Its Senses

Peter Wood

The College Board recently unveiled a new goal for America - that by the year 2025, 55% of Americans should have a college degree. But is that achievement the right solution to save America's place in international competition?

Chocolate Rage

Peter Wood

New anger in America sets cultural trends, writes NAS Executive Director Peter Wood.

Stop the Hate and Celebrate: The University of Arizona Purges

Peter Wood

After a controversial comic was published in the student newspaper, the campus will "regroup."

Tunnel Vision

Ashley Thorne

This week, while haunted houses thrilled some, dark tunnels of oppression channeled others through

Making Allowances

Ashley Thorne

Want to keep students on the track to academic success? Pay them!

Circling Arizona: Mission Creep at a State University

Steven Anderson

An ASU-sponsored research center studies minority health disparities.

Protecting the Prickly: La Raza Studies

Ashley Thorne

NAS takes a look at La Raza studies, a public school program in Tucson, where the cactuses are plentiful and so is the bitterness.

4. No Escape at U Mass Amherst

Tom Wood

Located in western Massachusetts, the University of
Massachusetts Amherst is a national research university
recognized for superb faculty, outstanding teaching and top-notch students
who come from across the state and around the world.