Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Skip the Diversity, Hand Me the Bottle!

It is beginning to appear as though there is nothing the multiculti crowd won't stoop to in order to promote their agenda. Violating free speech rights, shutting down student newspapers, and downright lying simply are not enough realize their brave new utopia. Now they are engaging in plain old racial stereotyping. It seems our universities are soon to have a new course of nonsense studies (to go along with "media studies", etc.) – diversity science, or as Ophelia Benson of Butterflies and Wheels describes it, "The Department of Jumping to Conclusions."

The Washington Post reports on a Harvard study claiming, "'binge' drinking by white male college students was significantly lower on campuses with more female and more black, Asian and other minority underclassmen."

"This study has shown that having a diverse student body on college campuses is an important factor in lowering binge-drinking rates," said Henry Wechsler, principal investigator of the study and director of College Alcohol Studies at the Harvard School of Public Health. "In making decisions about admissions, colleges should recognize the many benefits of greater diversity on campus, including a possible decrease in problem drinking."

This is all well and good except that The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a different set of findings:

"Alcohol use is increasing significantly among Asian Americans, who constitute one of the fastest growing U.S. minority populations (6). Among adolescent minorities studied nationwide, African Americans show the lowest prevalence of lifetime, annual, monthly, daily, and heavy drinking, as well as the lowest frequency of being drunk (7). Hispanic adolescents have the highest annual prevalence of heavy drinking, followed by Whites (7). Among all age and ethnic groups, men are more likely to drink than are women, and to consume large quantities in a single sitting (7,4)."

Erin O'Connor at Critical Mass weighs in with this pithy observation:
"The the nature of the benefits white people receive from being surrounded by non-white emblems of cultural and genetic difference remains somewhat vague: part psychological (one's sensitivity will be enhanced, and one will be able to get in touch with one's own racism) and part sociological (one will be better able to function in the global marketplace if one has been exposed to cultures other than one's own in school), the rationale for diversity is largely the rationale of prospective, unquantifiable good. Now science is stepping in to change all that. In a new study from Harvard, researchers have shown that white, male college students are less likely to have drinking problems if there are lots of women, non-traditional older students, and non-white students at their school."

She goes on to say:

"Correlation is not causation, but you wouldn't know it from this write-up. If the article accurately represents the study, there seems to be a major logical problem here with the interpretation of cause and effect, and that problem seems to be licensed by the researchers' evident desire to rationalize demographic social engineering on campus by depicting young white men as collectively incapable of making intelligent behavioral decisions and by suggesting that as such they are in need of the moral example of racial and sexual others who possess more discipline and self-restraint. If the racial roles in this study were reversed, people would be screaming racism. But since the racial profiling of the study conforms to the reverse racism built into the logic of diversity, it's able to present itself as both good science and good Samaritanism."

It is interesting that the study made no mention of the higher rate of alcohol use among Hispanic teenagers or that it is a growing problem among Asians. Lets face facts, drug and alcohol abuse among young people regardless of ethnic or racial background is a problem and should be addressed. Yes, there are a lot of good reasons for diversity on campuses – first and foremost, it would reflect our society as it is and it would be fair. But, using "diversity" to save those poor drunken white boys from themselves is hardly a tactic I could endorse and it reflects the poverty of thinking and the illiberal tendencies of the Multicultural left.


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