Diversity or Assimilation

George Seaver has a great piece reviewing work by our founding fathers and what its intent was in regards to diversity and social justice. Something right up our alley.

The Paradox of Constitutional and Post-1965 Civil Rights

June 15, 2009 By George Seaver

From time to time the NAS invites our members and other guests to write articles for NAS.org. The opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the official position of the National Association of Scholars.

The National Association of Scholars has been concerned with the conflict between equality and diversity in higher education for much of its existence; included in the first 400 articles at the NAS website, 11 articles were specifically on diversity and 8 specifically on racial preferences. Social justice, also a frequent topic at NAS, is directly dependent on how you define equality, and is embedded throughout higher education. On May 21, 2009, addressing these concerns among others, Peter Wood wrote an essay entitled “Where do we start? Reforming American Education.” In it he stated that “[the NAS] opposes…racial preferences,” but it also “favors…scholarly inquiry founded on reason and civil debate.” He expanded on this: 

It doesn’t hurt to have a debate over whether America should stick with its Jeffersonian ideal of ‘All men are created equal’, or switch to the new concept of ‘diversity’, in which the conception that ‘All groups are inherently different’, takes precedence…We might benefit as well from a good debate over the essential characteristics of our civilization. Has it on the whole provided a successful path for human flourishing or is it mainly a legacy of various kinds of oppression?0
This essay is intended to contribute to that debate, a debate between classical liberalism and postmodernism.
The above conflict over equality set out by Dr. Wood is part of the greater paradox between the policies and legislation that came out of the post-1965 civil rights movement and the equality and liberty concepts developed during the 1760 to 1776 period that became the U.S. Constitution. This paradox is frequently revealed in the conflicting opinions of cultural critics and observers when they comment on civil rights next to Constitutional concepts. A few examples will serve to ring this out.
Continue reading HERE.

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