My main shock from Obama’s birthday party is that these are all immensely rich people but the outfits are hideous. Were they pretending to be slumming, or something?
After spending a month in Florida, my sister – a great admirer of the Obamas and Oprah – is now a huge fan of Ron DeSantis. “This is true leadership,” she says, completely unprompted by me.
There’s no better argument than one’s own experience. At least, for people who are still capable of processing what they are seeing and drawing conclusions.
OK, so what should we do? Fill these committees with white people and be accused of racism? What’s the solution here? It’s all purely academic, of course, because there are no new faculty of any color.
I was on the committee that evaluated position requests this year, and every department had to present an argument on how the new hire would advance diversity goals. It was painful to read people’s arguments on how hiring a professor of geometry or organic chemistry would increase diversity because “organic chemistry is an important part of human existence and there’s no true diversity without a profound understanding of this branch of science.” In the end, nobody got any positions because there’s no money. Instead, the administration bought us all a bunch of books about diversity.
Only a few years ago, I had very positive feelings about diversity. Now I know that it only means austerity, austerity, and more austerity. And the saddest part is that we are all playing along.