FLORIDA, August 6, 2012 — These days, discrimination in professional settings is so politically incorrect — if not illegal — that there is a better than even chance of it costing you your job.
This simple reality is championed with no greater zeal than by those in academia. Within the halls of our world’s great institutions of higher learning, tolerance and acceptance of diverse viewpoints are blessed sacraments. For rules such as these, there could not possibly be an exception, right?
Discrimination is alive and well when it comes to post-secondary education. The target group consists of political conservatives.
Journalist Emily Esfahani Smith writes that psychologists from the Dutch Tilburg University “surveyed a roughly representative sample of academics and scholars in social psychology” and reached the following conclusion: “In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists admit that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues.”
When professors were asked “whether, in choosing between two equally qualified job candidates for one job opening, they would be inclined to vote for the more liberal candidate”, over one third indicated that they would. It gets worse, though. One interviewee went so far as to state that if department members “could figure out who was a conservative, they would be sure not to hire them.”
Sadly enough, college students are not spared from the bigotry, either. According to Paul Cantor, an english professor at the University of Virginia, “If my students show conservative bias, I steer them away from the academy. They have no future — they will not get jobs. If they want to teach traditional works in a traditional matter, they have no future in an English department today.”
He also mentioned that “English departments have been homogenized in the name of diversity” because “liberals feel underrepresented and marginalized in the country” and therefore “relish the position in the academy where they’re in the overwhelming majority.”
All of this is yet more proof that neither side of the political spectrum has a monopoly on fairness or equality. While the right might talk a good game about personal liberties — all the while crusading against full reproductive rights and the interests of non-heterosexuals — the left preaches about egalitarianism as it happily builds roadblocks for those who fail to meet ideological standards.
It’s a twisted game. Stories like this are what make me so glad to be a realist. That, at least from my perspective, is the only way of recognizing the facts for what they are; not we want them to be.
Unless more people break free from the constraints of dogma, you can expect to hear about the perils of discrimination for some time to come.
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