Of Doctors, Pilots and Equity

Posted on August 12, 2022


Let’s start out with a simple decision most of us have to make at one time or another. I don’t know about you, but if I am flying or having surgery, I want someone qualified by training and ability to handle the cockpit or the scalpel. I certainly don’t want someone who is there because of their skin color, ethnic origin, or other new gender terms which defines some men as women, and some women as men.

I have a son who is a corporate pilot, and my stepdaughter is a plastic surgeon. Neither is Woke. Both are white. So, are they disqualified because they didn’t grow up Black, Hispanic, African, African American, without a father, poor, victimized, and suffering from some other deficiency defined by the Woke warriors?

Is this the 1770s, the 1860s, the 1920s, the 1960s or some other period in our history when all people were certainly not treated “equally” as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence.

A few examples from history will suffice. In 1776 we declared that “all men are equal” but slavery, largely of Africans and their descendants, still existed. All men may have been equal in principles derived from Christianity and secular natural law, but, in fact, all men were not treated equally.

Now, girls don’t get your undies in a bunch. “Men” meant people of both sexes and all colors.

In the 1860s we fought a gigantic Civil War and at the end freed all the slaves. But “freed blacks” weren’t really accepted as free and segregation in the schools, on the farms, virtually everywhere continued into the twentieth century.

In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan spread over much of the country, devoted to white supremacy and maintaining the Black population basically disenfranchised, not only politically but in most other ways—economically, socially, etc.

You ladies were given the vote in 1920 so we were gradually moving along in that area.

During World War II many Black people served in the service, all the way from pilots down to infantrymen, cooks, and all across the spectrum of service. When they returned and were once again treated as second class citizens, barred from restaurants, and sent to the back of busses, they, and many white sympathizers, put power into the civil rights movement. It led to pioneering legislation in the 1950s and 1960s that truly leveled the political playing field and provided economic and social inducements for the advancement of Black people.

Today we have arrived at a new squirely, political “truth,” that that all people are equally qualified and gifted to come out the same in any process, like examinations, education, and other traditional forms of measuring one’s process to achieve some goal for example.

Let me give you two examples, both mentioned at the beginning of this essay. We don’t have enough doctors, like physicians or MDs, not Ph.D.’s like President Biden’s wife who enjoys her title of “Doctor.” Those of us with Ph.D.’s who don’t take our titles as seriously as the President’s wife say Ph.D. means “pile it higher and deeper.”

Medical schools have been careful to cull out those least prepared to study medicine, like me who couldn’t balance an equation in chemistry and so got washed out of premed as an undergraduate at Duke.

Under the above circumstances, governed by tests and examinations to establish your preparation and abilities to study medicine, most doctors have been traditionally white given the demographics and organization of our society.

Now, according to the Wokes and those following the popular prescription of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” we need more Blacks, more Hispanics, more transexuals, more of anything but whites to make medical education more inclusive of all groups, no matter how qualified an individual is to study medicine. I find that not only preposterous but scary: Preposterous because not all people are gifted the same way, and scary because I don’t want a person qualified by her skin color or ethnic origin operating on me because of anything other than her skills. As noted above, the same goes for pilots.

People are being trained to think this way across the nation.

It’s pretty simple. Universities and colleges include this philosophy, ideology, whatever you want to call it, in their divisions of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” although they tend to mask it under verbiage and language that hides the central theme: all who come through our doors, regardless of their skills and intelligence, will come out the same. Everybody gets a Pass, or in some areas I won’t mention here, all As. And we have a Pass/Fail option to cover the really deficient.

And DEI will not only see that it happens, but is recruiting minorities like mad, except for Asian Americans who already are a few steps ahead of the rest in academic accomplishments, and whites who are judged to be privileged.

So, the recruiting of African Americans, Hispanics and others who historically score less than whites and Asian-Americans goes on with a fervor. Special privileges, study spaces, and other perks are offered to make up for perceived inadequacies, preparation, underprivilege, and, of course, victimization is a popular excuse for making DEI the driving force of university and college life. We’re going to make it right for all you victims. And you fill in the blank, although the label is largely slapped on African Americans still “victims” of the slave legacy.

That the Western Hemisphere/American slave experience began in the mid-fifteenth century when African kings and chiefs enslaved their own people to sell to the Portuguese traders is another story. Maybe when we consider the issue of reparations the origins of the slave trade should be mentioned—Africans enslaving Africans for a nice profit. Ok, let’s put that aside for another day.

You may think university life here (and you fill in the blank: Alabama, Clemson, Texas A & M, Notre Dame, UCLA, etc.) is football, fraternities, and sororities. They all sure do count for successful recruiting out of state students who pay huge tuition rates compared to in-state students and swell the University coffers by the tens of millions. Intercollegiate sports—especially of course football– have been driving UA’s reputation and income since the mid-1920s, all told in several great histories of UA by Earl Tilford including Turning the Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s.

But since about 2000-2010, something changed. Universities and colleges across the country had already adopted DEI with a passion when the fever struck right here in Tuscaloosa about 2013-2014.

Let’s be clear here: DEI grew like the Covid flu and within two or three years it replaced excellence as the standard for admissions, work, and graduation here at UA.

Now, let’s be fair here. UA has a splendid faculty, great students for the most part, and programs in areas like the sciences (science, technology, engineering, etc.), music, the arts, social sciences, and you can go through the catalog and publicity generated by UA’s public relations people as well as I can. Some are world class, and many, if not most, are excellent and compete nationally.

But, and here is the big but, the emphasis is not on making a better drone to navigate on Mars, or a new vaccine to combat old ills like polio or new ones like Covid, but the emphasis is on equity. Everyone is the same and has to be recruited and treated as if we were indeed all the same. We are not.

Not even in Christianity does the Apostle Paul say we are all the same. We aren’t. We are like members of the body, in his metaphor for the body of Christ. Some are eyes, others ears, others arms, and you get the message. But we are all part of one. But this isn’t a Christian message, so we’ll put it aside for another time.

The perspective that everyone is the same is a virulent ingredient in modern Marxism. All are equal and it is the State’s responsibility that ensures this principle governs the people and sees that everyone is happy and working. Something along those lines. I know you pure Marxists and dorky, egg heady, political scientists, economists and historians will find these generalizations too simple minded, but I’m not writing to or for you.

Sure, Marxism’s origin was based on the immense disparity of incomes in Europe between the masses and the wealthy—and growing wealthier—“capitalist” elites. Marx developed the theory to destroy this system of gross inequality, especially in economic terms, and replace it with pure socialism, or Marxism.

If you are curious, look up Karl Marx and Das Capital, or The Communist Manifesto if your attention span is about two or three pages. These are not Twitter or TikTok publications. And don’t forget to study their interpreters in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Even more for the mind. But, if you simply want to see how it plays out in reality, take a look at the old Soviet Union, China, or Cuba since the 1950s. Again, a look for another chapter.

I’m writing to explain a phenomenon that is undermining the historic values of this country, including liberty, opportunity, responsibility for one’s actions, and a few others like democracy and the rule of law.

The “politically correct,” another term for the “Wokes,” do not brook any competition in the marketplace of ideas and political action. And the place I know best, higher education, is run through with the movement, very lightly disguised as “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

It is ironic that diversity and inclusion are both goals for all educators of higher education across the country. We like a diverse intellectual, social, and cultural ambience that reflects loosely how diverse this country is generally. That, BTW, is a source of our greatness or exceptionalism. More later, again, for another chapter.

And inclusion is part of our philosophy. We want to bring all on board to exercise their rights, and, even more important, to draw upon their strengths to realize what God has given them.

There is no more slavery in this country. No more Ku Klux Klan. No more segregation in the schools, in the shops, in everywhere that the government can legitimately enforce its laws and regulations. There is, in fact, about as close to “equality” as this country has ever, or is about as ever, to achieve, both in principle and actuality.

But equity, as interpreted and put into action by the Wokes and Politically Correct, is meant not to level the playing field like Thomas Jefferson suggested in his famous dictum, “all men are created equal.” It is to level the outcomes of all, regardless of ability, experience, level of commitment, test, and examination grades.

 It offers meaningless excuses like “victimization,” “racism,” etc. etc. Even my friends in the African American community laugh at these excuses, usually offered, as one joked, when in a debate and they’ve run out of points, “you’re nothing but a racist.” End discussion.

Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating. The latest UA 911 Guide is aimed at faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants to deal with questions and concerns related to student behavior and concerns. The guide provides specific procedures and steps to approach situations involving aggressions, illness, emotional behavior, parental concerns, and interpersonal violence.

Nothing in the guide about studying and personal responsibility for what you do. And your guess is as good as mine as to the meaning of “interpersonal violence.”

What’s happened here? Has the college Woke conscience replaced one’s own responsibility for actions and thoughts? In loco parentis gone wild? Let us take care of you. I don’t remember deans, professors, and anyone else in the university I attended (Duke, if you are curious) asking about my personal welfare, illnesses, emotions, or what my parents may be saying or doing.

We were told at the Dean’s welcome to the freshman class. “Take a look at your left and right. Only one of you will be left here at graduation.” So, I was sitting on an aisle seat and had no one on my left. And the guy on my right flunked out freshman year. The Dean was right.

I didn’t grow up that much in college, although the assassination of President John Kennedy in November, 1963 did introduce a rather awful reality about the human condition.

Where I did grow up with a bit more rapidly was as a young officer in the amphibious fleet of the U. S. Navy in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. Again, for another time.

Let’s finish up here, since I’ve already got too many book-length projects rumbling around my mind. If you want to know more about the decline of our culture, and how to reverse it, see a little new book The Push Back. I’ll link to it here to amazon.com where it is now on sale. Enjoy.

And if you want a Christian perspective try another small new book, The New Tale of Two Cities, also available on amazon. And the Kindle editions are really cheap, less than $3.00!

Published on Substack.com Friday August 12, 2022