American Greatness senior editor Seth Leibsohn was joined by the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald to discuss the strange and troubling leftward drift of corporate America. Google is just a symptom.
Seth Leibsohn: Welcome back to the Seth and Chris Show. I am Seth Leibsohn, he is Chris Buskirk. We are providing you today the nation’s greatest public intellectuals. Just finished up with Hadley Arkes and we now take you to Heather Mac Donald who had a wonderful piece today in the Wall Street Journal, something we’ve been talking about for some time when we talk about liberal structures or Left-wing structures in America. The culture, it’s not just Hollywood, it’s not just K-12 or higher education anymore. It is also the corporate boardroom, as Heather writes well in her piece today.
Heather, I love the way you started, “Just wait till those campus snowflakes enter the real world. That’ll shape them up.” And then we get Google, right?”
Heather Mac Donald: Right. I mean, I’ve gotten that so many times on articles I’ve written about academia and people have this false sense of security that well, the corporate world, they’re still tough and merit counts. No, excuse me, we have this, you cannot overstate how significant this is that a young harmless tech, computer science engineer at Google has lost his job for writing a reasoned memo suggesting that there may be some differences in personality traits and career orientations that explain the lack of 50/50 representation of women at Silicon Valley and Google.
For writing a memo about that and calling for greater intellectual diversity, he has now lost his job. We have turned … we’ve entered now a new era of informal suppression of thought and dissent.
Leibsohn: Some years ago, I’m sure you know Michael Barone, he had a book and a thesis about Hard America and Soft America, and he was defining Hard America as the parts of America that live by competition and accountability, wins and losses. You might think the free enterprise system, or what corporate America works in. And Soft America, you can imagine, is shielding us from all the rigors of life, mostly your schools. But it looks like one more institution has moved from hard to soft, that is to say corporate America.
The CEOs, we should not be surprised, were trained by the kind of academics that have been training everyone else. Why would they be any different, right?
Mac Donald: And their Human Resources departments are peopled by gender studies grads and ethnic studies grads and they’re forcing these corporations into very bizarre stances. They are packing off all of their employees routinely to these incredibly wasteful, idiotic, implicit bias training at enormous cost to shareholders and customers where the costs get passed along, on the theory that their own managers are so bigoted that they’re unable to judge females and under-represented minorities fairly. And yet if somebody does a employment discrimination complaint, they assert quite rightly, as far as I’m concerned, that in fact we’re treating everybody fairly. That is the reality. There are, in fact what we have now is a regime of preferences in favor of females, in favor of under-represented minorities. The idea that any corporation is discriminating against these so-called victim groups is ridiculous.
And yet, their own CEOs and managers want to curry favor with the Left, so they say at the same time, “Yes, we are really, really bad people and we discriminate all the time.” It does not make sense.
Leibsohn: You raise a really interesting point. I thought about it in the university context, I guess, for years. They have this great effort to raise our consciousness through diversity, human resources, and all kinds of training that they put freshmen through and that you have ongoing teachings about, and it does beg the question at some point, “Why am I at such a racist or bigoted institution in the first place? Where is that racism? Where is that bigotry you are trying to eradicate?” And if Hillary Clinton is right when she says we all have an implicit bias, why are these teachers, these diversity professionals any better at it than you or I would be?
Mac Donald: That’s absolutely right. And I ask university presidents all the time, “Okay, so you’re gonna spend another $40 million on a campus climate survey to try and explain why under-represented minorities are lagging behind their peers?” Let’s get the answer, the correct answer out quickly, which is racial preferences, because they’re admitted with lower academic preparedness than their peers. But they claim that it’s because of racism. I always say, “Name some names. You show me one professor who is bigoted. You can’t do it.”
And they can’t.
Leibsohn: No, they only show the guest lecturers as the bigoted ones, which you have become a very famous story, of course, in that way. This was a short segment, we’re going to a break. You can stay with us for a bit of a longer segment after this break.
Mac Donald: Love to.
Leibsohn: Heather Mac Donald, we are just delighted to have her with us, as always. She is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of, among other books, The War on Cops and a really must read piece in the Wall Street Journal today, “Don’t Even Think about Being Evil.” We’ll be right back with more from Heather.