It was an embarrassing moment for the Left’s phony diversity narrative. I’ve commented previously on the narrative’s many faults, one of which is the deliberate attempt to lower standards of performance throughout society.
Last month, Finland chose a transgender to represent the country at the opening ceremonies of the European Figure Skating Championships. It was an amateur performance during which this person, a biological male dressed like a woman, fell on the ice and was helped up. This person was not chosen for merit or competence. This person was chosen to check the diversity, equity, and inclusion box. I feel sorry he had to be humiliated in front of a worldwide audience. He was exploited by virtue-signaling leftists who ride identity politics to their own personal wealth and power.
Too bad the consequences of lower standards don’t stay on the ice. One commentator goes so far as to blame the recent rash of airline incidents to the aviation industry’s new racial and gender quotas for pilot training programs. When you look at the dumbing down of medical school in the name of promoting equity and inclusion, you have to wonder whether a single-minded focus on diversity kills. The question came up in connection with the recent death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five black police officers in Memphis. News accounts painted a picture of a short-handed police department desperate to fill slots and lowering hiring standards in order to get enough officers on the force. They hired recruits with less work experience and even criminal records. They also lowered physical fitness standards and dropped the running test entirely because too many people were failing.
But you don’t have to believe the diversity narrative kills to recognize standards are deteriorating in a number of areas, and the problems that’s causing. A large county in Virginia has implemented “equitable grading” to eliminate racial disparities in grade outcomes – no penalties for late assignments, standing permission to retake tests, and everybody gets points even if they never turn in assignments.
Not exactly the best preparation for high school, where the work gets tougher. But it doesn’t matter because a number of states have dropped graduation tests to graduate high school. Instead of working to bring poor and minority students up to standard, places like Oregon and New Mexico have done away with a testing requirement to get a high school diploma. Other states like New Jersey are considering the move.
Critics say lowering expectations in high school guarantees students will have trouble handling college courses. But not to worry. Colleges are now firing professors whose courses are too hard. A professor in California found another solution – just give every student an ‘A’ to decolonize the classroom. That’s right, high standards are just another bad idea imposed on you by your colonialist oppressors.
So is it any wonder med students at the University of Minnesota now pledge to fight “white supremacy” and study indigenous medicine?
Critics have warned lower standards are now infecting a number of professions, including science, accounting, firefighting, and the military. How this will come back to bite people is a story yet to be written, but you can start to imagine the fallout.
But let me conclude by suggesting one other ramification of lowering standards: Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden wrote books arguing that competence – the ability to do things well – is the indispensable key to good mental health. If all you know how to do is hold a participation trophy, not only are you being robbed of a full human experience, you are on the road to mental illness, no matter what identity group the Left wants to put you in.
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