An 8 part special report exclusive to BarbWire.com
Part 4 of 8
The Diversity Movement Conquers Pepperdine
But the latest leftist rage at Pepperdine currently infecting everything from hiring practices to textbook selection is the “diversity” crusade and liberal students aligned with the anti-police Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have been at the forefront of this movement. Indeed, in 2015, this group of leftist students held a sit-in at Pepperdine’s cafeteria to show solidarity with the BLM movement at the University of Missouri, where supposedly, there were a number of racial incidents. The problem was, the racial incidents simply never occurred, but nevertheless, the chairman of the Seaver Diversity Council, Professor John Peterson, gleefully whipped these students into a frenzy over essentially a series of hoaxes and misunderstandings at a campus 2000 miles away.
The students were also protesting some anti-diversity comments directed at Pepperdine that appeared on an anonymous chat site, a ridiculous concern since one can find unpleasant comments in a million places on the internet. Moreover, the school had nothing to do with these comments or this social media site. Should we take the entire internet down? Better yet, why not refuse to visit those sites?
Nevertheless, in response, Pepperdine Dean Michael Feltner gave a dramatic speech: “I am proud of the students who stood in silence and solidarity to act and express their concerns. I support them and strongly affirm that there is no place for racial intolerance and hatred in our community.” How about there being no place at Pepperdine for professors and Deans to feed the fire over phony or grossly exaggerated racial incidents?
When Pepperdine officials lend support to fake racial incidents, it undermines the seriousness of real racial issues. Feltner’s statement fits a pattern among Pepperdine administrators who automatically assume that those who claim “victim” status are brave and moral souls while assuming the targets of their attacks are always in the wrong. They betray one of the most basic demands of academic life, which is to follow the evidence and to defend the truth against those who attack it for political purposes.
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Nevertheless, the Pepperdine left has demanded that the school create a course on diversity and make it a core requirement, tear down and remove anything having to do with Western civilization, and force all students, faculty and staff to undergo “diversity” training. The term “diversity” may sound good, but it’s not what it sounds like. The diversity movement is a well-funded movement on the left that seeks to censor all views supportive of Western civilization and America’s Christian heritage and to force colleges to admit students and hire faculty based upon racial, gender and even sexual orientation quotas, regardless of merit.
As one Pepperdine professor told me, “The squishy entry point for a weak-minded leftism at Pepperdine is diversity. What you must realize is that leftists who are not top scholars or thinkers and who get their degrees from mediocre schools, tend to be driven by slogans and other simplistic declarations that they cannot defend intellectually.” Indeed, this diversity crusade has watered down academic standards at Pepperdine all in the name of “transforming” society. And Pepperdine administrators have swallowed this liberal nonsense hook, line, and sinker, even as many state schools have pointedly rejected the left’s “diversity” demands.
Pepperdine now employs an “Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion,” who is so far left, he’s falls off the spectrum. His name is David Humphrey and he describes his mission as such: “disrupting deficit-based approaches to the work of diversity and inclusion, which position diversity as non-normative, exotic, and additive. Our ultimate goal is to foster intercultural spaces of mutual discovery, transformation, and identity expansion.
This approach will value narrative and storytelling as a powerful tool in interrogating and disrupting harmful spaces of silence and oppression, replacing spaces of silence and oppression with an infrastructure of care and inclusivity….” Got it?
And this high priest of psycho-babble now has the power to influence instruction throughout the school. And he has a whole team to carry out the diversity coup d’etat. Indeed, Pepperdine now has a “University Diversity Council,” a “Seaver College Diversity Council,” and a “Graduate School of Education and Psychology Diversity Council,” upon which sit a variety of leftist faculty, staff, and students who hand down edicts from on high about “plans and goals for diversity.” So if any professor dares get out of line ideologically, these Big Brother conformity commissars will be on their backs.
And this diversity movement is supported by the campus Christian community, which today is mostly a theologically liberal Christian community with little in common with the conservative Christians who founded Pepperdine. In the world of liberal Christianity, diversity is deemed more important than morality, thus its support for homosexuality, a behavior inconsistent with Biblical prescriptions.
Violence is condoned by these politically-correct “Christians” as long as it is carried out in support of “diversity,” thus its support for the violent anti-police Black Lives Matter thugs. And many of these campus Christians, in particular faculty members, embrace socialism over freedom and government regulation over free enterprise, thus their support for democratic politicians and causes. In order to give these cultural barbarians some form of justification, Pepperdine published a “Christian Rationale for Diversity at Pepperdine,” a bizarre paper, since it’s difficult to justify in Christian terms the left’s definition of diversity: a system that censors conservative viewpoints and pushes racial and gender quotas at every opportunity.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.