Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements”

Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements”, by George Leef.

One of the worst features of America in the 1940s and 50s was the persistent demand for national loyalty oaths. In those days, people were expected to declare their support for the U.S. and if they didn’t, they could be blackballed, expelled, or otherwise punished.

The ideological fervor for conformity abated for decades, but has recently returned on our college campuses in the form of mandatory “diversity statements” by faculty members and especially prospective faculty members. The difference is that instead of having to pledge adherence to America in its battle with communism, the new pledge is adherence to the “diversity” agenda in its battle against a color-blind, merit-driven academia. …

How it’s used to prevent non-leftists gaining entry to academia:

Traditionally, faculty candidates have been evaluated on the basis of four documents: a cover letter, their curriculum vitae, research statement, and teaching statement. Now, a fifth document is being added — a statement in which the individual expresses his or her commitment to “diversity.” That is, how important it is to the individual, how he or she acts to further diversity, and so on.

This is not merely idle curiosity, of course. The diversity statement has a purpose. That purpose, writes the paper’s author, Professor Bruce Gilley of Portland State University, is to weed out non-leftist scholars.

At many universities, he explains, there is an unspoken ideology that “emphasizes group identity, an assumption of group victimization, and a claim for group based entitlements.” On the other hand, “Classical liberal approaches that emphasize the pluralism of a free society, the universalism of human experience, and the importance of equality before the law have been regarded as invalid.