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THE DIVERSITY HOAX:

LAW STUDENTS REPORT
FROM BERKELEY

Edited by David Wienir and Marc Berley

Afterword by Dennis Prager

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Read Praise of The Diversity Hoax.  Read the Table of Contents.
Read about the book.  Read about the contributors. Read about the editors.

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THE DIVERSITY HOAX is a book about diversity on campus, written by those who know it best – students. These essays by UC Berkeley law students from across the political spectrum offer hopeful solutions to an important problem in higher education today. They will motivate students nationwide to start exercising their right to free speech and express their diverse opinions on various topics, including what "diversity" really means.

***** Praise for THE DIVERSITY HOAX *****

"This fascinating and powerful collection of thoughtful young voices is eye-opening even to those versed in the machinations of diversity in higher education. It is a book of experiences more than abstractions, and it opens us to the inner lives of those usually too young and too busy to speak for themselves. I was disturbed and yet also moved as I read the stories of people so young already fighting so hard for their integrity. No one can read this book without admiration for its writers and horror at the situation they find themselves in. There is no other book like it."
     --Shelby Steele, author of The Content of Our Character and A Dream
            Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America

"The Diversity Hoax is required reading for anyone concerned about legal education in America. These intriguing essays show how the illiberal orthodoxy of "political correctness" is stifling debate at an institution that should be an open marketplace of ideas. By describing the problem so clearly and candidly, this excellent book may be the beginning of its resolution."
     --Edwin Meese, III, former U.S. Attorney General, Boalt Hall Alumnus

"A frightening look at how the left wing thought-police have invaded one of America's most prestigious law schools."
     --David Horowitz, author of Radical Son and The Politics of Bad Faith

"David Wienir, Marc Berley, and the contributors to The Diversity Hoax are profiles in courage."
     --Dennis Prager, author of Think a Second Time and Happiness Is a
            Serious Problem
, syndicated radio talk show host (KABC)

"David Wienir and Marc Berley are to be congratulated both for their principles and this illuminating book. They believe in true diversity of ideas, including those that disagree with the main premise of this extraordinary collection. An indispensable follow-up to The Shadow University, The Diversity Hoax bears moral witness to a scandal of immense proportions: freedom of speech and conscience are being trampled at American college and university campuses. Bravo for an essential job well done!"
     --Harvey A. Silverglate, co-author (with Alan Charles Kors) of The Shadow
            University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses

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THE DIVERSITY HOAX:

LAW STUDENTS REPORT FROM BERKELEY

Edited by David Wienir and Marc Berley

*****

Table of Contents

Introduction - Marc Berley

Part One: The History

The History - David Wienir

The Question

Part Two: The Voices

Chapter One:  The Idea of Diversity

   Losing the King's Peace - Richard MacBride
   The Great Buzzword - Anthony Patel
   Boalt is No Exception - Anonymous

Chapter Two:  The Lack of Dialogue

   The Unprofitable Monopoly - Heather McCormick
   The Usuals - Anne Hawkins
   A Call for Respect - Jim Culp

Chapter Three: The Muddled Goals of Diversity

   We all Belong Here - Isabelle Quinn
   Vanishing Diversity - Daryl Singhi
   Minority Views Are in the Majority - Jennifer Wood

Chapter Four:  Cuffed By The Thought-Police

   Of Vandals and Cowards - Catharine Bailey
   News from the Ladies' Room - Megan Elizabeth Murray
   We're All Losers - Randall Lewis
   What Ever Happened to John Stuart Mill - Nick-Anthony Buford
   Two Jews, a Cuban, and an Indian: A True Story - David Wienir

Chapter Five: An Institutionalized Problem?

   Disorientation Day - Jeff Bishop
   An Institutional Problem - Richard Kevin Welsh
        Part One: The Prevailing Dogma
        Part Two: Update, August 10, 1998
   Boalt's Incentive Programs - Anonymous

Chapter Six:  The Dissent: "It's Your Problem"

   Stop All the Whining - Lesley R. Knapp
   Quibbles about the Margins - Joshua Rider

Chapter Seven: Reflections on Affirmative Action

   Reflections on Proposition 209 - Darcy Edmonds
   Not on Campus, Of Course - Megan Elizabeth Murray
        Part One: No Special Handshake
        Part Two: The Affirmative Action Article
   Behind the Tattered Curtain of Racial Preferences - Brian D. Wyatt

Chapter Eight: The Double Standard

     Raw Hypocrisy - Jason Beutler
     Please, Remain Silent - Naomi Harlin

Chapter Nine: Attempts at Good Humor

     Almost Nonfiction - Anonymous
     Constipation of the Brainium - Grant Peters, M.D

Chapter Ten: The End of the Individual?

     Truly Anonymous - Anonymous

Part Three: The Future

The Future - David Wienir and Marc Berley

Afterword - Dennis Prager

Appendices

A.  California Civil Rights Initiative

B.  Information about FAST

C.  The Federalist Society Statement of Purpose

D.  Memorandum from Dean Herma Hill Kay (April 3, 1998)

Acknowledgements

About the Editors

*****

THE DIVERSITY HOAX Copyright ?999 David Wienir and Marc Berley. All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.

This publication has not been authorized or endorsed by the University of California, Berkeley.  The views expressed here are solely those of the authors and editors.

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Our greatest collective hope for civility and tolerance -- indeed, for a better, if not harmonious, America -- is the reassertion of basic liberal principles: respect for justice based on fairness; pursuit of truth rooted in reason; the right to free speech; and respect for individuals and their individual rights. Nowhere is this more important than in our schools. If those who recognize the problems [described in this book] can take stock and act boldly now, perhaps we can save and nurture what is best in all of us. Hope can prevail, along with differences. New generations of American students can learn to disagree civilly. And as they ascend to positions of power in this country, they would be in a better position to address difficult problems and arrive at workable solutions.

-- David Wienir and Marc Berley, "The Future"

 

About The Diversity Hoax
by Marc Berley

In his first months as a student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1997, David Wienir was startled by the lack of intellectual diversity he found among students, professors, and administrators. What is more, he was initially dismayed and later terrified by the lack of intellectual freedom to be found in classrooms, hallways, and courtyards. David encountered something he had not expected to find at a "top-ten" law school – inconceivable intolerance for any views that did not accord with what appeared to be the prevailing campus view on Proposition 209. Although it was voted on by the people of California, David found many on campus acting as if Proposition 209 carried none of the moral power of the law and had to be reversed by any means necessary.

David was not naive when he applied to Berkeley; he knew that radical liberal politics rule the roost at most American ivory towers – and especially Berkeley. He just could not believe that an elite American law school would turn its back on the tradition that, from the time of Cicero, had lawyers train by learning to argue in utrimque parte, speaking on both sides of every issue. Certain hypothetical questions about certain cases were taboo.  David did not expect his classmates to hold his view on controversial topics such as racial preference, but he also did not expect to find classes disrupted and to be called names merely for holding his opinion, and pretty much keeping it to himself. As David describes it, the problem was that protesters were intimidating diverse students in the name of diversity:

Within the first month of school, certain members of the Class of 2000 authored an open letter, addressed to the dean, for all students of the class to sign. Those who signed the letter confessed that they "chose to attend Boalt in spite of [their] grave disappointment in the lack of diversity evidenced in the Class of 2000." The letter professed that "completely abolishing [racial preferences] without implementing any other sufficient means of achieving diversity has compromised our legal education. The pool of background experiences and perspectives we are exposed to has diminished significantly, limiting our opportunities for intellectual growth." Seventy-one percent of the entering class signed the letter, and there was scarce evidence at Boalt that those among the twenty-nine percent minority were welcome to speak. I myself was one among the palpably silent twenty-nine percent.

The protesters wanted David, among others, to sign the anti-Proposition 209 petition, and the more often David politely refused to sign, the more fiercely he was maligned, accused, and called offensive names. Finding his views excluded, his voice silenced, and his signature demanded, David describes what he calls "a hypocritical definition of ‘diversity’":

Those who signed the letter seemed to see themselves as more empowered and enlightened than their dissenting contemporaries. Those who refused to sign the letter were – I speak from experience – scorned and disparaged. The intolerance of the authors of this open letter was clearly paradoxical: on the one hand, they espoused "diversity"; on the other hand, they rejected anything but group-think. Support them, in other words, or be prepared for a gross slinging of names that largely stick.

David’s first few months at Boalt Hall were rough ones. Nevertheless, he kept his poise and remained optimistic. "At Berkeley, my voice was not supposed to be heard," writes David. "I was supposed to count only as one of those hateful, oppressive opponents of diversity. Hidden amidst the shadows of the debate over racial preference, I nevertheless refused to go without putting my ear to what I hoped was fertile ground."

Hoping to find that there was more intellectual freedom and diversity at Boalt Hall than he himself had experienced, David set himself a project. He sent out a letter to every student at Boalt suggesting they submit essays that he would try to publish as The Berkeley Federalist Law Papers, a nonpartisan publication dedicated to open and honest expression. The call for papers asked some simple questions: "How healthy is the marketplace of ideas here at Boalt? Do you have fair opportunity to share your ideas in the classroom? Does expression flow freely in an environment tolerant of diversity, or does the climate of tolerance at Berkeley paradoxically inhibit true diversity of opinion? Has political activism within the classroom silenced important student perspectives?" Seeking "diary-like" submissions, David made it clear that "all viewpoints are welcome and encouraged." "Let your voice be heard," he wrote.

What was the result of David’s equipoise, perseverance, and effort? A remarkable collection of twenty-seven essays revealing a rampant attack upon intellectual freedom and free speech affecting diverse students from across the political spectrum. David sent me the collection to see if FAST, the not-for-profit student organization I run, would be interested in publishing it. The essays submitted to David clearly deserved to be heard. David and I edited the collection. We left the submissions alone, but added an introduction, an essay on the history of free speech at Berkeley and attacks upon it, and a conclusion addressing the current and future status of free speech on American college and university campuses. We kept David’s word. In the spirit of free speech, the collection reprints all of the submissions David received. Of the twenty-seven essays, only two suggest that intellectual freedom and free speech exist at UC Berkeley. Hence the title of the final book: The Diversity Hoax: Law Students Report from Berkeley.

As The Diversity Hoax shows, David Wienir’s experience as a student at UC Berkeley is not an anomalous one. He is just one of many students who are shocked by the threat to freedom posed by an entire campus. But David is the first to dedicate himself to the task of rendering a full account:

The institutional practice of racial preference is just about over in California, and some people are upset – very upset. California’s Proposition 209, which banned government-sponsored racial discrimination, including racial preference in admissions decisions at University of California campuses, turned the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) into ground zero for the debate about racial preferences. The fabric of the entering class changed noticeably from previous years – in the fall of 1997, only one black arrived as a first-year student.

But that number does not tell the whole story. Eighteen black students were accepted to Boalt Hall in 1997, but none chose to attend. The eighteen who gained admission were so qualified that they not only merited acceptance to Berkeley even after Proposition 209; many also gained acceptance to even more prestigious law schools such as Harvard and Yale. The one black student who did attend Boalt as a member of the entering class in 1997 was actually admitted in 1996, while a policy of racial preference was still in place.

"Although Proposition 209 merely made academic achievement the absolute criterion for admission to one of the nation’s "top-ten" law schools," writes David in "The History," his account of the making of The Diversity Hoax, "it had a number of more noticeable effects. Many people at Boalt geared up to turn back the clock." As David reports, "in the classrooms, hallways, bathroom stalls, and bars, students and faculty bemoaned the lack of ‘diversity’ due to the ‘re-segregation’ of campus. These fierce opponents of Proposition 209 (and less-than-tolerant enemies of the Californians who supported it) rallied behind the claim that education itself was being compromised by racial homogeneity." David offers as one example Marjorie Shultz, a Boalt professor and 1976 Boalt graduate, who stated: "how can [they] be excellent collectively if [they] have experiences that are narrower than the experiences of this population." An even better example, perhaps, is the dean of Boalt Hall, Herma Hill Kay, who claimed that without ethnic diversity, "it is more difficult to have a classroom discussion." Joshua Irwin, a student of the Class of 2000 told the Sacramento Bee, "I think that there’s not going to be as many views represented in this class."

David admits that "it is virtually undeniable that the law school at Berkeley is suffering from a lack of diversity, and that the education at Boalt has indeed been compromised." But the decline in "the quality of education at Boalt Hall has…little to do with race," he points out. "It has everything to do with intellectual freedom….The Class of 2000 has strongly supported the proposition that race serves as a proxy for opinion."

What is worse, "scare tactics, parading as enlightened ‘politically correct’ peer pressure, are all part of the fight to control the definition of diversity at Berkeley," writes David, describing what it is like to live among the horrifying contradictions of the diversity hoax:

The intolerant activists, comprised of both Boalt students and other enthusiasts, have personally attacked students who express contrary views by using techniques of slander, intimidation, and pejorative personal statements. They have torn down flyers of organizations with diverse views. They have marched up and down the halls chanting militant slogans such as "Let them in or tear it down" ("them" referring to under-qualified minority students who had not gained admission under the new race-blind admission policies, "it" referring to the university). They have interrupted classes by insulting professors, blowing whistles, and screaming into loudspeakers….The campus has been defaced. Fire alarms have been pulled. Many of the students even came to class in full uniform, wearing identical T-shirts signifying their desire to ethnically reengineer the law school. The language that the ‘diversity’ protesters used was clear. On the walls they wrote: "FUCK 209" and "SUPPORT DIVERSITY, NOT BOALT."

Given his experience, David had to draw the following conclusion about Boalt Hall: "Diversity is defined according to skin color, rather than according to ideas." To reduce diversity to pigmentation and ethnicity is, as David writes, "a form of racism that ignores the diversity of opinions not only among populations, but among minorities themselves." What is more, "given the fact that control of the definition of not only ‘diversity’ but also of ‘minority’ is in the hands of people with a narrow agenda, great harm has come to minorities themselves."

One of the most grievous tactics of the ‘diversity’ protesters’ prolonged campaign was to disrupt classes by bringing in minority students from outside the Boalt community. After acting rudely to professors, the protesters would then confront white people and ask them in a forceful way to give up their seats to a minority student — a symbolic gesture. But in at least one case, the ‘diversity’ protesters unwittingly asked a minority student and refused to tolerate her dissenting view. As one woman who cares greatly about both intellectual and racial diversity tells in some of the most riveting pages of The Diversity Hoax, she herself, although a minority of mixed race, was called repugnant, indeed racist, names simply on account of the views she held. "When I expressed my outrage at being asked to give up my seat to a minority at a recent classroom protest staged in support of affirmative action," writes Isabelle Quinn, "this caused a classmate to call me a ‘racist white conservative idiot.’

The Diversity Hoax is a book of essays by Berkeley law students: women, men, minorities, Democrats, Republicans, and moderates alike – and different. While their backgrounds, life experiences, political views, and physical characteristics are different, their views on intellectual freedom at Berkeley are starkly similar: diversity – different points of view – is not, by and large, to be found on campus. Regardless of background, many of the students who submitted essays to David see themselves, with considerable authority, as part of a true minority at Berkeley – those who are not only willing to tolerate opposing views but who know that only "a free and open marketplace of ideas benefits all."

Students who have always fought to protect the free speech of others found themselves confronting hostile methods to silence their views at Berkeley. "Funny, I’ve always thought of myself as a classic liberal – the type that defends vociferously the rights of people to disagree with me," writes Nick-Anthony Buford in "What Ever Happened to John Stuart Mill?" But, "ironically, the inspiring ‘traditional’ 1960’s paradigm of Berkeley – of respect for diverse opinions – is subverted, and trampled by the new intolerance of the activist student thought-police who police the discussions which take place in the classrooms and hallways." In "News from the Ladies’ Room," Megan Elizabeth Murray holds "the belief that we all have a right to speak." But at Boalt, she points out, "the very people whose rights I was trying to respect were not respecting the rights of others."

Anyone who finds any of the above unbelievable or overstated needs to read every essay in The Diversity Hoax.  The students who submitted essays to David did so because they perceived a problem they wanted to describe to the world. Berkeley was famous for fighting for free speech in the 1960’s. But, as the student essays in The Diversity Hoax describe, the academic year of 1997-98 saw the successful silencing of many students who sought diversity of ideas and free speech. The ‘diversity’ protesters and petitioners (a fluctuating group of students generally ranging from 20 to 100) used bullying tactics — tactics so ugly that liberal and moderate Democrats alike felt silenced by the radical liberals with whom they thought they shared a belief in fairness and freedom of speech. Read together, the student essays paint a compelling portrait of the state of free speech at one of America’s top law schools.

Almost all of the submissions David received report that a true diversity of ideas is neither encouraged nor tolerated at Berkeley. Free speech is in jeopardy. Politically correct ("PC") thought-police censor. In too many awful scenarios, PC racism prevails.

PC racism has been blind to its various victims in recent years. The essays in The Diversity Hoax document how hypocritical, self-centered, and intolerant the ‘diversity’ protesters could be. But that is what happens when some people put their feelings before other people’s facts. One would not think that people who worship at the altar of identity politics would assert their right to declare their "group" without affording other people the same right, but that is what often happens. The ‘diversity’ protestors, after all, do not ask everyone they harass for a family tree. Of course, we would not want them to, and that is the point. Wishing to be outwardly proud of their "group" or ethnicity, however, they don’t allow true individuals to be quiet about theirs. There is also that other problem of not respecting people who actually happen to be and consider themselves white.

As every student of civil rights in America should know, bullying tactics can keep justice at bay for only so long. A dedicated student of Western civilization, Martin Luther King, Jr. had absolute beliefs about justice that he would not violate – that was his power. Unfortunately, many of today’s students are indoctrinated warriors, taught by radical professors to reject the best of what the Western tradition has to offer and mistake power for justice. Not coincidentally, they mistake polite dissent for usurpation of their power. It is sad to see so many of America’s students pushed in the direction of intolerance, pessimism, and confrontation rather than in the direction of tolerance, hope, and peace.

Racism still exists in America. Thirty-five years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, however, America has much reason for optimism. America has been and remains committed to eradicating institutional racism. Unfortunately, new forms of resistance to a color-blind society are increasingly evident. In an atmosphere in which the color of skin has come to matter more than the content of character or demonstrated skills, Proposition 209 reasserts the language of that momentous Civil Rights Act of 1964. Opposition to Proposition 209, however, especially on the UC Berkeley campus, has demonstrated a determination by some to defer the dream of a color-blind society. Anti-American sentiment, refusal to assimilate, and separatist ethnic identity politics do untold damage to our schools and to our country, generally harming minorities most of all.

Now is not the time to sanction institutionalized racism. That, at least, was the view of California when it voted on Proposition 209. Even if students disagree with the people of California, now is not the time to sanction the silencing of democratic debate about controversial topics, especially at universities, where intellectual freedom is invaluable.

The Diverstity Hoax is not a joy to publish. It documents some of the worst educational trends currently threatening our country. According to the immediate needs of the "liberal" revolution on campus, skin color comes to substitute for ideas. In this charged atmosphere, many of America’s most successful minorities – Ward Connerly, Thomas Sowell, and Clarence Thomas, to take just a few examples – are vilified on university campuses as traitors or puppets, rather than accepted (or merely tolerated) as successful individuals who are free to espouse their views. Although these black intellectuals have arrived at their diverse views through life experience and considerable study, their experience and hard work do not matter to the ‘diversity’ protestors who disagree with them. To many opponents of Proposition 209, minorities who oppose racial preference "think white" and hence are white – at least for the purposes of the diversity revolution. By the same token, repugnant pejorative names are slung at minorities who hold anything resembling conservative views.

These are some of the sad facts at the center of the diversity hoax. To the ‘diversity’ protesters, only some facts matter. Only some efforts count. Only some opinions are acceptable. And all ideas are reducible to race.

I continue to put the word diversity in single quotation marks when referring to the ‘diversity’ protesters because, as the essays here demonstrate, diversity is coming to mean whatever the ‘diversity’ protesters say it means. And whoever says otherwise is hastily silenced and excluded from diversity. As Humpty Dumpty says to Alice in Through the Looking Glass, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less." So the ‘diversity’ protesters would have it.

In the 1960’s, Berkeley was the famous center of the Free Speech Movement in America. People dedicated to free speech came from all around the country to be a part of the movement led by Mario Savio. Savio died in 1996. In the 1997-98 academic year, Berkeley became a place where ‘diversity’ protesters not only worked to curtail the free speech of students who disagreed with their position on racial preference; they also intimidated students who early supported them but who, after joining in, came to question the protesters’ intolerant tactics. It appears the ‘diversity’ protesters weren’t for diversity; they were against it.

As the essays in The Diversity Hoax recount, the 1997-98 academic year was a sad chapter in the free speech at Berkeley. True liberalism gave way to an impulse to accomplish a mission by illiberal means. The classical liberal John Stuart Mill would not have been happy to witness the recent silencing of minority views at Berkeley. "All silencing of discussion," wrote Mill, is a dangerous "assumption of infallibility."

When the mind is fettered, it is not free to grow. To suppress free speech is to champion error. When intellectual freedom is denied to some, everyone loses, as the essays in The Diversity Hoax make clear. "In my module, in particular, there exists a great deal of unease between the Right and the Left," writes Randall Lewis in "We’re All Losers." "I sympathize with the Left much more often. Yet, that does not imply that I won’t make comments that I regard as theoretically true when an argument on the Left is weak," writes Lewis. "Hindering speech and refraining from making logical points only works to all our detriment."

The biggest problem expressed in the essays in The Diversity Hoax is that because diversity of opinion is stifled at Berkeley, students – all students – are not learning as much as they could in their classrooms. Students from across the political spectrum form what has become a silenced minority – students who understand that the end of free speech and intellectual freedom, in the service of whatever revolution, means the destruction of education, individualism, and any semblance of the American dream.

The "silencing of dissenting voices at Boalt also means that our classroom discussions are much less rich than they might otherwise be," writes Heather McCormick in "The Unprofitable Monopoly." Indeed, "many who disagree with the ultra-liberal viewpoint that dominates discussion at Boalt have learned to keep silent." Wondering how this could be the case at an elite law school, she asks: "Why is it that we, as advocates in training, are nevertheless so reluctant to stand up for our positions?" Like many others raised in The Diversity Hoax it is a material question. "Our expectations are anchored so far to the Left at Boalt" that "in most classes, we don’t hear from true conservatives at all, only less extreme liberals," McCormick writes. "In reading this article, maybe you have assumed that I am a conservative. I am not. I am a moderate Democrat. That my viewpoints can pass for conservatism in the classroom (which they sometimes do) appalls me and shows just how flat the debate is." McCormick’s proposed solution to the problem would demand more of conservatives and liberals alike: "More conservatives must be willing to express their viewpoints in class, in spite of their fears of being demonized. Should the debate become one-sided nevertheless, more liberals and moderates need to offer alternative perspectives, even if that means playing devil’s advocate."

It is a caring, reasonable proposal, but Boalt Hall appears to have a long way to go. On her first day of school, writes Darcy Edmonds, "I feared confrontation with fellow students asking me to carry signs and demonstrate for a cause about which I was still unsure." Soon, however, Edmonds writes, "I agreed with [the protesters’] intention of showing that the students were united in their belief in diversity in the classroom, so I agreed to participate." Edmonds soon noticed the duplicity of the protesters, who did not tell all their supporters the full extent and intolerant nature of their plans. Instead, she saw their ability "for using...other students like pawns in their game of political strategy." Where did this leave her? "I felt I could not tell anyone my personal philosophies – that I wanted to increase opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds but did not support affirmative action." The harassing tactics of the ‘diversity’ protesters created an atmosphere in which students were "not willing to risk resentment by voicing their honest opinions." The diversity hoax – the hoodwinking assumption that diversity includes only certain views – was terrifying.

The ‘diversity’ protesters even treated Dean Kay terribly. This treatment," David points out, "was part of a larger hypocrisy at the root of their tactics." McCormick offers this moving comment: "While I endorse efforts to increase minority enrollment at Boalt, there was no way I was going to stand in the Dean’s office and shout down a woman who has devoted a lifetime to defending the rights of women and minorities."

David’s experience at Boalt is testimony to the one-sided intolerance that creates division and keeps people from coming to common ground. "I came to Berkeley sympathetic to some of the issues of the liberal Democratic agenda, and remain so," David writes. "However, I am adamant that the tactics of the intolerant radical activists actually erode the validity of much that they have to say. As I gazed across the historic campus late one April night, I wondered whatever happened to the Berkeley of the sixties — a Berkeley that celebrated freedom of expression, and despised narrow-mindedness?"

"Many Boalt students act as if their education is threatened whenever any conservative view is expressed," writes David. "Ironically, the conservative views are generally those supporting liberal notions of freedom of expression. Still, almost every time a lone conservative tried to raise his or her voice during my first year at Boalt, things got ugly." How ugly? "Fists, rather than hands, were raised. Eyes rolled. Glares flashed. Intolerance radiated. Diversity of mind was declared dangerous and unwanted. Only racial diversity was celebrated and cherished."

The students published in The Diversity Hoax ask some numbing questions, questions American higher education would do well to confront with honesty. "What was I thinking expecting a mature public discussion in a top U.S. law school?" writes Murray. "To me," she adds, "diversity is a range of viewpoints and experiences." Murray asks further, "How can we ‘become’ color-blind all the while highlighting our differences with fireworks? We end up pitted against each other based on race instead of forgetting that we look different. To advance we must advance ourselves. Each of us must stop complaining about the past and look to the future."

The purpose of The Diversity Hoax is to allow students not merely to express their views, but also to express in a meaningful way the difficulty they have faced trying to express them at UC Berkeley.

The circumstances of the publication of The Diversity Hoax by the Foundation for Academic Standards & Tradition (FAST) are particularly important. FAST is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization created to empower diverse college and university students nationwide to restore both high academic standards and humanistic study of the liberal arts in the Western tradition to their schools. FAST works to reverse the tragic "dumbing down" and irresponsible politicization in evidence at so many schools across the country. FAST was founded because many students understand the value of the Western intellectual tradition and the necessity of raising academic standards in American institutions of higher learning. Without common ground, students from increasingly diverse backgrounds will not learn to speak and listen to one another. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that American educators make sure that students read a collection of books that will help make them informed critical thinkers with common ground. At the same time, schools must encourage intellectual freedom. FAST is dedicated to the pursuit of free speech for student voices. This is why FAST is publishing The Diversity Hoax.

What is occurring at Berkeley is a decline in academic standards that appears to be the result of efforts on the part of administrators, professors, and students to reject some of the best aspects of the Western intellectual tradition. The essays in The Diversity Hoax suggest that the pursuit of truth rooted in reason is being replaced by a rejection of reason as a mere tool of oppression, rather than the valuable source of self-correction that, in America, led visionary white men to abolish slavery.

It is under such conditions that Shakespeare becomes known as the cultural artifact of an oppressive culture, rather than a fine poet who has much to teach diverse people about human nature. Under such conditions, Western civilization is wrongly attacked, made responsible for all of the world’s ills, but ignored where it has led the way in confronting and lessening those ills. When pursued with honesty, history shows, the Western intellectual tradition leads to recognition of errors and a determination to accomplish self-correction. Conversely, many countries and cultures that have done neither are the pets of the ‘diversity’ protesters and their demands for a multicultural curriculum based on vague and hyperbolic notions of egalitarianism and social engineering.

Racial preference, it is the reasoned belief of many, and the belief of a majority of Californians who voted on Proposition 209, is not only unjust but also harmful to both individuals and institutions of higher learning. Lowering admissions criteria for some helps no one. I myself would like to see more black students attend elite universities, including UC Berkeley. The best way to improve the opportunities for all students, I believe, is truly to raise standards in K-12 education and apply college admissions criteria fairly. A more challenging course of action than many are willing to consider, but more promising than racial preferences.

The Diversity Hoax is by no means, however, a book about Proposition 209. It is a book about free speech and intellectual freedom – a book in which students recount the obstacles they confronted when they expressed their views on a number of controversial topics at UC Berkeley.

David calls The Diversity Hoax "a compilation of those student essays, thoughts, and intellectual prayers." How does he describe its mission? "This book is dedicated to diversity – diversity of thought, and diversity of opinion. It asserts the value of minorities themselves freely to debate diverse opinions."

UC Berkeley, as David and I point out, is not unique. "While the essays of The Diversity Hoax were written about Boalt, it would be incorrect to assume that the problems it describes are unique to its halls," writes David. "The scope of this book is much greater than the uncivil actions of a small number of Berkeley radicals. If only we could be so lucky. If only the disease of contemptuous intolerance were so well contained." Indeed. As David writes, "Berkeley serves as the perfect backdrop for the first comprehensive collection of essays published by students dealing with the loss of intellectual freedom within a ‘top ten’ law school. What is particularly troubling is that so many law students seem to be sanctioning an attack upon reason itself, upon the foundation of justice and objectivity upon which America is based."

Our country is based on justice grounded in the possibility of a fair, free, reasonable pursuit of truth. The state of democracy in America has much to do with what the country’s law schools are teaching a new generation of American lawyers. Anyone with an interest in the American justice system, higher education, intellectual freedom, free speech, and a number of other important issues will read the student essays in The Diversity Hoax with considerable interest. As David writes, The Diversity Hoax is "intended to create a moment of pause and reflection":

My goal is for a copy of this book to sit on the desk of every dean, academic, and student in the nation. This book allows the world to see what many students see — and feel what they feel. I hope it will make people think. I hope it will help people to realize that there is a problem, and address it….This book lets those who are actually affected by intolerance in academia speak for themselves….They are snapshots into the minds of students studying amidst paradoxes, unfounded allegations, and restrictions and limitations of free thought and ideas. They should be taken seriously.

The issues broached and treated in The Diversity Hoax are complex. If the book causes its readers to consider them further, it will have achieved its goal: widening the perspective on one of the most important issues in American education and society today. The ramifications of the diversity hoax are enormous. May the wisdom of the students open many eyes.

This essay is excerpted from Marc Berley's "Introduction" and David Wienir's "The History."  All quotations are from The Diversity Hoax.

Copyright ?1999 by Marc Berley
All rights reserved.

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Excerpted from "The History"
by David Wienir

The Contributors
The students who contributed to this volume are truly courageous. They are willing to think and express themselves in what is a repressive environment. They are people who value freedom of thought. They are people who are not willing to abandon their values and ideas. They are, rather, eager to test their thoughts by subjecting them to free and open discourse. It is for this reason that many of these students came to Boalt Hall. Seeing that intellectual freedom is stifled at Boalt, these students have dared to take the first step toward freedom. They have realized that complacency means surrender, and that surrender means self-destruction. They have realized the primacy of ideas and the need to share them. I am grateful to each and every contributor.

Each essay is subjective and speaks only for itself. Each contributor relates the facts as he or she perceived them. Each essay was submitted blindly, without any opportunity to review the work of others. This was not a group project. This collection records the observations of concerned individual students, some of whom know each other, some of whom know neither each other nor me. Of the twenty-seven essays submitted, two disagree with the notion that there is a problem with respect to intellectual diversity and freedom. In the interest of truth and freedom of expression, no submissions have been omitted. Every student who cared enough to submit his or her view on the topic has been published here. Each writer thought independently, yet for the most part the voices speak as a unified whole. The message is plain — there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

There are more than 700 students at Boalt Hall and only twenty-seven essays here. This collection therefore makes no claim to speak on behalf of the entire student body or of Boalt Hall itself. These essays represent the view of a minority of students at Boalt Hall. The real question here is the size of the minority for which the contributors speak. Only a small portion of the daily readers of the New York Times ever writes a letter to the editor. But for every person who does write, there are many who agree with the points expressed but who, for whatever reason, choose not to air their opinions in a public forum. Given the nature of this book, fear of reprisal was one reason not to contribute, as a number of would-be contributors told me in response to my call for papers. In a less intolerant atmosphere, I might have been deluged with essays. But in a more tolerant atmosphere, there would have been no need — and no subject — for such a book at all.

All contributors were actively studying at Boalt Hall during the academic year 1997-98, the time when all but one of these essays were written. Some contributors were in their twenties, some were in their forties. Men and women contributed. Some had blond hair, while others had brown or red hair. Many of the contributors were considered "minorities" when they applied to the law school. To my knowledge the contributors are racially diverse. East Asians, Near-East Asians, Hispanics, and others of various religious and ethnic backgrounds contributed to this publication. As I fervently believe that diversity of opinion has little if anything to do with gender, race, or hair color, such information about each writer is not specified. I received twenty-seven essays. All of them are printed here. While some essays needed minor grammatical and stylistic corrections, most are published largely untouched. Only three contributors asked to be anonymous. Only one essay was submitted anonymously. The effort and resolve of those who contributed to this volume ought to be celebrated.

The timely participation of the contributors demonstrates the sense of urgency expressed in this book. Many students wrote their essays while studying for "all-important" law school exams. One student submitted his essay less than 48 hours before he was due to be married. Another student actually broke down into tears when she discussed submitting her essay. No student received any form of monetary compensation for his or her contribution. For the most part, it was not even clear if the project, The Berkeley Federalist Law Papers, would even be published. To my knowledge, only about a quarter of the contributors were active members of the Berkeley Federalist Society, a fact which speaks to the desire of the contributors to address an important problem. The writing is pure, heartfelt, and immediate, but also reasoned.

To my knowledge, no book had ever been published by a collection of concerned law students commenting on the intellectual health of their institution. Lawyers always look to precedent, and we had none to follow. Lawyers are trained to be cautious and seldom to commit — these future lawyers were willing to make bold and important statements.

Historically, what has made Berkeley an outstanding academic institution is not only its willingness to question, but also the eagerness of its students to respond. This is no less true today than at any time in the past. I posed a question. The students bravely responded. For this reason alone, I am grateful to have been accepted to Boalt and would enthusiastically encourage all accepted students to attend. Even conservatives. The reader should not think for a moment that this project has been driven by bitterness or scorn. Rather, this book has been inspired by unbridled optimism and hope for change. The future is bright — but requires thought and action by those who care.

The cathartic effect that this book has had on the students who contributed appears to have been profound. Through writing for this publication, many students told me that, for the first time, they were able to formulate and organize their perceptions. Through reading, I hope that students across the nation who are concerned with open and free debate and intellectual honesty will realize that they are not alone. I hope that readers will become less tolerant of intolerance, and will realize the consequences of remaining silent and not making their world a better place.

Copyright ?1999 by David Wienir
All rights reserved.

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About the Editors

DAVID WIENIR is a member of the class of 2000 at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).   He is co-author of Last Time: Labour's Lessons from the Sixties (London: Bellew Press, 1997) with Austin Mitchell, Member of British Parliament (Labour, Great Grimsby).   He graduated from Columbia University in 1995 with a B.A. in political science and studied history and politics at Oxford University as a vistiting scholar.  He earned his M.Sc. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics in 1996.  David has worked as an intern for the Los Angeles District Attorney; hosted a political and cultural commentary broadcast on Estonia National Radio in the former Soviet Union; worked as researcher within the British House of Commons; conducted research for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation; and worked for the Governor of California's Legal Affairs Office.

MARC BERLEY is executive director of the Foundation for Academic Standards & Tradition (FAST), a not-for-profit organization created to empower diverse college and university students nationwide to restore high academic standards and humanistic study of the liberal arts in the Western tradition to their schools.  He earned his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 1993.  He has taught literature, humanities, and writing at Columbia University, Lawrence University, and Rutgers University and written on Shakespeare, Milton, Plato, W. B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, and education.

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TRAITOR McCain

jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law

f.ck Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition

 

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