Princeton’s Surreal “Diversity Training” for Students

We live in the age of inclusion where we are to be welcomed and treated equally, but, paradoxically, we are all to be labeled clearly so that everyone knows what status we may embody. Take college campuses, the incubator of liberalism gone amok. So-called “diversity training” has attempted to make students painfully aware of all of their differences (well, all differences but ones of opinion, since diversity of thought has become intolerable in academia).

Student Carrie Pritt recently wrote of her experience as an incoming freshman at Princeton University, where different labels (white, male, wealthy) were rattled off and students were asked to stand if they identified with that group. “But what did it really accomplish?” she asked. “In compressing us into isolated communities based on our race, religion or gender, the minister belittled every other piece of our identities. He faced a crowd of singular young adults and essentially told them that their heritage outweighed their humanity. The message was clear: “know your kind and stick to it. Don’t risk offending people from other backgrounds by trying to understand their worldviews.” Although she understands that the university was trying to do something good, Carrie wonders, “Why were the university administrators, who speak so highly of diversity, choosing to strip us of our individuality?” It’s a good question.

Trying to fit us all into neat little boxes rather than celebrating our individuality is never a good idea; even readers of the New York Times agree. The left-leaning paper ran an article entitled “Campus 101: Learning How Not to Offend,” and letters to the editor came pouring in to push back. Civil rights historian Stewart Burns wrote “I have noticed, however, that once academic administrations properly commit to necessary diversity programs, they sometimes err on the side of overkill that can unintentionally help to discredit such programs.” Self-described liberal democrat John Hagemann, who has daughters at Boston College and the University of Michigan, said “My daughters are pursuing higher education to learn more about the real world and what it is like. Our lives do not supply ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces.’ Can one not use a bit of common sense and just get on with learning?”

It’s not just higher education. A study by the Harvard Business Review has found that mandatory diversity training in corporations also fails. Not only did the programs prove to be unhelpful, but some minority groups were eventually less well represented in the years after adoption. “When we began to interview managers to understand why popular programs don’t work, it began to make sense,” Harvard Sociologist Frank Dobin, who co-authored the study, told The College Fix. “Social scientists have long known that if you try to control people’s thoughts and behavior, they rebel. That’s what we find—programs designed to reeducate managers or stop them from discriminating directly tend to backfire.”

I remember hearing about college campuses in the 1960s as places where students pushed boundaries, defended free speech, and demanded to be treated as individuals. Today, they seek the extra boundaries safe spaces provide when free speech isn’t what they want to hear, and they embrace a form of diversity training that paradoxically serves to strip students of their individuality.

Nowhere is this individuality less tolerated on campus than in diversity of thought. As Pritt said, teachers openly mocked Trump voters and protected Hillary Clinton against any criticism. Only one school of thought is safe, despite what campuses claim about valuing diversity. “The point of diversity is not that each culture is different, but that each person must live his own life and develop his own worldview.” Academia is openly intolerant of diversity of thought, but exercises like the one Pritt experienced at Princeton are even worse. They strip students of one of the most important things for creating genuine diversity and intellectual rigor: individuality.

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  • Fromafar

    Absolutely Orwellian. Thanks for the article.

  • SLCdq

    Their message is exactly the opposite of what they say it is. How can they not see this?

    • memls01

      A lot of wisdom in your observation. The “Diversity” folks prattle on about “diversity” and “community” not realizing that these two things are opposites. You build COMMUNITY on what you have in COMMON, as the shared experience you reference, not on how you DIVERGE. It really is insane.

      I work at a liberal arts college and the post-election experience has been surreall

  • homertownie

    In college I had great friends and we were all different in these political and race categories. We enjoyed hearing deep conversations about stuff we ultimately disagreed among each other, but finding that most of the time we agreed solidly on basic principles and just disagreed on tactics depending on our prejudices about what would work best on everyone besides us.

  • WhoLivesonCredibilityStreet?

    Completely understandable. In this little East Germany the radicals have created, they’ve established their prestigious Party academies, where the leadership is trained. This is the modern Ivy League. The kids who come out of these schools are good for nothing except Party jobs. Or they are on their own, wondering what happened and why they are shunned and unsuccessful. Because: you never received a real education to prepare you for life. You were prepared for the Party machine.

  • Don Surber

    This is fascist indoctrination using psychology and behavior modification. It is teaching white people they are Jews, all others they are Aryans.
    Leave Princeton immediately

  • geraldhanner

    The old, old, game of Divide and Conquer.

  • DudeAbiding

    Progressives believe you should hate everyone equally, its just that conservatives are a little more equal.

  • Cosmosis

    But if you cant divide how can you conquer?

  • Cosmosis

    When something really doesn’t resonate with a person, when it runs counter to their own experience and that nagging little voice in their heads it tends not to stick over the long haul. You can teach the “slice and dice by group” method but it will be quickly enough worn away by the real world’s endless supply of unique individuals that make a mockery of the homogeneity of groups.

  • LizardLizard

    Where are the alums? If they write polite letters to the President of Princeton explaining they have a problem with this kind of thing and that therefore they are ceasing their donations to the University, they are likely to stop.

    • jb

      Alum here: and i stopped giving money to them when they hired racists van jones and cornhole west and when they became so proud that 45% of the incoming frosh classes were minorities. There because of the color of their skin not their academic Ability

      • LizardLizard

        True confessions, I was there as a graduate student when Michelle Robinson graced the campus. Noted her thesis advisor refused to comment on her academic prowess. ‘Nuf said.

        • jb

          i was an undergrad when she was there: she walked around angry all the time — especially towards anyone not black.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    What is the empirical evidence that the leftists who implement those racist policies are well-meaning people?

  • The Oatmeal Savage

  • Pingback: Stepford School: Princeton students forced to abandon individuality, freshman says - The College Fix()

  • Pingback: New level of anti-diversity programming at college | Uncommon Sense()

  • My4sons

    Ridiculous!

    • DarkGoldenMan

      Your account is ridiculous.

      • My4sons

        That’s genius.

  • Daniel

    Victor Davis Hanson foresaw all of this in 2003. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnDBjtFDcFQ&t=2503s