American universities are once again the scene of angry controversy. This time it is the politics of race and sex that has sparked a wave of bitter confrontations. Some of these disputes have made national headlines; many more go unreported. They may appear to be unrelated cases of excessive zeal. But as Dinesh D'Souza argues, the conflicts are the fruit of an ideology that seeks to push the university into the vanguard of social reform and to establish a model "multicultural community."
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Leading this attack, D'Souza says, are student activists who charge that universities are "structurally" racist, sexist, homophobic, and class biased. These activists march under the banners of pluralism and diversity. They have demanded an admissions policy based not on academic merit but on ethnic representation and a curriculum and faculty assembled not by intellectual standards but by race and gender categories. Aided and inspired by junior faculty, who press their own ambitions in a common cause; largely unopposed by senior faculty afraid to disagree with the new orthodoxy; and unrestrained by university administrators who rarely resist and frequently encourage the activists, this revolutionary movement has already widely imposed its program on every facet of university life.
D'Souza argues that university policies designed to foster enlightened harmony are in fact promoting ignorance, intolerance, and racism. He says that in the struggle for the soul of the American university, the rhetorical excesses and coercive tactics of the "Politically Correct" have done much to drive reflective liberals into the ranks of a conservative opposition. The multicultural activists, D'Souza concludes, have split the university on moral grounds, producing not a truly diverse community, but balkanized, race-conscious tribal enclaves without a shared commitment to the goals of liberal learning.
Dinesh D'Souza is currently the John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative think-tank in Washington, DC. He is the author of three books: the controversial bestseller Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (1991); The End of Racism (1995); and Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader, published in November 1997.
In 1987-88, Dinesh D'Souza was senior domestic policy analyst at the White House. Prior to that he was managing editor of Policy Review. His articles on culture and politics have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic, Harper's, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
He has been featured on numerous programs, including This Week with David Brinkley, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, Crossfire, Firing Line, and Good Morning America.
D'Souza speaks at top universities around the nation. His past engagements include Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and Duke University.
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983, where he was editor of The Dartmouth Review.
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