DEI Leads to Racism, 7/24
more on the concept
First, let me clarify the term “enabler.” In family systems theory, it is someone who always stops short of issuing an ultimatum of the form “Shape up or else,” with the else being “I will leave you.” Or someone who issues the ultimatum but never acts on it. The political parallel is someone who stops short of issuing an ultimatum telling the extremist to shape up or else. The liberal college professor who knows that the DEI bureaucracy on campus is poison but won’t work to get rid of it.
Without using the term, Robert Weissberg elaborates on the concept of enablers.
Today’s assault on intellectual excellence in the academy will eventually end. Hopefully, an investigation will then commence on its causes, and all the usual suspects will be rounded up. This tribunal will, however, likely ignore one key culprit: ordinary faculty—people like me—who complained about the assault, all while enthusiastically aiding it.
…I am referring to lowering academic standards for black students and faculty in order to promote racial progress…Almost nobody challenged the underlying logic of this make-the-numbers pathway. Everyone just knew that this was the route to equality and justice.
If individuals are equally qualified on the basis of standards and you want to use diversity as a tie-breaker, that might be ok. But achieving diversity by getting rid of standards is counterproductive.
Jettisoning standards insults the many black students who are capable of meeting the highest standards of excellence. It probably depresses their achievement as well.
When I had technical staff in a small department at Freddie Mac in the early 1990s, at one point two out of five were black and another was Hispanic. Someone in another department asked me whether I was doing “affirmative action.” I wasn’t. When an organization has an affirmative-action mindset, people just assume that the minorities you bring in are less competent. But I was hiring the best people available. I considered my hiring decisions to be especially validated if the person was subsequently lured to a higher-level position by another manager. Not everyone I hired turned out to meet that standard. But it happened with people I hired who were black as well as white.
You had a better definition of "Enabler" in your previous post. In all situations, not just family, an enabler is someone who gives credibility to "bad behavior". We saw this happen with the BLM protests where anti-social behavior was rationalized as productive.
In a family, it is especially not fair to say a person (usually spouse or parents) is an enabler for allowing bad behavior to occur. If a husband is a low performing employee with bad habits and low affection is a wife an enabler for staying with him? That seems to be an awfully unfair judgment. Now if the wife makes excuses for the behavior and facilitates access to alcohol and drugs then that is enabling!
To be precise, your language implies that unless the wife is "whipping the husband into shape" she is an enabler. To which I would say a husband staying with such a wife is an enabler of a narcissist.
Government and "woke" institutions have become not just enablers of bad behavior but promoters of it. These institutions embrace bad ideologies and then persist in them despite the obvious destruction those policies cause. Why is this happening?
What I discern is institutional moral decay. The people leading institutions do not trust their institutions to support them against the crazies and so the leadership enables the crazies to assume ever greater influence.
Seeing great companies fall to the same disease is astonishing. Hey Disney! What did you think would happen? But truth is there is no leadership at Disney to ask that question. The institution has fallen so far it truly believes accommodating wokeness (which is mainly extreme, individual selfishness) is the corporate objective.
The difference between your family analogy and the situation of "Enabler" profs is the game theory of the situation.
If you're in a toxic family, leaving will probably improve your life personally. So leaving is an optimal strategy even if threatening to leave doesn't make the other party improve.
On the other hand, if leaving means quitting (in protest?) your extremely stimulating and comfortable job, this is bad for you on net if you go through with it. It's also bad for the students you would have instructed, as one of the liberal profs, if you'd stayed at the job. So the only good reason to threaten to quit is if it would actually make a difference.
The only way that might work is with collective action, but of course you know almost no one else would join you. So the only reasonable strategy is what you're calling the "Enabler" strategy.
The way to get things done in an organization like a U is with collective action, but that requires coalition-building and then of course platforms get watered down. As of now, the Academic Freedom Alliance is about the best feasible collective action, and I'm proud to be a member.
There are a few individuals who have the power to make a difference, individually, against the objectionable aspects of DEI--folks with good credentials who have been rejected by public university jobs that require DEI statements, and who thus have standing to sue. I'm confident the current SCOTUS would rule, rightly, that these are compelled speech. Unfortunately becoming a plaintiff in such a lawsuit would mean professional and probably personal ruin, so I'm not sure if anyone has agreed to try it yet despite some public interest firms being on the lookout for good plaintiffs.