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August 2017

The Cotton/Perdue Immigration Plan Is a Great Start Reorienting the system around skills is long overdue. By Robert VerBruggen

There are two major problems with our legal-immigration system: One, it focuses too little on skills, and two, the part of it that does focus on skills is poorly designed. A new proposal would address both issues. It’s an updated version of the RAISE Act announced at the White House today by Republican senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue; at the event, President Trump called it “the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century” and promised “billions and billions” in taxpayer savings.

One plausible estimate holds that just 6.5 percent of U.S. immigrants are given their green cards on the basis of economic merit. About 13 percent are admitted on the basis of employment more generally, but that system does not make particularly fine distinctions based on economic potential and bizarrely imposes a cap on each sending country.

Far more common is family-based immigration. We don’t just let immigrants bring their spouses and minor children but also give preferences to siblings, parents, and adult children, enabling the phenomenon known as “chain migration.” We also give out 50,000 green cards each year (about 5 percent of the total) on the basis of diversity, meaning applicants are selected literally at random from countries that don’t provide “enough” immigrants through other categories.

The new RAISE Act would take a sledgehammer to this system, dramatically reducing low-skilled immigration and revamping our system for skilled immigration. It would cut immigration by more than 40 percent immediately, and by half in a decade. (It would not affect temporary “nonimmigrant” visas such as the H-1B, which also need reform.)

It would end the diversity lottery and preferences for family members aside from spouses, minor children, and elderly parents in need of care. And it would put those seeking green cards on the basis of employment — 140,000 of which would be available annually, the same number as today — through a new point system similar to those used in other developed countries.

That point system is a thing of beauty. Immigrants would be scored on a scale of zero to 100, though in practice it’s more like a scale of zero to 45 — someone with a perfect score would need a Nobel Prize (25 points), an Olympic medal (15), and $1.8 million invested in a business (12), for instance. More typically, potential immigrants would be scored based on their level of education, their English fluency, their age (with ten points for those 26 to 30 and zero points for those 50 and up), and the salary they’ve been offered (with 13 points for compensation at least triple the median salary of the state where the job is located, and no points for an offer less than 50 percent above the median). Importantly, if an applicant wished to bring a spouse, the spouse’s education, age, and language skills would count for 30 percent of a combined score.

Those without at least 30 points would be ineligible, and ties would be broken by (in descending order) education, language, and age. Immigrants admitted through the point system would be ineligible for welfare benefits for five years.

Randi Goliath The leader of a powerful national teachers’ union links school-choice supporters to old-time segregationists. Larry Sand

It’s hardly news that teachers’ union honchos oppose any type of school choice, especially the kind that lets public money follow a child to a public school. But while making her case recently, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten descended down a rabbit hole.

It started with an event on “school vouchers and racism” hosted by the AFT and the Center for American Progress, a leftist research and advocacy organization financially supported by both the AFT and the National Education Association. CAP had just released a report claiming that educational vouchers were born in the effort by Southern states to resist racial integration after the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ruling. In what segregationists termed “massive resistance,” Virginia’s Prince Edward County closed its public schools in 1959, and then gave vouchers to white families, which were used to pay tuition at segregated private schools. This ugly case represents the “sordid history of school vouchers,” as CAP sees it—conveniently overlooking the G.I. Bill, the country’s first significant voucher program, which was signed into law in 1944, 15 years before Prince Edward County’s gambit.

Taking the podium just a few days after the release of the CAP report, Weingarten declared that the ideas and proposals of school-voucher advocates were “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” She described the powerful teachers’ unions as “defenders of America’s public education system,” locked in a “David versus Goliath battle, and in this battle, we are all David.”

Weingarten’s outrageous comments did not sit well with school-choice advocates. Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, called Weingarten’s speech “not just ill-advised hyperbole, it is a deeply offensive, highly inflammatory insult to all the parents and people—of all races, backgrounds, and regions—who have worked to bring options, opportunities and reforms to an education system that has failed them for generations.” Kevin Chavous, founding board member of the American Federation for Children, said that Weingarten’s comments “spat in the face of every African-American and Hispanic child who’s trapped in a school that doesn’t serve [him or her] well.”

While Weingarten cites the segregationists of Prince Edward County, she declines to mention labor unions’ own racist history. As Herbert Hill wrote in Commentary in 1959, in various industries “trade unions practice either total exclusion of the Negro, segregation (in the form of ‘Jim Crow’ locals, or ‘auxiliaries’), or enforce separate, racial seniority lines which limit Negro employment to menial and unskilled classifications. . . . In the South, unions frequently acted to force Negroes out of jobs that had formerly been considered theirs.” Racism in unions was historically a much greater factor than it has ever been in the voucher movement.

Weingarten also ignores the popularity of private-school choice among minorities, the ostensible victims of these supposedly racist voucher programs. She is mum on the latest report from EdChoice’s Greg Forster, who regularly surveys the empirical research on private-school-choice programs. “Ten empirical studies have examined school choice and racial segregation in schools,” he writes. “Of those, nine find school choice moves students from more segregated schools into less segregated schools, and one finds no net effect on segregation. No empirical study has found that choice increases racial segregation.” Think Progress, a progressive news site associated with CAP, reports that American public schools are more segregated now than they were in 1968.

Indeed, government- and union-run schools are much more segregated than the voucher schools that Weingarten disdains. “Less recognized, but equally pernicious, is the structural segregation all across America, where zoned school systems maintain racial and economic segregation,” writes Peter Cunningham, who worked at the Department of Education during the Obama administration. Cunningham also pointed out that New York City, where Weingarten formerly ran the teachers’ union, has one of the nation’s most segregated school systems.

Weingarten engaged in a telling Twitter exchange with her nemesis, Education secretary Betsy DeVos. “@BetsyDeVosED says public $ should invest in indiv students,” Weingarten wrote. “NO we should invest in a system of great public schools for all kids.” DeVos fired back: “They have made clear that they care more about a system—one that was created in the 1800s—than about individual students. They are saying that education is not an investment in individual students. They are totally wrong.” Weingarten and her cronies are more interested in keeping the government-union duopoly in place than in educating children. Protecting the system takes priority.

North Carolina passes campus free speech bill

New law mandates sanctions for free speech disruptors, abolishment of ‘free speech zones’ hhttps://www.thecollegefix.com/post/35137/

In the wake of anti-free-speech demonstrations at colleges across the country, the North Carolina legislature recently passed a law that strengthens free speech protections on college campuses in that state.

House Bill 527 “includes several important provisions that will better protect campus free speech,” according to the Foundation for Equal Rights in Education.

Among the bill’s provisions is a mandate that colleges allow students to distribute literature in “outdoor areas.” As FIRE’s Tyler Coward writes, “[R]oughly 1 in 10 colleges maintain problematic policies that restrict expression to certain areas on campus, oftentimes called ‘free speech zones.’ These misleadingly labeled ‘free speech zones’ are routinely struck down by courts because they unconstitutionally limit student expression to tiny, out of the way areas of campus.” HB527, Coward notes, will hopefully mitigate “the need for litigation over this issue in North Carolina.”

The law also “requires institutions to create a range of sanctions for any person under its jurisdiction who ‘substantially disrupts the functioning of the constituent institution or substantially interferes with the protected free expression rights of others.’” The “substantial” qualifier, Coward points out, is intended to ensure that protected speech such as “fleeting boos” remains protected, while “conduct that materially disrupts or otherwise silences others” can (and will) be sanctioned by universities.

From the report:

The language of this law is different from laws or bills in other states requiring specific mandatory minimum sanctions for students who materially disrupt the free expression of others. Instead, this law reminds institutions that they have an obligation to take action when people engage in conduct that silences their opponents on campus, while giving institutions the flexibility to evaluate each case in its individual context. This helps to ensure that those who shout down a campus speaker aren’t required to be treated the same as those who physically assault a speaker.

HB 527 also states that colleges and universities “may not take action, as an institution, on the public policy controversies of the day in such a way as to require students, faculty, or administrators to publicly express a given view of a social policy.” This language prevents institutions from taking positions on controversial issues in a way that forces others to conform to their view. For example, if an institution felt that marijuana should remain illegal, it could say so, and it could also require students to avoid its use on their campus. But the school could not force students, faculty, or administrators to publicly agree that marijuana should remain illegal. While institutions rarely overtly try to force constituent groups to take positions that conform to the school’s viewpoints, the problem is not unheard of. This law will prevent such an occurrence in North Carolina.

The Body Count at the Border Deaths are rising even as apprehensions are going down.

Every so often comes a dark reminder of the human costs of immigration dysfunction, and last month 10 people suffocated in an 18-wheeler in Texas while trying to move to the United States from Mexico and Central America. Congress could prevent similar tragedies with more legal visas for guest workers, as a new report details.

The National Foundation for American Policy in a report out this week notes that “more than 7,000 men, women and children have died along the Southwest border” over the past two decades. More than 200 people have died so far this year, and last year the count topped 300. This year there have been 7.8 deaths for every 10,000 apprehensions of illegal border crossers.

The number of deaths increased by about 80% between 1999 and 2012, even as apprehensions—a reliable proxy for illegal immigration—plummeted by more than 75%. As a result, a person picking their way across the border is now “5 times more likely to die in the attempt than 18 years ago,” the report notes. One reason is that an enforcement crackdown has encouraged people to slip across more treacherous or remote areas of the southwest.

Most immigrants come to the U.S. for work and opportunity, so the solution is to allow them to find jobs legally. The paper notes that the U.S. doesn’t have a visa program that permits immigrants to work legally in “year-round industries like construction, hotels and restaurants.” In the 1940s and ’50s the Bracero program allowed workers to enter legally from Mexico, and illegal immigration apprehensions dropped 95% between 1953 and 1959.

Some who make it across the border stay in the U.S. illegally because they can’t risk multiple crossings. A visa holder who could travel home freely might be less likely to venture a dangerous crossing with his entire family. By the way, more work visas would be a fillip for the economy; agriculture, construction and many other industries report labor shortages despite rising wages.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who has since decamped for the White House, put out a statement that the Texas smugglers “have no regard for human life and seek only profits.” But smugglers make money when politicians slap on new restrictions on immigration, and the way to bankrupt them is a system that allows safe, legal entry and exit. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) has a bill in the Senate to let states experiment with guest-worker programs, which would be a place to start.

The recent deaths are gruesome but hardly unprecedented: The policy brief recalls how a dozen men died in the Arizona desert in the 2000s, one of whom was Lorenzo Ortiz Hernandez, a father of five who took out a loan at 15% interest to underwrite an illegal crossing. He was looking to support his family. Such casualties will continue until Congress finds the political will to reform the broken U.S. immigration system.

Dow 22K and the ‘Trump Infamy Ecosystem’ Investors continue to have a different view than most journalists about the health of America. James Freeman

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 22,000 for the first time on Wednesday. “ Donald Trump is loving the stock market these days,” observes the Journal, which adds that Wednesday’s milestone “marks a rise of precisely 20% since Mr. Trump was elected in November. Assuming the blue-chip index closes above 22000, it will have taken just 183 days to do that, the fastest jump of 20% after a new president was elected since George H.W. Bush in 1988, according to WSJ’s Market Data Group.” But how much credit does Mr. Trump deserve?

The investor euphoria after Mr. Trump’s election has bumped up against the reluctance of Republican legislators to enact significant reform. After several GOP senators broke their promises last week to repeal ObamaCare, now the Washington Post says, “The White House’s push to quickly pass a major package of tax cuts through Congress is facing a fall calendar full of legislative land mines, potentially delaying a key part of President Trump’s agenda into at least 2018.”

These days many investors argue whether the rising market is still being driven by optimism about the Trump agenda or simply by rising corporate sales and profits thanks to improving global growth. Monetary policy has also left the financial system awash in cash looking for assets to buy. And then there’s the thesis from Brian Reynolds of Canaccord Genuity that as long as pension funds continue to buy huge volumes of corporate bonds, those corporations will continue to have the cash to buy back their own stock and keep markets grinding higher. He points out that credit investors “bought a record amount of corporate bonds in July.”

Whether the stock market boom is largely driven by one of these factors or some combination, it’s clear that investors continue to be much more optimistic about the United States than most journalists, who write daily on the latest alleged signal from Washington that civilization is heading into an abyss.

Mr. Trump certainly runs a risk in pointing to the markets as an arbiter of his performance. The Journal notes:

Stock-market strategists have warned that hitching his administration to the market may be dangerous. After all, big gains in the Dow during the early months of a presidency don’t always equate to big gains during the rest of the presidency. The fastest 20% rise following the election of a new president was the 63 days it took after President Herbert Hoover’s win in 1928.

But Donald Luskin of Trend Macrolytics thinks Mr. Trump has every right to take credit for rising markets. In a note to clients this week he acknowledges the view of many investors that “all of the pro-growth hopes and dreams that flourished right after Trump’s surprise election have now been crushed by the swamp, and Trump’s own seeming self-destructiveness.”

Mr. Luskin has a different view and writes that booming U.S. stock markets probably represent a “rational recognition that, since Trump took office, many pro-growth hopes and dreams have already become reality.” Mr. Luskin continues, “We’re not trying to be either cheerleaders or partisans here. But it’s a reality that a great deal of pro-growth progress has been made.” He ticks off a list that includes pipeline approvals, the rollback of various Obama-era rules, and the hiring of deregulators to run the EPA, the FCC and other federal agencies. CONTINUE AT SITE

An NSC Staffer Is Forced Out Over a Controversial Memo The document charges that globalists, Islamists, and other forces within and outside the government are subverting President Trump’s agenda. Rosie Gray

A top official of the National Security Council was fired last month after arguing in a memo that President Trump is under sustained attack from subversive forces both within and outside the government who are deploying Maoist tactics to defeat President Trump’s nationalist agenda.

His dismissal marks the latest victory by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in the ongoing war within Trump’s White House between those who believe that the president is under threat from dark forces plotting to undermine him, and those like McMaster who dismiss this as conspiratorial thinking.

Rich Higgins, a former Pentagon official who served in the NSC’s strategic-planning office as a director for strategic planning, was let go on July 21. Higgins’s memo describes supposed domestic and international threats to Trump’s presidency, including globalists, bankers, the “deep state,” and Islamists. The memo characterizes the Russia story as a plot to sabotage Trump’s nationalist agenda. It asserts that globalists and Islamists are seeking to destroy America. The memo also includes a set of recommendations, arguing that the problem constitutes a national-security priority.

“Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed,” the memo warns. It argues that this has led “Islamists [to] ally with cultural Marxists,” but that in the long run, “Islamists will co-opt the movement in its entirety.”

Higgins wrote the memo in late May, and at some point afterwards it began circulating among people outside the White House associated with the Trump campaign to whom Higgins had given it.

Higgins, according to another source with direct knowledge of the incident, was called into the White House Counsel’s office the week before last and asked about the memo. On July 21, the Friday of that week, he was informed by McMaster’s deputy Ricky Waddell that he was losing his job.

NSC spokesman Michael Anton declined to comment on Higgins’s firing, saying that the White House does not comment on internal personnel matters.

“In Maoist insurgencies, the formation of a counter-state is essential to seizing state power,” the memo reads. “Functioning as a hostile complete state acting within an existing state, it has an alternate infrastructure. Political warfare operates as one of the activities of the ‘counter-state.’” I was able to review large portions of the memo, and to secure extracts for publication.

“Because the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives … These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum, and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies.”

Sources offered conflicting accounts of how the memo came to McMaster’s attention. Several sources with knowledge of the events said they believed the memo made its way to Trump’s desk, a version that others disputed.

Higgins’s bosses at the NSC were not pleased with the memo, sources say, the creation of which was not part of Higgins’s job. Higgins, seen as an ally of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, had only served on the council for a couple months.

Trump Has Quietly Accomplished More Than It Appears

Imagine, if you will, that there is a shadow government.

The actual government, the administration of Donald Trump, is coming off the worst week of his presidency, although there haven’t been any smooth weeks. Trump’s top legislative priority, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, seems dead for the moment. (Tax reform? Forget it.) His administration has set a new standard for chaos and dysfunction, rolling through staffers the way other administrations run through, well, legislative initiatives. Trump’s foreign policy remains inchoate and ineffective. Meanwhile, a special counsel investigation looms over the entire administration, threatening both its legitimacy and legal jeopardy for some of its members.

Things are going considerably better for the shadow government. With the Trump administration’s chaos sucking up all the attention, it’s been able to move forward on a range of its priorities, which tend to be more focused on regulatory matters anyway. It is remaking the justice system, rewriting environmental rules, overhauling public-lands administration, and greenlighting major infrastructure projects. It is appointing figures who will guarantee the triumph of its ideological vision for decades to come.

The trick here is that the administration and this shadow government are one and the same. Even as the public government sputters, other elements of the Trump administration are quietly remaking the nation’s regulatory landscape, especially on the environment and criminal justice.

There is so much attention paid to the chaos in the executive branch that it’s easy to come to believe that Trump is getting nothing whatsoever accomplished. Even for people who don’t support the president’s agenda—especially for them, in fact—it is useful to step back occasionally and take stock of what this presidency is doing to work toward its goals.

Trump’s complaints that the press is ignoring his victories in favor of covering controversies ring hollow. You can’t very well go around setting things on fire and then asking why the press keeps covering the fires. But warnings that the Trump administration is doing X to distract from Y seem misguided for a couple of reasons—one being that they ascribe a greater organization that the White House evinces in any other sphere, and another being that the supposedly distracting stories are often just as catastrophic. But the large-scale disasters do keep attention focused away from what smaller agencies are doing, as Ben Carson acknowledged recently.

“Let me put it this way,” the secretary of housing and urban development told the Washington Examiner. “I’m glad that Trump is drawing all the fire so I can get stuff done.”

Meanwhile, Trump continues to make preposterous claims. His assertion, at the six-month mark of his presidency last month, that he’d signed more bills than any other president over that stretch earned a snarky rejoinder even from The New York Times. But that is small consolation for progressive environmentalists, public-lands advocates, LGBT activists, and criminal-justice reformers. The list of accomplishments fall short of what Trump promised, but many of them are still quite consequential, with effects to be felt for decades to come. That’s one reason this sort of devil’s advocate exercise is important, although when I tried it in January it was not well received (except by the White House). Still, in the spirit of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who intends to establish a “red-team blue-team” exercise to investigate whether climate change is actually happening, let’s consider the Trump administration’s accomplishments. Spoiler alert: like climate change, they’re real.

One of the two biggest victories has come on border security, which was one of Trump’s top campaign priorities. Border crossings have already plummeted, suggesting that rhetoric making it clear to immigrants that they are not welcome is effective in its own right. Customs and Border Protections report that apprehensions of unauthorized people are down nearly 20 percent from the same time in 2016. (Trump continues to radically exaggerate these figures, though.) This decline has occurred despite Trump being foiled on his actual policy proposals at the border. Construction hasn’t begun on his border wall yet, and federal courts have repeatedly smacked down his Muslim travel ban.

That said, he did get one good result in courts—and that points to a second area of success. The Supreme Court allowed parts of the travel ban to go forward, in a victory that would not have happened without Neil Gorsuch on the court, filling a seat that under all previous customs would have been filled by Barack Obama’s appointee Merrick Garland. Given his legislative struggles, the most enduring Trump victories are likely to come in the judicial branch.

Trump may get to appoint several more justices to the high court. And in the meantime, he’s filling up lower courts with lifetime appointees. As the veteran Democratic official Ron Klain wrote recently, “A massive transformation is underway in how our fundamental rights are defined by the federal judiciary. For while President Trump is incompetent at countless aspects of his job, he is proving wildly successful in one respect: naming youthful conservative nominees to the federal bench in record-setting numbers.”

Ishmael Jones: Phoniness of the Trump Dossier


Ishmael Jones writes to comment on the infamous Trump “dossier.” It is one of the keys to the “collusion” hysteria and related “fake news” with which we have been inundated since the 2016 election. Mr. Jones is the pseudonymous former CIA officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He notes that his comments here are based upon his experience in writing “lots of intelligence reports” and that they have been approved by the CIA for publication. Mr. Jones writes:

The media continue to produce smoke in their efforts to accuse President Trump of collusion with the Russian government. But the founding document – the core set of beliefs – of the collusion story remains the infamous Russian Dossier, which is a fabrication.

I have written before on the nothingness of the reporting on Russian collusion and I want to make it clear how phony this Dossier is from the point of view of an intelligence officer.

I do not have a magical espionage sixth sense. Rather, it is the same instinct that we all have. If you know how to fly a plane, or plant roses, or collect stamps, or play the saxophone, you have an instinctive and visceral awareness when you encounter false information involving your specialty.

For fun, you can click on these photographs, which will instinctively make you think something’s not right here. That’s the same feeling I get when I watch CNN’s reporting on intelligence issues.

Spies don’t even use the word “dossier.” They keep information in “files,” just like everybody else. English is such a rich language that we can use different words for the same object when we want to gussy things up. We don’t “eat raw cow,” we “dine upon steak tartare.” “Dossier” makes this fabrication sound better.

The heading on the Dossier says CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCE which sounds official except I’ve never seen such a heading.

The first page of the Dossier gets right down to business with the golden showers accusation, that Donald Trump had women urinate upon him for his personal enjoyment. Sure, crazy things can happen, but the professional’s first instinct is skepticism. Crazy accusations with no details, no proof, no names, and no sourcing mean it didn’t happen.

The CIA has professional reports officers who review intelligence reporting. It’s as if they carry rulers, ready to rap the knuckles of any CIA case officer who writes a report like the Dossier. They demand details and the who, what, when, why, and where.

Fabrications are everywhere in both espionage and journalism. Fabricators create this stuff relentlessly for profit. Even before Al Gore invented the Internet, fabricated stories were everywhere.

Many journalists have the same standards as CIA reports officers, which is why so many journalists had already seen and dismissed the Dossier, before CNN finally took the bait.

The Dossier occasionally uses the passive voice such as “The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones …” or “there had been talk in the Kremlin…” The passive voice makes CIA reports officers howl, “Who knew it, why did they know it, how did they know it!” Reports officers hate the passive voice because it is misleading and weaselly. No professional spy writes in the passive voice.

The Dossier is sprinkled with words like “kompromat” and “plausible deniability” which sound like spy words but spies don’t write this way.

Fabricators try to include a bit of truth in their reporting to make the false reporting appear true. Some of the Dossier’s observations, such as that the Russians spy on other nations, are true but add nothing. Those few details that the Dossier contains have been disproven. Trump’s lawyer did not travel to Prague for a meeting with Russians, for example. Trump associates and acquaintances mentioned in the Dossier turned out to have no connection to the described events.


Remember the movie “Rashomon” where four people recount totally different versions of the same incident? Now we have “Russiamon” where depending on who and what you read and who and what you watch we get totally different versions.

Which collusion colluded the most?

A.Did Hillary collude with the Russians by selling them high grade uranium?

B.Did Jared and Donald Trump Jr. collude by listening to a a “high level” lowlife from Russia?

C.Did Debbie Wasserman Schultz collude with Russia through an aide?

D. Was Melania Trump confessing collusion by wearing a bright red suit in France? Red is the color symbol for Communism.

As I said, depends what you watch and what you read…..

LSU Conference Forces Engineers to Take ‘Microaggression’ Workshop “At one point they had us write a microaggression that we gave or someone gave us.” Mark Tapson


Louisiana State University hosted its second annual Consortium for Innovation in Manufacturing and Materials (CIMM) RII Symposium last week, and some engineering students were confused by the addition of an hour-long workshop on microaggressions, according to Campus Reform.

A befuddled graduate student who went by the user name “CuseTiger” at TigerDroppings, a forum for LSU fans, posed the question, “Who all has had implicit bias, sterotypes, microinsults, microaggressions, and [T]itle IX training? Cause I’m at an engineering symposium in lod cook today and have been dealing with snowflakes and trigger warnings all morning. They scheduled an hour for us to learn about all this.”

CuseTiger added a screenshot of the Symposium’s agenda, which included the “workshop/panel discussion” on “implicit bias, stereotypes, microinsults, microaggressions, [and] Title IX” just before the conference broke for lunch.

“At one point they had us write a microaggression that we gave or someone gave us,” the post continued, providing several pictures of a bulletin board covered with sticky notes.

“When people learn that I am from Colorado, they assume I smoke weed,” wrote one participant, while others complained about stereotyping such as “I thought all Asians were good at math” and “You probably lived on the west side of campus, right?”

Campus Reform has more:

Sara Hernandez, the Associate Dean for Inclusion and Student Engagement at Cornell University, and Dr. Jenna Carpenter, the Dean of Engineering at Campbell University, presented the implicit bias workshop as part of their roles with CIMM’s Diversity Advisory Council (DAC).

Carpenter told Campus Reform that the DAC recommends everybody be educated about the impacts of implicit bias, asserting that “When faculty and students aren’t aware of implicit bias, they unwittingly engage in behaviors that continue the discrimination and discouragement of women and underrepresented minorities in science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines.”

Dr. Pedro Derosa, who chaired the panel discussion, agreed that “social stereotypes” are the main reason for the lack of women and minorities in STEM fields, explicitly rejecting the notion that the observed differences have anything to do with qualities inherent to any of those groups.

“When implicit biases result in entire groups being underpaid or being subjected to higher scrutiny or standards or being excluded from opportunities altogether, we have a problem,” Derosa said.

Emory University professor Scott Lilienfeld, who published a research paper earlier this year calling for “a moratorium on microaggression training” and “abandonment of the term ‘microaggression,’” told Campus Reform that this approach is more likely to “exacerbate racial tensions” by “sensitizing” students to perceived offenses. Exactly.

Rather than trying to promote diversity through such workshops on microaggressions and implicit bias, notes Campus Reform, Lilienfeld suggested that a more effective approach would be for individual professors to lead by example, saying, “Faculty need to invest more time, energy, and effort in mentoring and encouraging minorities and women.”