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Heather Mc Donald is a fellow of the Manhattan Institute; she holds a B.A. from Yale, M.A. from Cambridge and a Law degree from Stanford University. She is also an editor of "City Journal" Her extensive teaching experience has led her to writing a number of books in which she questions the main tenets of current American progressive education. Her most recent book is entitled The Diversity Delusion. In her fascinating, lively and witty conversation with Peter Robinson from the Hoover Institute she explains how the "identity" policy has disabled the free speech and resulted in virtual destruction of what was traditionally known as humanities, now belonging to so called "soft" disciplines. 

Asked by Peter Robinson about the roots of the malaise that numerous North American universities suffer from, Heather Mac Donald reaches back for a while to the late sixties and the times of Vietnam War. She understands the reasons why the rejection of all the Western civilization could have been considered, at the time, a liberating impulse among the crowds in Woodstock in 1969. Yet, on a bumpy road to acquiring a new American awareness, something must have gone awry. The author of "The Diversity Delusion" admits to having been temporarily seduced by the attempts at language deconstruction. She recalls the student mystique from those years; many young people truly believed that the Age of Aquarius was a round the corner. Recalling the revolutionary fervor, she appreciates the fact that her teachers then had not shunned the old classics. She and her peers (in her words) "were fortunate" to read Chaucer, Milton, Spencer and Wordsworth. In her opinion, it is deplorable that now younger generations of students read only what conforms to their identity. The ever present danger of ghettoization of culture discourages many ambitious students who drop out from seemingly easy "soft" courses and take up business, law or technical degree disciplines. Conversely, the students who can hardly cope with math or IT find some sort of solace in compiling identity themes under the guidance of the all too complacent faculty.

Having described a few potentially violent incidents on the campus in which she was virtually silenced by students calling her a "white supremacist", "fascist", "war-hawk" and "racist", prof. Mac Donald tried to be fair and not to blame only the undergraduates. She said: "It is the cultural revolution. This is the nadir of American education. This sort of insanity. The narcissistic victimology of those students thinking of themselves as oppressed at ... Yale. It’s the height of delusion. And yet, they are product of the Yale bureaucracy. They are being encouraged in this sort of hysteria. After the huge row, the organizers of the event were awarded the Racial Justice   price by the Chancellor of Yale who said he had never been so proud before. He also promised to spend extra 15 million dollars for the racial equality programs. That way he proved that Yale was doing its utmost to erase discrimination."

The author of "The Diversity Delusion" recalls a Columbia University student who voiced her unabashed opinion sharing her impressions from a concert: "Why did I have to listen to this Mozart? Who is this Mozart or Haydn? Those superior looking white men. No women, nor people of color."  
In her decisive and virulent rejection of bureaucratically imposed "progress" Heather Mac Donald finds allies on both sides of the racial division. Looking up with reverence to such great Americans as W.E.B. du Bois (the first black Ph.D. in 1903) she tolerates no hypocrisy, and fights bigotry no matter which color it may be. She willingly admits that embracing only "gender identity" as the supreme goal of education is harmful both to America as well to the Western culture as we know it. In her opinion, a few years of such conditioning, produces graduates who might have some education but, as a by-product, also carry a heavy burden of hate. Just like that bitter-sounding female from Columbia University. If ever a day comes in which adult students will be treated as fully mature adults - not as a bunch of preschoolers - guided by the supposedly "progressive" elites - then a huge part of the merit will go to Heather Mac Donald.

Michał Stefański

Michal Stefanski - radio and press media journalist, American Studies graduate. For over 25 years he has been a columnist in the Polish-language programs on CFMB - 1280AM broadcast from Montreal. He has also been an occasional contributor to "Gazeta Wyborcza" in Warsaw, as well as the to Toronto-based Polish weekly "Gazeta". He had also his column in the Montreal "Biuletyn Polski". He has a cat named Zuzia. 

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