Academic Triangle. This is a world ofrnfaculty meetings where people count uprnthe points thev will receive for hiring arnblack woman as opposed to a I lispanicrnman; where chuckles greet the objectionrnthat X, being appointed as a full professor,rnhas a resume that would perhapsrnccjuip him to lecture part-time in a communityrncollege. This is a society inrnwhich the otherwise unemploable findrnsuperbK paid jobs as of “afhrmative actionrnofficers,” pushing forms that in theirrneonrplexity would have done credit tornone of the more arcane Oriental civil servicesrnat its height, while operating an enforcementrnmachinery that collects reportsrnof remarks deemed hostile tornaffirmative action and diversity. Thernpractice is, of course, clandestine, likernvirtually every other aspect of this mirrorrnworld, especially the astonishing salaryrndifferentials between minority and whiternfaculty of vaguely equal qualificationsrn(and yes, Virginia, the differential doesrnfavor the minority, and by a huge margin).rnThere are also superb anecdotalrncases, like the woman who decloped arnmagnificent career based on adopting arnHispanic surname, which catapulted herrninto the upper ranks of her professionrnwithin a few years of completing herrnmediocre doctorate. There are countlessrnvictims of this routinized injustice, includingrnmany white academics, but alsornthe many talented minority professors ofrnhigh ability and outstanding scholarshiprnwhose achievements can be so ehurlishl}’rndismissed as the product of preferentialrntreatment.rnWhile faculty hiring offers abundantrnspace for griiri humor, so does the area ofrnstudent recruitment, where the zeal tornpromote a “diverse” student bod has ledrnto discriminatory practices of astonishingrnproportions. Some universities usernrace-norming; others use “incentivernawards,” basically pas ing students of certainrnspecified races to sta in college andrnmaintain grades. This might be regardedrnas harmless were the uiriverse of studentrnplaces not finite, and the increasedrnadmission of the severely underqualifiedrnfronr one race means refusing the adequatelyrnor well-qualified from otherrnraces. To nobody’s surprise, the ictimsrnof the new segregation system comernfrom groups which were, shall we sav, notrnentirely responsible for the horrors ofrnslaver}-, including Jews and Asians. Norrnhave these groups received preferentialrntreatment in American history, as bothrnwere victims of the most severe segregationrnand quota svstems in the bad oldrndays. Where a group performs indecentlyrnwell in academic performance, it is alwaysrnmuch easier to create a quota thanrnto look seriously at what might be emulatedrnin their cultural traditions or workrnhabits.rnNone of these individual difficulties isrnone whit as serious as the internalizationrnof these bizarre and unjust principles byrnvirtually everyone in a position of authority.rnOnly the crudest form of politicalrnt rann’ depends on naked fear; the mostrnsuccessful depend on drawing the vastrnmajority into some form of complicityrnwith the regime, and thereby offeringrnLIBERAL ARTSrn-‘,.>,f:-vv-irnCULTURAL DIVERSITYrnAccording to the March 1996 issue of Border Watch, a Hmong immigrant in Fresno,rnCalifornia, named Chai Thai Moua has been convicted of directing one of his relativesrnto kill a three-montb-old German Shepherd, in order to exorcise an e il spirit that hadrn”possessed” Moua’s wife. Like many tlmong, Moua believes that “the released soul ofrna dog has keen eyesight and is particularh effecti’e in tracking down spirits.” Moua’srnsentence includes probation, community service, and a fine, but he pkins to appeal hisrncon’iction “on grounds of religious freedom.”rnsome form of profit or temporary advantage,rnand once compromised, it becomesrnharder to revert to total opposition, hirnthe discrimination system prevailingrnwithin American universities, the onlyrncorrect moral decision is probably tornrefuse all cooperation, to refuse, for example,rnto participate in hiring decisions,rnwhich many conscientious faculty alreadyrndo to the best of their ability.rnRemarkably, this enclosed worldrncontinues vs’ithin its terrarium utterly unawarernof its fragility, of the growing popularrndisaffection with universities, professors,rnand college fees, that has so farrnbeen contained only by the Jim Jonesrnprinciple spelled out above. Nor do administrators,rneven those of real intelligence,rnhave any idea of the tenuous legalrnprinciples on which affirmative action isrnbuilt, hi reality, everything rests on a fewrnfederal statutes that now appear veryrndelicate indeed. Once these laws are removed,rnthe hiring or promoting of someonernon the grounds of gender or ethnicityrnbecomes exactly what it should be, anrnactionable form of job discrimination.rnAdministrators have not yet begun tornrealize the consequences waiting to descend,rnand the odds are that they willrncarry on as normal until the first discriminationrnsuits hit them, probably threateningrnto cripple whole universities financially.rnWhat will they do then: lay offrnfaculty or raise fees?rnOther consequences are more interesting,rnincluding the mass unemploymentrnof the affirmative action bureaucracy,rnthe diversity empire. On the otherrnhand, the hiring decisions of the last tworndecades ha’e been made within that curiousrnlegal arrangement known as academicrntenure, which means that unlessrnthe’ actually kill someone, it is virtuallyrnimpossible to remove professors, no matterrnhow mentally or morally extinct.rnThis means that we face the survival wellrninto the next century of a despairingrncaste of the weakest affirmative actionrnfaculty, the hopeless but tenured, whornwill find they can neither move up norrnout. Well into the 2030’s, they will probablyrnbe a source for bitterness and constantrncomplaint about systematic bias,rnand presumably a focus for studentrnactivism. All told, the consequences forrnfinancial stability, facult morale, andrnadministrati’e stability within the universitiesrnare horrendous, and this scenariornis likely to come to pass not inrndecades, but within fi’e ‘cars or so. Thernend of affirmative action could bern40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn