Alexander Riley, Senior Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) has published an article on “The Origins of the Cruel Ritual of Diversity Training” for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. Riley, a professor of sociology at Bucknell University, points out that the social science that undergirds the rage for diversity training in academe and corporate America shows little or no hard evidence to back up the politicized claims of its supporters. Indeed, Riley points outs, citing the research of a Columbia University sociologist, that “mandatory diversity training often reinforces any existing biases that people may have and is ‘demonstrably ineffective or even counterproductive.’”
Professor Riley locates the origin of diversity training in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. He is sharply critical of the method of in-group out-group experiments pioneered by Jane Elliot, an elementary school teacher in Iowa. Riley finds that they are effective in humiliating whites but ineffective in lowering the temperature of discriminatory behavior.
The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, an educational nonprofit located in Raleigh, North Carolina, has as its mission the improvement of “higher education in North Carolina and the nation.” In April 2020 AHI President Robert Paquette published an essay “Whatever Happened to the Teaching of Western Civilization?” at the invitation of the Martin Center.